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Q: Can I bring spices into the U.S.? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Can I bring spices into the U.S.?
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: spicegirl-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 22 Jun 2002 03:41 PDT
Expires: 29 Jun 2002 03:41 PDT
Question ID: 31524
We are moving to the U.S. and would like to bring our collection of
spices with us (regular household spices, food mixes, and sauces --
all of which contain no meat products).

Are we allowed to?  What are the legal barriers we might face?

Are there any documents we need to bring with us to show the customs people?
Subject: Re: Can I bring spices into the U.S.?
Answered By: searchbot-ga on 22 Jun 2002 05:27 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello spicegirl,

I have a large collection of spices myself and can imagine what loss
it would pose to you not to be able to take them with you as you
immigrate to the United States. After all, exotic collections may have
been collected over years and not be available where you intend to
live in the States. Fortunately, the regulations of the US Dept. of
Agriculture (USDA), specifically the Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS) -- the authority under which food imports
to the US are regulated -- seems to be in favor of bringing goods with
you such as the ones you mentioned. The APHIS web site has an
informational leaflet for travelers
(, which explicitly
allows for the import of "Sauces, canned or processed" and "Spices,
dried". With regard to spices, however, curry leaves are specifically
excluded. This guide makes an excellent informational source which
should also answer most of any other questions you may have on this
topic. In case you should want to verify the information given on this
page for your specific situation, you may contact APHIS either by a
web email form ( or by
phone at +1 (301) 734-8645. Local consulates or embassies may also be
able to offer additional help.

Just for reasons of completeness, let me point out that the Food And
Drug Administration (FDA, oversees the whole
procedure of importing edible goods to the US as the responsible
authority for "anything food" in the States. However, their additional
regulations ( rather apply
to commerce than to the individual.

As to the forms needed, this varies depending on whether you accompany
the goods you wish to import (i.e. you put them into your luggage
while you fly to the States, for example) or if they arrive
seperately. The former requires a regular Customs Form (CF) 6059B,
"Customs Declaration," whereas the latter needs to be declared on the
CF  3299 "Declaration For Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles".
Extensive information on this subject may be found on the US customs
web site, section: Moving Household Goods to the United States

To summarize everything for you: yes, you are obviously allowed to
bring your collection of spices with you. However, such import must be
declared. Failure to declare may make you liable to pay fines up to
$250/item according to Forms needed vary
on the modality of import.

Finally, check out the cute guys which will try to make it impossible
for you to bring anything illegal with respect to food to the US,
thanks to their sense of smell which "makes them curious wanderers by
nature" - the Beagle Brigade

I hope this answer was satisfatory to you. I wish you all the best for
your relocation to the United States.


Search strategy:
spicegirl-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Fabulous answer.  Very reassuring!  Thanks for your help.

Subject: Re: Can I bring spices into the U.S.?
From: mplungjan-ga on 22 Jun 2002 10:04 PDT
One never gets the chance to answer here :(

Enjoy your spices

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