There are regulations and restrictions on taking animals and/or agricultural products to the United States. Please take the time to learn the correct procedures.
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) protects the health of U.S. plants and animals from potential, non-territorial infectious incursions. And, as such, is also responsible to control imported plants, animals, and their products. For more information please visit their Website at USDA’s APHIS.
Do you need to know more about other customs procedures? Please contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take my dog with me to the U.S.?
You must have a recent health/vaccination certificate stating that your dog is free of evidence of diseases communicable to humans. This certificate should identify the animal, specify the dates of vaccination, date of expiration, and bear the signature of a licensed veterinarian. If no date of expiration is specified, the certificate is acceptable if the date of vaccination is not more than 12 months before the date of arrival.
Your dog must have been vaccinated against rabies and certified rabies free at least 30 days prior to entry into the United States. There are exceptions for puppies less than three months of age and for dogs originating or located for six months or more in areas designated by the Public Health Service as being rabies free.
Dogs imported for use with livestock must be free of tapeworms.
The state of Hawaii and the territories of Guam and American Samoa have additional requirements to those listed above. All dogs entering the state of Hawaii and the territories of Guam and American Samoa are subject to a 120-day quarantine in accordance with state and territorial regulations.
Can I take my cat to the U.S.?
Your cat must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when you arrive and it is examined at the port of entry. If the animal is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense.
In addition, if you wish to take your cat Hawaii or the territory of Guam, they will be subject to state or territorial quarantine requirements, which is an effort to keep these regions rabies free.
How do I send Parcels containing Food Gifts Through International Mail?
If you plan to send a food article by international mail, you must request and receive prior approval from the FDA. The parcel must be accompanied by FDA confirmation. For more information.
Among the food articles exempt from prior notice are:
- Homemade goods shipped as gifts
- Food contained in household goods
- Food (as a gift) shipped/mailed from an individual to an individual
What about taking food with me to the U.S.?
U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations prohibit travelers from bringing fresh, dried, and canned meats and meat products from most foreign countries. If any meat is used in preparing a product, you should not attempt to bring it with you. Bakery items and all cured cheeses are admissible, however, cheese tariffs will be applied to quantities greater than five kilograms.
Imported foods are also subject to FDA requirements and may be seized upon inspection if, in the opinion of the FDA, they pose a health risk of any kind. Please check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Website for additional information and Bringing Food into the U.S.
What about alcoholic beverages?
Adults, at least 21 years of age, and who are not residents of the United States may bring in for personal use not more than one liter of alcoholic beverages beer, wine, liquor. The import will be free of Federal duty and internal revenue tax unless you exceed the one-liter limit. Duties and taxes applied to those imports are as follows:
Beer – 16 cents per liter; Still Wine – 36 cents per liter; and, 80 Proof Scotch – $2.89 per liter.
In addition to U.S. Federal laws, the traveler must also meet state alcoholic beverage laws, which may be more restrictive than noted above. The respective State laws apply where there are differences between State and Federal guidelines.
You are not permitted to ship alcoholic beverages by mail to the United States per U.S. postal laws.