Contact your nearest American consulate or U.S. Customs office
well before packing day to discuss prohibited articles. Besides the
restrictions placed on such items as weapons and ammunition, liquor,
medicine, animals and plants, there are other less obvious items
which are subject to strict enforcement of U.S. laws.
According to the U.S. Customs Service, items prohibited from
entry into the United States include "absinthe, liquor-filled candy,
lottery tickets, narcotics and dangerous drugs, obscene articles and
publications, seditious and treasonable materials, hazardous
articles (e.g.: fireworks, dangerous toys, toxic or poisonous
substances), products made by convicts or forced labor and
switchblade knives". A person attempting to import any prohibited
item into the United States will be subject to a personal penalty
and the item will be seized.
Articles subject to restrictions include:
Any type of organism
used for education or research must be accompanied by an import
Latin American Cultural Property
American countries require that an export certificate accompany any
pre-Colombian artifacts shipped directly or indirectly to the United
States. The U.S. Customs Service enforces this requirement.
"Pirated" copies of copyrighted books
restriction includes any unauthorized copies of American books. The
practice of producing photo- offset copies and selling the books at
enormously reduced rates is common in the Far East If the price of a
book seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Merchandise originating in North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia
A Treasury license issued under the Foreign Assets Control
Regulations is required in order to import goods from any of the
above mentioned countries. Questions regarding merchandise control
should be addressed to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Department of the Treasury, Washington, D.C. 20220, U.S.A.
You must file a form 4790 with U.S.
Customs if you transport or sent into or out of the country more
than $10,000 is U.S. or foreign coins, currency, traveler's checks,
money orders, negotiables or investment securities. A customs form
4790 must also be filed if you receive more than $10,000 while in
the United States.
Unless you can prove it was
purchased in the United States, the rug could be seized. Contact a
U.S. Customs office before including a rug in your shipment.
In the United States,
the owner of a registered trademark may record that mark with the
U.S. Customs Service. Therefore, the U.S. Customs Service is
authorized to identify imitation products represented by a projected
trademark. The items most frequently identified as having false
trademarks are perfume, jewelry (including watches), cameras, tape
recorders and musical instruments. Persons entering the United
States are usually permitted to bring only one such item into the
country every 30 days. The U.S. Customs Service booklet #508,
"Trademark Information for Travelers" covers trademark protection in
Products from Endangered Species
States has many regulations governing the importation of products
made from parts of animals deemed to be endangered. Although items
made from these animals may be on sale in many countries, these same
items may not be permitted importation into another country.
Therefore, it is important to determine any guidelines governing the
importation of endangered wildlife products well in advance of your
departure. Keep in mind that 100 countries, including the United
States, have signed CITES, a comprehensive wildlife treaty
regulating the import or export of endangered plant or animal
Here are some of the goods prohibited from entering the United
States; products from most crocodile skins, lizard products from
Brazil, Paraguay and some Asian countries; most snakeskin products
from Latin America and Asia; and all sea turtle products including
tortoiseshell combs, jewelry, leather and creams and cosmetics made
from turtle oil.
For more information on the importation of wildlife products,
Division of Law Enforcement U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 28006
Washington, D.C. 20005, U.S.A.
TRAFFIC (U.S.A.) World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037, U.S.A.