Customs

Travel Information: Travelling with Food

Travellers with a special dietary requirement often like to take some food supplies with them, just in case. This can be for a number of reasons; food to eat while on the plane or in transit, or to eat at their destination. I’ve been on a plane where my pre-ordered gluten free meal didn’t arrive and I’ve spent over 10 hours in Kuala Lumpur LCCT one night after missing a connection and gluten free food options were non-existent. Having some gluten free snacks in my hand luggage in these instances were lifesavers.

You can travel with food but you need to be aware of certain rules and regulations.

  • There are restrictions on the amount of liquid, aerosols and gels you can carry onboard international flights, further details can be obtained at travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/onboard/liquids-aerosols-and-gels.aspx
  • Each country has custom rules, which state what items are permissible and/or prohibited. It is important that you are familiar with the rules for the countries you are entering. The following summary only includes customs rules that relate to food.

North America

Oceania

Southeast Asia

Other regions coming soon

North America (current as at 19 April 2017)

Anguilla Any plant or plant products require an import permit from the Anguillan Agriculture Department and a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin.
Antigua and Barbuda An import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture of Antigua and Barbuda and a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin is required for all planting material.
Bahamas For agricultural products, plants of all types, wood carvings or similar items: apply to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Barbados

Prohibited:

- fresh fruit if grown in or conveyed through: Argentina, Azores, Bermuda, Italy, Madeira, Society Isl., South Africa, Spain and Venezuela;

- fruits and vegetables if grown in or conveyed through: the State of Florida in the USA and the States of Tasmania and Victoria in Australia except if accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate stating that they have been fumigated and are free from the Mediterranean Fly;

Belize The import of agricultural produce, plants, meat and meat products, processed foods, live animals and veterinary drugs are subject to restrictions or are prohibited. Before bringing such items into Belize, contact the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA).
Bermuda No rules relating to food.
Canada

Restrictions and duty on food products: Complex requirements, restrictions and limits apply when importing meat, eggs, dairy products, fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foodstuffs that it is strongly advised not to bring such goods into Canada. Certain seeds, plants and plant parts are subject to special import requirements. For more information, contact the CFIA Import Service Centres in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver or by consulting www.inspection.gc.ca.

The following meat and dairy products may be imported only from the U.S. and must be identified as products of the USA:

a. 24 eggs;

b. CAD 20.- worth of dairy products;

c. 3 kilograms of margarine;

d. 20 kilograms of meat and meat products, with restriction of:

- max. 1 whole turkey or 10 kilograms of turkey products;

- max. 10 kilograms of chicken.

Prohibited: articles from Haiti, made of animal skins (e.g. drums). Soft shell turtles from any country, including the USA.

Costa Rica No rules relating to food.
Cuba

Prohibited:

1. all kinds of seeds, fresh animal or vegetable products unless prior approval has been obtained from Ministry of Agriculture;

Dominica Prohibited: Bananas, coconuts, plants and straw materials, citrus, coffee, avocado fruits/plants/soil. For more information on restrictions/prohibitions: contact the Division of Agriculture, Botanical Gardens, Roseau.
Dominican Republic Prohibited: all animal products (e.g. cheese, meat, sausages etc.), fresh vegetables, fruits, plants, etc.
El Salvador Import of ham, sausage and similar products is allowed only if sterilized by heat, boneless and hermetically canned.
French West Indies

PROHIBITED:

- import into Guadeloupe of animals and food of animal origin from Haiti.

- import into Guadeloupe and Martinique of plants and vegetables of any sort.

Grenada No rules relating to food.
Guam No rules relating to food.
Guatemala No rules relating to food.
Haiti No rules relating to food.
Honduras No rules relating to food.
Jamaica No rules relating to food.
Mexico

Prohibited:

- any uncanned foodstuff (e.g. pork) and derivatives.

Import of canned food is permitted, except for pork and derivatives. For full information contact the nearest representation of Mexico.

- earth, plants, parts of them, flowers, fruits, seeds or materials of vegetable origin used as containers, packing or in the manufacture of handicrafts.

It is allowed to import seeds and plants of varieties and species that are beneficial to the nation, having first secured authorization from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Montserrat No rules relating to food.
Nicaragua No rules relating to food.
Panama No rules relating to food.
Puerto Rico

Prohibited:

- Fresh, dried or canned meat or meat products, plants , seeds (incl. rice, soybeans and chickpeas), vegetables, fruits, soil, live insects, snails and other living plant or animal pests.

- Fish - unless certified as disease-free - including salmon and trout, or their eggs, if not canned, pickled or smoked may not be imported from anywhere except North America.

- Wildlife, fish and their products are subject to restrictions. Articles manufactured from wildlife such as clothing (i.e. leopard skin coats, crocodile shoes etc.), purses, carvings, etc. are prohibited.

For more information contact the US Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife or US representations overseas.

- Dairy products and eggs from certain countries.

- Small quantities of pest-free cut flowers without soil are generally allowed. Certain plants, plant products and seeds are admissible with an import permit. For more information contact the US Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), National Center for Import and Export.

St Kitts and Nevis No rules relating to food.
St Lucia No rules relating to food.
St Maarten No rules relating to food.
St Vincent and the Grenadines No rules relating to food.
Trinidad and Tobago No rules relating to food.
Turks and Caicos Islands No rules relating to food.
United States

Prohibited:

- Fresh, dried or canned meat or meat products, plants , seeds (incl. rice, soybeans and chickpeas), vegetables, fruits, soil, live insects, snails and other living plant or animal pests.

- Fish - unless certified as disease-free - including salmon and trout, or their eggs, if not canned, pickled or smoked may not be imported from anywhere except North America.

- Wildlife, fish and their products are subject to restrictions. Articles manufactured from wildlife such as clothing (i.e. leopard skin coats, crocodile shoes etc.), purses, carvings, etc. are prohibited.

For more information contact the US Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife or US representations overseas.

- Dairy products and eggs from certain countries.

- Small quantities of pest-free cut flowers without soil are generally allowed. Certain plants, plant products and seeds are admissible with an import permit. For more information contact the US Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), National Center for Import and Export.

Oceania (current as at 29 August 2016)

Australia

All food, plants, animal goods, equipment used with animals, biological materials, soils and sand; must be declared to Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

All food, plant material and animal products must be declared on the Incoming Passenger Card and inspected by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) upon arrival in Australia, and may require treatment or documentation prior to entry. Quarantine risk goods may be quarantined, seized, returned to country of origin or destroyed. Detailed information can be found at http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ .

Cook Islands Import of fruit, meat and livestock from all countries is prohibited except from New Zealand. Details can be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Rarotonga, Cook Isl.
Fiji

Prohibited: - meat and dairy products from Tasmania.

Vegetable matter, seeds and any animal products require an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests.

French Polynesia Restricted: all vegetation and parts thereof must be authorized by "Service de L'Economie Rurale" (B.P. 100, Papeete) prior to arrival. Prohibited: generally all food products of animal origin.
Guam See USA.
Kiribati No rules relating to food.
Marshall Islands No rules relating to food.
Nauru No rules relating to food.
New Caledonia

Free import of:

- Raw meat: Prohibited except if originating from Australia, Canada, Denmark, French Polynesia, Ireland (Rep.), New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, USA or Vanuatu, and provided being accompanied by a sanitary certificate in the form prescribed by the veterinary department of New Caledonia;
- Cooked meat and other animal products: must be covered by a sanitary certificate in the form prescribed by the veterinary department of New Caledonia.

Plants, seeds, flowers and parts thereof, earth: Prohibited, except on import permit to be applied for in advance to "Protection des Vegetaux. SVPA DIDER, BP 256 Noumea, New Caledonia".

New Zealand The following items are restricted entry to New Zealand or require inspection and possible treatment on arrival:
1. food of any kind (raw or processed);
2. animals (alive or dead) -see Pets-, animal products, incl. meat, skins, feathers, bone, wool, eggs, cultures, shells, hair, honey;
3. plants, fruit, vegetables, seeds, flowers (fresh or dried), nuts, bulbs, straw, bamboo, wood and other plant products;
Niue No rules relating to food.
Norfolk Island Prohibited: food from countries other than Australia or New Zealand; pork and poultry products from New Zealand; all fresh fruits and vegetables; plants and parts thereof.
Northern Marina Islands For fresh fruits a phytosanitary certificate is warranted. Prohibited: mangoes from the Philippines, meat (except from Continental USA, Hawaii, Guam, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), pre-cooked and dried noodles with powdered meat.
Palau No rules relating to food.
Papua New Guinea Prohibited: uncanned foodstuffs of animal origin from countries other than Australia and New Zealand; pig meat from New Zealand, whether fresh or canned.
Samoa No rules relating to food.
Samoa (American) Vegetables and plants need a permit from the Agricultural Department.
Solomon Islands Fruits and vegetable import require import permit obtainable from: Director of quarantine, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Tonga

Free import of:

- 20 kg of meat and meat products or milk and dairy products originating from Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Vanuatu and United States of America provided content:
- must be commercially prepared, packaged and labeled;
- is in its original sealed packaging on arrival. The country of origin must be identifiable in packaging.

Tuvalu No rules relating to food.
Vanuatu Fruit, plants, and meat (also if chilled), fish or shellfish imported by individual passengers for personal use require a permit in advance from the Plant Quarantine of the Veterinary Service of the Vanuatu Department of Agriculture.

Southeast Asia (current as at 29 August 2016)

Brunei No rules relating to food.
Cambodia No rules relating to food.
Indonesia Chinese medicines and printings, narcotics, firearms and ammunition, pornography, fresh fruit, cordless telephone are not permitted except for those holding licence.
Laos No rules relating to food.
Malaysia Free import : - a total max. of MYR 75.- of dutiable food preparations;
Myanmar All plants or plant products (seeds, bulbs, cut flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables) require a Phytosanitary Certificate and must be declared. Prohibited: host plants of pests and soil.
Philippines Prohibited: transport of all plants, planting materials, fruits and vegetables, regardless of quantity, if not accompanied by a valid quarantine documents (Import Permit/Authority to Import).
Singapore

Food items for personal consumption are permitted. However, certain foods are prohibited or controlled depending on county of origin and may be limited to a maximum amount or weight. Detailed information can be found at www.ava.gov.sg

Prohibited: chewing gum (except oral dental and medicated gum approved by Health Sciences Authority (HSA));

Thailand Prohibited (without licence): Meat from any country affected by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow and foot-and-mouth diseases, including all EU Member States.
Timor – Leste No reliable information can be obtained yet.
Vietnam No rules relating to food.

Published: 31 August 2016

Updated: 19 April 2017

Source: www.iatatravelcentre.com

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