· Defense articles or items with military or proliferation applications – some items that have both commercial and military or proliferation applications, or that are considered defense articles, require a license before exporting abroad. Such items may include software or technology, blueprints, design plans, and retail software packages and technical information.
· Dog and cat fur – it is illegal in the United States to import, export, distribute, transport, manufacture or sell products containing dog or cat fur in the United States. As of November 9, 2000, the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 calls for the seizure and forfeiture of each item containing dog and cat fur. The Act provides that any person who violates any provision may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00 for each separate knowing and intentional violation, $5,000.00 for each separate gross negligent violation, or $3,000.00 for each separate negligent violation.
· Drug Paraphernalia – it is illegal to bring drug paraphernalia into the United States unless prescribes for authentic medical conditions such as diabetes. Customs authentic medical conditions such as diabetes. Customs authorities will seize any illegal drug paraphernalia. Law prohibits the importation, exportation, manufacture, sale or transportation of drug paraphernalia. If you are convicted of any of these offenses, you will be subject to fines and imprisonment.
· Firearms – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulates and restricts Firearms and ammunition and approves all import transactions involving weapons and ammunition. If you want to import or export weapons or ammunition, you must do so through a licensed importer, dealer or manufacturer. Also, if the National Firearms Act prohibits certain weapons, ammunition, or similar devices from coming into the country, you will not be able to import them unless the ATF provides you with written authorization to do so. If the firearm is controlled as a US Munitions List article and it is temporarily imported to the United States, or it is temporarily exported, it may also require a Department of State license.
· Fish and Wildlife – certain fish and wildlife, and products made from them, are subject to import and export restrictions, prohibition, permits or certificates, as well as requirements. CBP recommends that you contact the US fish and wildlife service before you depart if you plan to import or export any of the following: wild birds, land or marine mammals, reptiles, fish, shellfish, mollusks or invertebrates, any part of product of the above such as skins, tusks, bone, feathers or eggs; or products or articles manufactured from wildlife or fish.
· Food Products (Prepared) - you may bring bakery items and certain cheeses into the United States. The APHIS Web site features a Travelers Tips section and Game and Hunting Trophies section that offer extensive information about bringing food and other products into the US. Many prepared foods are admissible. However, bush meat made from African wildlife and almost anything containing meat products, such as bouillon, soup mixes, etc., is not admissible. As a general rule, condiments, vinegars, oils, packaged spices, honey, coffee and tea are admissible. Because rice can often harbor insects, it is best to avoid bringing it into the United States. Some imported foods are also subject to requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration.
· Gold – Gold coins, medals and bullion, formerly prohibited, may be brought into the United States, However, under regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, such items origination in or brought from Cuba, Iran, Burma (Myanmar) and most of Sudan are prohibited entry. Copies of gold coins are prohibited if not properly marked by country of issuance
· Meats, Livestock and Poultry – The regulations governing meat and meat products are stringent. You may not import fresh, dried or canned meat products from most foreign countries into the United States. Also, you may not import food products that have been prepared with meat.
· Medication – Rule of thumb: When you go abroad, take the medicines you will need, no more, no less. Narcotics and certain other drugs with a high potential for abuse – Rohypnol, GHB and Fen-Phen, to name a few- may not be brought into the United States, and there are severe penalties for trying to do so. If you need medicines that contain potentially addictive drugs or narcotics (e.g., some cough medicines, tranquilizers, sleeping pills and antidepressants or stimulants), do the following:
Ø Declare all drugs, medicinal, and similar products to the appropriate CBP official;
Ø Carry such substances in their original containers;
Ø Carry only the quantity of such substances that a person with that condition (e.g., chronic pain) would normally carry for his/her personal use; and
Ø Carry a prescription or written statement from your physician that the substances are being used under a doctor’s supervision and that they are necessary for your physical wellbeing while traveling
US residents entering the United States at international land boarders who are carrying a validly obtained controlled substance (other than narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or LSD), are subject to certain additional requirements. If a US residents wants to bring in a controlled substance (other than narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or LSD) but does not have a prescription for the substance issued by a US – licensed practitioner (e.g., physician, dentist, etc.) who is registered with, and authorized by, the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe the medication, the individual may not import more than 50 dosage units of the medications into the United States. If the US resident has a prescription for the controlled substance issued by a DEA registrant, more than 50 dosage units may be imported by that person, provided all other legal requirements are met.
· Textiles and Clothing - In general, there is no limit to how much fabric and clothing you can bring back as long as it is for your personal use or as gifts. If you have exceeded your personal exemption, you may have to pay duty on the items. Unaccompanied personal shipments (packages that are mailed or shipped), however, may be subject to limitations on amount.
· Trademarked and Copyrighted Articles – customs enforces laws relating to the protection of trademarks and copyrights. Articles that infringe a federally registered trademark or copyright or copyright protected by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works are subject to detention and/or seizure. Infringing articles may consist of articles that use a protected right without the authorization of the trademark or copyright owner or articles that copy or simulate a protected right.