The Customs and Border Protection is reminding members of the public traveling through ports of entry to be aware of what produce and other food is prohibited from crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.
The CPB’s Laredo, Texas, field office is seeing an increase in prohibited food as concerns about lack of food on grocery store shelves ramp up in the wake of the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 cases.
“We have seen an increase in attempts to bring in prohibited items such as raw eggs and would like to remind the traveling public that federal agricultural law remains in effect and to consult links on the CBP and USDA websites regarding prohibited agricultural items to avoid needless penalties and delays,” Randy J. Howe, director of field operations at the Laredo Field Office, said in a news release.
To avoid delays and fines, travelers are encouraged to declare all agricultural products and check the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s list of prohibited fruits and vegetables from Mexico from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service branch.
According to the CBP, failing to declare agricultural items coming into the U.S. can cost first-time offenders $300, and that goes up to $500 the second time.