CBP Agriculture Enforcement Encountering Commercial Importations at Passenger Bridges
LAREDO, Texas – CBP agriculture specialists at the Laredo Port of Entry have issued seven penalties totaling over $6,500 to smugglers attempting to bring in commercial quantities of prohibited agricultural items.
Over the last month and a half, CBP agriculture specialists and officers have encountered several attempts to smuggle large quantities of prohibited agricultural items in the passenger environment. In total over 1,600 mangos, 150 hog plums, 50 mamey fruit, and over 50 kilograms of pork meat has been intercepted during this time period. The material has been found in quarter panels, under floorboards, under seats and mixed in boxes containing admissible or unregulated items. Most notable was an interception of over 800 mangoes at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge. Some of these items have been found using CBP’s non-intrusive technology.
Agriculture items are restricted by CBP in order to prevent the entry of pests and diseases that pose a risk to our nation’s economy, natural resources, and agriculture industry. Most fruits are prohibited because they are fruit fly hosts. Currently, much of south Texas is under a fruit fly quarantine including Laredo, Zapata and the Rio Grande Valley.
Since the start of 2019, CBP agriculture specialists at Laredo have issued 90 penalties totaling over $35,000, including eight $1,000 penalties for commercial quantities of prohibited agricultural items. Attempting to bring in prohibited agricultural items could lead to traveler delays and may result in a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000.
CBP officers and agriculture specialists work diligently to fulfill CBP’s agriculture mission by excluding harmful pests and diseases from becoming established in the United States. For more information about CBP’s agriculture mission, click on the following link.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.