Pembina, N.D. - Over a two day period in August, U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Pembina port of entry conducted a special enforcement operation checking for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and other agricultural products in the cabs of inbound commercial trucks. Forty-six inadmissible items were discovered and seized.
The operation focused on the interception of prohibited agricultural materials that may carry foreign plant pests and exotic animal diseases. The products seized included bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, and citrus fruits. In one case a $175 penalty was issued for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products.
Examples of serious pests that could be found on foreign agricultural products include leek moth (Acrolepia assectella) and false codling moth (Thaumatotibia lecucotreta). A widespread infestation of these exotic pests in the U.S. could cause agricultural and economic losses in the form of export sanctions, lost markets, treatment costs and reduced crop yields.
Truck drivers and other travelers are encouraged to leave fresh fruit, live plants, firewood, foreign meat products and vegetables behind when they travel to the U.S. To avoid penalties, always declare all plant and animal product you are carrying at the port of entry.