EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists will conduct an outreach event for members of the traveling public this weekend at the Ysleta port of entry. The event will be conducted in the pedestrian inspection area Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m.
CBP has previously hosted agriculture related public outreach events at area ports in advance of the Easter holiday. CBP agriculture specialists will be on site to interact with the traveling public and answer questions. Examples of prohibited goods will be shown. Educational posters showcasing the damage and harm that pests and disease can cause will also be showcased.
“This is a good time of year to educate the public about what they can and cannot bring into the United States,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Many more people than normal cross the border so this is an excellent time to reach a large and broad audience in an engaging and informative way.”
The goals of the event include educating the traveling public on the CBP Agriculture Mission. CBP will utilize displays and handouts to inform the public about pest and disease issues that could arise from importing prohibited items. An agriculture canine team will be present to conduct demonstrations. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials and USDA personnel have also been invited to participate and inform the public about regulations involving the import of wildlife items and to help educate the public about importations of agriculture products.
The Easter holiday week is time when CBP notes an increase in personal importations of cascarones. CBP agriculture specialists will remind travelers that they can legally import up to 10 cascarones but they must be completely clean and be presented for inspection. The colorful confetti-filled eggshells are a concern because they may introduce Newcastle’s Disease to the U.S. poultry industry. Violators are subject to fines.
Another popular but banned Easter related product is Kinder Eggs. These are hollow milk chocolate eggs packaged in a colorful wrapper. A toy within the egg is contained in an oval-shaped plastic capsule. Many of the toys that have been tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the past were determined to present a choking hazard for young children. CBP in El Paso has intercepted these products in the past and will be watching for this product this year as well.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.