Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers this week seized nearly 100 pounds of undeclared cheese hidden in a vehicle driven by a local woman.
The seizure occurred on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Gateway to the Americas Bridge. A CBP officer referred a Ford Windstar driven by a 29-year-old female U.S. citizen from Laredo for a secondary examination. During the examination, CBP officers discovered packages of undeclared cheese hidden under the seats. CBP officers seized 92 packages containing 92.70 pounds of cheese.
CBP officers issued a $464 penalty for failure to declare the cheese. The cheese was destroyed.
"By seizing a commercial quantity of undeclared cheese brought through the passenger vehicle lanes, CBP officers upheld laws designed to provide safeguards that cheese and other food products are properly imported and are fit for human consumption," said Sidney Aki, Port Director, Laredo Port of Entry. "Keeping American Agriculture and the U.S. consumer safe are key objectives of CBP."
Travelers may import an amount of cheese consistent with personal use, generally not more than 10 pounds. Amounts larger than that require formal commercial entry and the importation must abide by all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including compliance with the Bioterrorism Act.
Travelers with questions regarding the admissibility of certain agricultural items are encouraged to consult Bringing Agricultural Products into the U.S. on the CBP website.
In addition, there are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for the importation of food products into the U.S., including cheese. For more information regarding importing food products into the U.S., see the FDA website.
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.