Sterling, Va. - Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists educated three passengers, who arrived at Washington-Dulles International Airport over the weekend that some things just aren't allowed into the United States.
One passenger arrived on Sunday from Vietnam with two boxes, about two pounds, of pre-packaged Birds Nest. Birds Nest is an edible nest made usually by cave swifts, and is an Asian delicacy made into soup broth. However, birds nest poses potential threats, such as Exotic Newcastle Disease and the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1).
Another passenger arrived from Brazil on Friday with about 60 pounds of raw beef and about 11 pounds of raw chicken. These meat products pose potential threats, such as Foot and Mouth Disease and Exotic Newcastle Disease, to American livestock.
CBP didn't fine either traveler since both claimed possessing the inadmissible products, however CBP did fine one traveler $300 who repeatedly denied possessing about four pounds of dried beef. That traveler arrived on Friday from Ethiopia.
"Customs and Border Protection continually faces two kinds of travelers, those who don't know an agriculture product is prohibited, and those who do know yet still attempt to bring it into the U.S.," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington, D.C. "It is the latter group that concerns us most because they are deliberately concealing products that potentially pose significant threats to the American agriculture industry."
All agriculture products were incinerated.
CBP officers also seized an ivory necklace on Sunday after U.S. Fish and Wildlife confirmed that the necklace was indeed made of ivory. CBP officers initially detained the necklace during a baggage inspection of a traveler from Germany on April 12.
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP's Travel website to learn which items are admissible and inadmissible to the United States.
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.