WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists seized prohibited meat products concealed inside baby formula and milk powder containers at the Vancouver Preclearance Facility on Nov. 13.
The traveler was referred for an agriculture inspection and provided a negative verbal declaration when asked if they had any agriculture products in their luggage. Upon inspection, CBP agriculture specialists discovered 4.4 pounds of pork belly meat and pork sausages inside baby formula and milk powder containers.
“This interception demonstrates the benefits of Preclearance locations where CBP can stop threats or prohibited items prior to reaching the United States,” said Kurry Pastilong, assistant director, Office of Field Operations, Preclearance. “The fact that these items were found even though they were concealed in an unusual product speaks to the level of detail and vigilance CBP agriculture specialists display on a daily basis to accomplish the CBP mission.”
The traveler, who was originating from China with a final destination of San Francisco, was assessed a penalty and the prohibited meat was seized and destroyed under CBP supervision.
CBP Preclearance operations allow for advance inspection of passengers and special coordination with law enforcement upon arrival in the United States. Through preclearance, the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air passengers performed on arrival in the United States are instead completed before departure at foreign airports. Currently, preclearance operations exist at 15 foreign airports in six different countries, benefitting air passengers, airports, and air carriers, in the United States and abroad.
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.