5 things customs won’t let you bring back to the US
Vacation time is the best time, right? You’re off from work, without a care in the world, and enjoying yourself in a different country. When it’s time to finally face the music and head back to reality, most of us want to take home a reminder of our good times, both for ourselves and for our friends and family. Unfortunately, some of these souvenirs will get you in trouble at customs. Here are five things that you can’t bring back to the U.S.
The Green Fairy
Although absinthe is no longer banned in the U.S., there are still plenty of restrictions that’ll make you think twice before bringing a bottle of the “green fairy” home. Known for its hallucinogenic properties, absinthe brought into the U.S. cannot have thujone, the chemical component of wormwood. Likewise, if the artwork on any bottle promotes hallucinations, then that bottle isn’t entering the country. And that’s no illusion.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Tasty beef jerky is a great way to get your protein while on a long flight home. U.S. customs, though, takes a hard look at any meat-based product, whether it’s dried meat or canned meat. Tainted meat from other countries has been known to spread infectious diseases such as Mad Cow Disease, so these are a no-no when traveling back to the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables are a requirement for any nutritious meal. Unfortunately, thanks to the fruit fly epidemic in California during the 1980s, the U.S. government now frowns upon most fruits and vegetables brought in from other countries. Certain foods, of course, are allowed in, but only with the right kinds of permits and licenses.
Put It Down, Tomb Raider
While we all want to channel our inner Indiana Jones and collect sacred artifacts from other countries, there are plenty of things that are illegal to bring into the U.S. Native American items from Canada are an example of what is on the banned list, but there’s something else to remember: even if it’s not illegal to bring to the U.S., it may be illegal to take it from the country you’re in.
Surprise! No Kinder Surprise Eggs
These delicious milk chocolate eggs have a non-edible treat inside of them: a small toy. Here in the U.S., they’ve been banned for years due to the risk of choking, but they’re still legal in many countries, including Canada. Americans routinely smuggle them in, especially during the Easter season. Customs officials, however, will confiscate them year-round. Note: this does not include Kinder Joy eggs which package the toy separate from the chocolate and are available in the U.S.