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Old Jun 25, 11, 10:30 am   #1
 
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US/Canadian Border: Bring Cooked Meat/Fish Across

In years past, I have been screamed at for having any cooked meat or fish products in my car crossing back from Canada. When I got my Nexus Pass, the video we have to watch says that you can bring your lunch across and shows a woman opening a cooler to show a customs agent her lunch.

Have the rules changed?
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Old Jun 25, 11, 10:34 am   #2
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No. It's simply a common sense application of the law under the theory that you will consume your sandwich shortly and not bring agricultural products into circulation. CBP administers USDA law and rules on this point and those generally prohibit the importation of food into the USA without permits.
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Old Jun 25, 11, 10:39 am   #3
 
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At the Detroit/Windsor tunnel crossing there are no fast food places on the Detroit side that aren't buried deep inside office towers. When I cross in the morning into Canada, there is a Tim Horton's across the street from the Canadian exit portal. I regularly see US Customs getting "to go" orders. Probably for the same people who once gave me flack for a 4oz piece of steak in a doggie bag.
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Old Jun 25, 11, 10:48 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
At the Detroit/Windsor tunnel crossing there are no fast food places on the Detroit side that aren't buried deep inside office towers. When I cross in the morning into Canada, there is a Tim Horton's across the street from the Canadian exit portal. I regularly see US Customs getting "to go" orders. Probably for the same people who once gave me flack for a 4oz piece of steak in a doggie bag.
There is nothing available at Tim Hortons that could reasonably be referred to as food.
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Old Jun 25, 11, 3:59 pm   #5
 
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I was expecting every Canadian in this forum to pounce on you and then figured out that you are a Cannuck. I guess it is like the old joke "no one can call my SOB brother an SOB except me."
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Old Jun 25, 11, 10:17 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
In years past, I have been screamed at for having any cooked meat or fish products in my car crossing back from Canada. When I got my Nexus Pass, the video we have to watch says that you can bring your lunch across and shows a woman opening a cooler to show a customs agent her lunch.

Have the rules changed?
Dunno but they turned the screws on this chap:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...exus-pass.html
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Old Jul 27, 11, 7:54 pm   #7
 
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I a bit confused regarding bringing food into Canada.
I just got my Nexus card and planning to use it in a few days. However, cannot find any specific answer to the following questions:

1. Can I bring any food via Nexus line?
2. If yes, what kind of food can be brought in?
3. Does it have to be declared? Or if it is permitted, I do not have to declare it?
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Old Jul 27, 11, 9:00 pm   #8
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TMK, fish is not meat in the eyes of CBP.
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Old Jul 28, 11, 2:22 am   #9
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Yes, you can bring food - I do it all the time. The caveat is you must declare it according to the rules from each country.

Into Canada you must declare food as specified on the customs form - only those categories.

Into the US you must declare ALL food - regardless of what it is, how much, how big, etc.

In either case, you cannot bring in prohibited items - which generally include meat/fish/dairy/fruits/vegetables/seeds/soil, etc etc
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Old Jul 28, 11, 3:47 am   #10
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Yes, you can bring food - I do it all the time. The caveat is you must declare it according to the rules from each country.

Into Canada you must declare food as specified on the customs form - only those categories.

Into the US you must declare ALL food - regardless of what it is, how much, how big, etc.

In either case, you cannot bring in prohibited items - which generally include meat/fish/dairy/fruits/vegetables/seeds/soil, etc etc
Like I suggested above, it is okay to bring fish into the USA. On flights from Narita to the US, I always buy sabazushi in the airport to bring to my friends. Never once had a problem. On the other hand, I've had things like ramen packets confiscated (SEA is the worst; their CPB have placards with Chinese characters for prohibited food items which they match against the ingredients.... not fun when you have two suitcases full of food items).
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Old Jul 31, 11, 8:28 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Yes, you can bring food - I do it all the time. The caveat is you must declare it according to the rules from each country.

Into Canada you must declare food as specified on the customs form - only those categories.

Into the US you must declare ALL food - regardless of what it is, how much, how big, etc.

In either case, you cannot bring in prohibited items - which generally include meat/fish/dairy/fruits/vegetables/seeds/soil, etc etc
Thanks for your clarification.
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Old Jul 31, 11, 9:41 pm   #12
 
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The bottom line is: ALWAYS DECLARE ANYTHING that could be consumed as food! Yes, even a package of chips or a candy bar that you bought at the airport!* As long as you declare fully, the worst thing that could happen is that the officers will confiscate prohibited food items.

However, if you do not declare, and then are found to be carrying prohibited items, you could be looking at HUGE fines. And potential flags in your record that could result in physical searches during all subsequent entries to the country for a period of time.


(The above applies to the USA. The linked thread about the $300 apple would seem to suggest that Canada is even more strict--that even if you declare, you could be fined for transporting prohibited foodstuffs. I've also heard that Australia and New Zealand are extremely, extremely strict about agricultural products, and will levy very heavy fines.)


*Note that GlobalEntry members using the kiosks are exempt from declaring items that normally are allowed entry (chocolates, candies, baked goods, cured hard cheeses, etc). Instead, GE members must follow the (more specific) guidelines on the kiosk declaration screen for declaring the types of food that are likely to be restricted/prohibited. It is a GREAT benefit for GE members!
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Old Jul 31, 11, 10:22 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
The bottom line is: ALWAYS DECLARE ANYTHING that could be consumed as food! Yes, even a package of chips or a candy bar that you bought at the airport!* As long as you declare fully, the worst thing that could happen is that the officers will confiscate prohibited food items.

However, if you do not declare, and then are found to be carrying prohibited items, you could be looking at HUGE fines. And potential flags in your record that could result in physical searches during all subsequent entries to the country for a period of time.


(The above applies to the USA. The linked thread about the $300 apple would seem to suggest that Canada is even more strict--that even if you declare, you could be fined for transporting prohibited foodstuffs. I've also heard that Australia and New Zealand are extremely, extremely strict about agricultural products, and will levy very heavy fines.)


*Note that GlobalEntry members using the kiosks are exempt from declaring items that normally are allowed entry (chocolates, candies, baked goods, cured hard cheeses, etc). Instead, GE members must follow the (more specific) guidelines on the kiosk declaration screen for declaring the types of food that are likely to be restricted/prohibited. It is a GREAT benefit for GE members!
This doesn't really apply to Canadian entry - Canada is specific on the form about those items which need to be declared and might be prohibited.

It does apply to the US as their form currently still lists 'food' as a general term - although if you're not a Nexus member and you don't declare food items which are not prohibited, it's unlikely anything will happen if those items are discovered - however fruit, meat, vegetables, seeds, animals, soil, etc, would result in confiscation and fines. A bag of chips or a candy bar is not going to trip up a non-Nexus member.

The $300 apple fiasco was specific to a Nexus member - Nexus is a zero-tolerance program and the person affected in the thread wasn't even trying to conceal the apple. If they were a non-Nexus member, the more likely outcome would have resulted in being directed to the nearest trashcan to toss the apple.

The odd thing that irks me is the amount of food taken by vendors into the US pre-clearance area, either to serve in the restaurants or as take-away items. I'm going to take a position that these ingredients, especially as they are likely delivered in bulk, are not inspected by US Customs/Agriculture before delivery - and there is nothing stopping you from buying a salad from an airside restaurant and taking it on board with you. So why the dramatics over someone accidentally bringing an apple, while a wholesale restaurant supplier can truck through 300 heads of lettuce without a problem.
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Old Aug 1, 11, 2:15 pm   #14
 
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So why the dramatics over someone accidentally bringing an apple, while a wholesale restaurant supplier can truck through 300 heads of lettuce without a problem.
because its a stupid policy. You're expecting logic from a DHS agency? A policy that read : Nexus members are not required to declare packaged food items such as chips, candy bars, baked or cooked food items (including meats and roasted seeds/nuts), and a personal quantity of fresh fruits/vegetables (less than 2 lbs). Raw meat, poultry, fish or more than 2 lbs of fruit/vegetables and fresh uncooked seeds must be declared.
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Old Aug 1, 11, 3:11 pm   #15
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because its a stupid policy. You're expecting logic from a DHS agency? A policy that read : Nexus members are not required to declare packaged food items such as chips, candy bars, baked or cooked food items (including meats and roasted seeds/nuts), and a personal quantity of fresh fruits/vegetables (less than 2 lbs). Raw meat, poultry, fish or more than 2 lbs of fruit/vegetables and fresh uncooked seeds must be declared.
Re: the bolded portion - where does it say this? I thought we had to declare *all* food regardless of packaging and fruits/vegetables were never permitted regardless of Nexus status.
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