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Old Sep 25, 09, 12:27 pm   #16
 
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For me, the irony here is when I return from a vacation that includes a beach holiday, the amount of sand in the bottom of my suitcase from my swim trunks, sandals, fins etc. is typically sufficient to create my own beach at home.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 1:36 pm   #17
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Depends on your home country and it's customs laws.

Canada will frown upon it..but I think sand is not as much of an issue as seeds or soil.

Australia..forget it. Don't even try. They will even take soap away from you.

The US will also not allow soil or agricultural products without having you fill out a different form and being delayed by inspection. I could be wrong, but I belive the US does not differentiate between "Sand" and "Soil", even though non-beach, desert sand is considered generally sterile..you never really know.

Why bother? Sand is sand no matter where you are..powdered rocks.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 1:47 pm   #18
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Originally Posted by starlanet View Post
I collected snail shells while enjoying the sun in Vancouver, then put them in my checked bag and visited Los Angeles, went thru LAX and IAD and arrived in Buenos Aires. I didn't have a small bag or recipient for the sand though. Now I'm happy I got "a piece" of Vancouver and I have it here till I get the chance to see this beautiful city again. Never though of it as harmful or dangerous or anything, and luggage is going to collect bacteria at the airports in a way or another.
Here's the problem, not all lifeforms or biological threats are visible. Those snail shells might well have contained all manner of microorganisms, bacteria, or viruses (both plant, animal infectious) that have natural balances in one climate and not in another. Single celled microorganisms are particularly prone to multiplying out of control in friendly environments, especially tropical ones.

If they get to South America and have no local offsets, they will flouish out of control..this happens with bacteria as easily as with rabbits (look at Australia's rabbit problems).

It's dangerous enough in the normal course of events..the stuff we pick up abroad and bring home in our bodies..the bacteria in india you get on your hand and the hand you use to open a door in canada several hours later..even the stuff of plant spores and pollen you get on your clothing walking outside in Estonia at the airport can enter Brazil later that day and fall of your clothes..it's uncontrollable.

But if you deliberately go and find something biological and move it elsewhere for something as fleeting as "posterity" you increase the risk immensely.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 7:17 pm   #19
 
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Originally Posted by jabez View Post
I recently brought a bottle of sand from Omaha beach back-no problem.
I thought you weren't allowed to take sand from there? Isn't it treated as a national monument? What will they pay me for turning you in?
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Old Oct 10, 09, 9:12 pm   #20
 
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Sands of time...

I don't know about bringing in sand from Egypt or the middle-east, since some of the TSA have served in that part of the world in the military.

But as for sand from Normandy's D-Day beaches, I know the Customs people mostly look the other way about it. I've brought back sand, rocks and sea shells from ALL 5 of the D-Day beaches and never even been questioned about it. And yes, I DID declare it. If you don't declare it and they find it, THEN it's another story.

I just tell the Customs agents that it's SAND that my uncle and father fought for in France and let it go at that. They seem to understand that it's just SAND and not soil. At least the people I've dealt with have understood it.

I think it'd be a whole other story if you had a chunk of sod with grass or something. Then, they wouldn't be so understanding. But, considering how many thousands of US vets DIED for that bit of sand, they sure seem to respect it. Rightfully so.

As for LAWS for taking rocks (and sand) from Maui... I've never EVER heard of anyone who was even talked to about taking these back to the states. And plenty of my friends have chunks of lava from Maui and the big island. Years ago, the Ranger Station atop Mt. Haleakala had an exhibit that had letters from people who'd taken rocks home and had things go terribly bad. Supposedly, the rocks and soil of Hawaii are under the protection of
one of the ancient gods in Hawaii. Well, after people had gotten these rocks
home, some had gotten sick with cancer, others had accidents, lost job, etc.
So some people had mailed their rocks back to the Forest Rangers in Maui to
return them to their rightful spot and make the Hawaiia gods happy again.
The last time I went to Mt. Haleakala's Ranger Sta. this display was no longer
there.

I guess it's take it at your own peril! I know they are VERY serious about removing anything that grows, such as plants, fruits, etc. They don't let that stuff out OR in to Hawaii.

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Old Oct 10, 09, 9:32 pm   #21
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Originally Posted by MisterNice View Post
Taking seaside rocks from Maui can get you a fine and maybe some time in the local jail. Not certain about soil or sand removal.

MisterNice
I never thought of that - thanks to generous baggage allowances, my back yard is full of exotic stones from places like Maui, Pebble Beach, Brighton, Baluchistan and Turkey.
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Old Oct 29, 12, 4:04 pm   #22
 
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I'd rather ask here instead of making a new thread. Most of the discussion has been about soil and sand. How about souvenir water from places like the Trevi Fountain or holy water from the Vatican? I'm more concerned about the local laws/customs in such places, not US border control, as I have brought river/lake water and beach sand back to the US before with no problems (might also pop this in the Italy section). I don't want to offend religious/spiritual requests or debate over superstitions (like Hawaiian lava rocks). It would be no more than a few 30ml vials and easily fit in my 1-quart bag.
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Old Oct 30, 12, 10:16 am   #23
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Originally Posted by klew97 View Post
I'd rather ask here instead of making a new thread. Most of the discussion has been about soil and sand. How about souvenir water from places like the Trevi Fountain or holy water from the Vatican? I'm more concerned about the local laws/customs in such places, not US border control, as I have brought river/lake water and beach sand back to the US before with no problems (might also pop this in the Italy section). I don't want to offend religious/spiritual requests or debate over superstitions (like Hawaiian lava rocks). It would be no more than a few 30ml vials and easily fit in my 1-quart bag.
In Rome they'll be happy to sell you little souvenir bottles of water from the Trevi fountain or the Vatican; there's plenty of gift shops near both.

Last edited by CDTraveler; Oct 30, 12 at 8:27 pm. Reason: Correct iPad "autocorrect"
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Old Oct 30, 12, 8:07 pm   #24
 
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I brought home a small souvenir jar of water from the Ganges with no issues. It had a tag on it and was in checked luggage. It did not seem to be at odds with any local customs. At the same time I bought a hat that I liked put it on my head only to find out it was a mans wedding hat. So that was a bigger local custom gaffe on my part
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