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Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 8634
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

US Customs question

Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:13 pm

A friend of mine arriving in the US forgot they had a sandwich on them they had purchased at an overseas airport


This sandwich had bacon in it which I guess should not be brought into the country, they told the CBP officer when asked about food products about this and were directed to secondary screening in a separate room


There they were informed / reminded that this is one of the foods that can’t be brought in to the country, it was a very polite and friendly conversation, no financial penalty or fine was imposed, the offending sandwich was just thrown away and they were free to go


The CBP officer in secondary screening did record their passport info however, can my friend expect increased scrutiny or other issues in the future with Customs or other agencies when arriving in the US from other countries?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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jomur
Posts: 380
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:36 pm

Re: US Customs question

Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:19 pm

I suspect it would i be so if he did it again he would not be let off so lightly. A fine would probably be imposed or whatever the penalties did are.
 
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LAXintl
Posts: 25001
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

Re: US Customs question

Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:14 pm

Had a colleague accidentally have some sort of fruit in their carry on bag. They seemed to face automatic secondary inspection afterward for quite some time.
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NickLAX
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: US Customs question

Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:05 pm

Habit; always take food I purchase on flights to the US - leave them in a SEPARATE bag (e.g plastic bag, etc) once I'm seated and NEVER put them back in my main carry on EVER - prevents this entirely. Have had plenty of coworkers busted over the years, two fined for being second incidents. Most of the time it was an apple or other fruit.

Packaged candy/chips, etc NEVER is a problem
 
alo2yyz
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:53 am

Re: US Customs question

Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:00 am

Max Q wrote:
they told the CBP officer when asked about food products about this and were directed to secondary screening in a separate room



If the interaction was this:
CBP: Do you have any food on you to declare?
Pax: Yeah, this sandwich.
CBP: oh, that's a problem - go over there to secondary inspection

In other words, if the pax 'fessed up' when asked instead of attempting to hide it, then I would not be terribly concerned. There's nothing wrong with having a hamburger on you so long as you tell them about it when asked.

This is not like someone I know who did not declare their food...and then drug dogs sniffed out the grilled beef that was in their luggage (seriously - grilled beef). They were sternly told not to do this again and have faced secondary screening most of the time since then.

Obviously, this is US CBP we're talking about, so it's all rather unpredictable, and if your friend is not a white man, that may change things. But generally, I wouldn't be concerned about a situation where something was properly declared and disposed of.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14736
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: US Customs question

Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:20 pm

alo2yyz wrote:
Max Q wrote:
they told the CBP officer when asked about food products about this and were directed to secondary screening in a separate room



If the interaction was this:
CBP: Do you have any food on you to declare?
Pax: Yeah, this sandwich.
CBP: oh, that's a problem - go over there to secondary inspection

In other words, if the pax 'fessed up' when asked instead of attempting to hide it, then I would not be terribly concerned. There's nothing wrong with having a hamburger on you so long as you tell them about it when asked.

This is not like someone I know who did not declare their food...and then drug dogs sniffed out the grilled beef that was in their luggage (seriously - grilled beef). They were sternly told not to do this again and have faced secondary screening most of the time since then.

Obviously, this is US CBP we're talking about, so it's all rather unpredictable, and if your friend is not a white man, that may change things. But generally, I wouldn't be concerned about a situation where something was properly declared and disposed of.


I’ve had multiple CBP officers tell me that close calls on food about which the passenger is honest aren’t a big deal. In fact I remember telling an officer at YYZ that I had purposefully not bought something (non-produce food) to avoid an issue being told I should have bought it and let them figure out a way to admit it. It’s a similar situation if you are subject to duty. Own up, pay it, and move on.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
ubeema
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:48 am

Re: US Customs question

Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:38 pm

Max Q wrote:
The CBP officer in secondary screening did record their passport info however, can my friend expect increased scrutiny or other issues in the future with Customs or other agencies when arriving in the US from other countries?

Friend can expect to be questioned next time at a US checkpoint. But in all likelihood chances are very low. Tell friend to relax.

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