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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Moultonborough, NH
    Posts
    57

    Default US Customs Restrictions on Ethiopian Honey

    My son picked up several bottles of different kinds of Ethiopian honey (including white Tigray honey) at a recent food fair in Turin, Italy. He'd like to send them back to me, and I suggested that he head over to FedEx or UPS or DHL in Italy and have the honey packed and shipped back here.

    [FYI: My understaqnding is that honey from the Tigray region of Ethiopia is white in color and is capped at 14% moisture content.]

    I've personally brought back many bottles of honey from my travels outside the US over the years, and I've never had any trouble bringing honey through US customs. But it occurs to me that: (1) the rules may be different if the honey is shipped to the US rather than carried in on a commercial passenger plane, or (2) there may now be some more recent restrictions on importation of honey in general, or on Ethiopian honey in particular.

    Can any one provide me with some guidance on whether there are any rules relating to importing non-commercial quantities of honey to the US, Ethiopian or otherwise?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Prince William County, VA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: US Customs Restrictions on Ethiopian Honey

    Hi MES613, I had to look this up for myself because Iw ill be visiting a bee "farm" in Africa in November and also wanted to bring some items home. Here's what it says per the Customs & Border Patrol site, http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/va...restricted.xml:

    Food Products (Prepared)
    You may bring bakery items and certain cheeses into the United States. The APHIS Web site features a Travelers Tips section and Game and Hunting Trophies section that offers extensive information about bringing food and other products into the U.S. Many prepared foods are admissible. However, bush meat made from African wildlife and almost anything containing meat products, such as bouillon, soup mixes, etc., is not admissible. As a general rule, condiments, vinegars, oils, packaged spices, honey, coffee and tea are admissible. Because rice can often harbor insects, it is best to avoid bringing it into the United States. Some imported foods are also subject to requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Prince William County, VA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: US Customs Restrictions on Ethiopian Honey

    Also - my guess is even if it's being shipped to the US rather than hand carried, there would still need to be a customs form provided when the package is presented for shipment. CBP can always opt to inspect/withhold items they deem do not conform with their policies. Gotta love the, "as a general rule" disclaimer!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Moultonborough, NH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: US Customs Restrictions on Ethiopian Honey

    HunnyMunny: Thanks for your notes. I had previously found the CBP provision that you kindly cited, but I was a bit unsettled due to the "as a general rule" language.

    I was hoping to avoid a Federal swat-team raid because I violated some obscure provision of some law that specifically prohibits posession of honey produced by Ethiopian bees, or ..... (well, you get the idea).

    I guess I'll take my chances and ship it by FedEx, plead the "general rule" and waive the CBP paper around if it comes to that, hope for the best and/or beg for mercy from the court.

    Speaking of hoping for the best, good luck with the storm. Stay dry and safe, and again, thanks for your help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: US Customs Restrictions on Ethiopian Honey

    What about importing bulk honey? what rules apply there?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: US Customs Restrictions on Ethiopian Honey

    When shipping things that are "general rule" I put a copy of the pertenant regulations in with the shipment. Not sure if anyone would even open up a package but at least there will be a copy of what YOU think the rules are for them to read.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Moultonborough, NH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: US Customs Restrictions on Ethiopian Honey

    bbrowncods: Very good suggestion. Thank you. I will do that.

    I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but judging from your addresses, it is probably also appropriate to thank you for your service. Godspeed.

    Have you had any contact with beekeepers over there?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: US Customs Restrictions on Ethiopian Honey

    Thank you. I have not had direct contact. But there were some efforts here to establish colonies for agriculture. The word is they didn't do too well. I don't think there is enough nectar producing plants, and it is too hot and dry on top of that.

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