Don’t even think about mailing meat …

by Robert Szostek
U.S. European Command Customs Public Affairs Office

***image1***Many U.S. personnel in Europe have received a $100 fine from the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection because they mailed packages of wurst, ham or pâté to America. And, the infestations of animal disease have cost the U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

It is illegal to import red meats and sausage into the U.S. without U.S. Department of Agriculture approval. Customs and Border Protection routinely check packages from overseas, often with dogs trained to sniff out food.

Trying to “sneak” meats into the country is a crime and it is worth remembering this as you prepare your holiday shopping list later this year.

“All packages mailed to the USA must have a customs declaration,” said William Manning, USDA attaché to the U.S. European Command. “In many cases, people falsely list the contents of packages.”

Anyone willfully trying to import anything into the USA without declaring it, is smuggling, Mr. Manning said. And, that carries very stiff penalties and fines.

 “To aid in the fight against pests and diseases in the USA, we must all do our part,” Mr. Manning said. “We can all start by honoring our import laws. It’s the right thing to do.”

Call a military customs office to find out more or visit the Web site at