Mailing meat can cost $100 or more

Robert Szostek
U.S. European Command

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 paté to the States.

However, infestations of animal disease cost the U.S. taxpayer much more than this, i.e., millions of dollars each year.

Therefore it is illegal to import red meats and sausage into the U.S without U.S. Department of Agriculture approval.

Trying to “sneak” them into the country is a crime, and it is worth remembering this when preparing Christmas shopping lists later in the year.

CBP routinely checks packages from overseas.

Dogs are specially trained to sniff out prohibited food products.

“All packages mailed to the U.S. 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 the packages. Willfully trying to import anything into the without declaring it, is smuggling and carries very stiff penalties and fines,” he added.

To aid in the fight against pests and diseases in the U.S, we must all do our part.

“We can all start by honoring our import laws,” Manning stated. “It’s the right thing to do and it’s the law.”

For more information, call a military customs office or visit the Web site at http://www.