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Latino Daily News

Tuesday April 5, 2011

Effective Immediately: New Rules for Meat, Poultry & Eggs Coming in From Mexico

Effective immediately, the regulations regarding bringing cooked poultry—such as chicken and turkey—meat, including deli-sliced poultry meat, and cooked, hard-boiled eggs into the U.S. from Mexico are changing. Officials are urging travelers to be aware of the new requirements, and to always declare all food items to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers when crossing the border.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service informed CBP that APHIS is implementing new requirements for processed (including cooked) poultry meat and cooked, hard-boiled eggs brought by passengers arriving from regions where APHIS considers exotic Newcastle disease to exist. Currently, Mexico is a country recognized by APHIS as being affected by END.

According to the new requirements, processed poultry meat brought by passengers arriving from Mexico must be accompanied by government certification confirming that the meat was cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 74 degrees Celsius, or a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services import permit. Thoroughly cooked eggs from Mexican states other than Sinaloa and Sonora must now be accompanied by a VS import permit.

CBP officers and agriculture specialists enforce hundreds of laws at the border for other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Following other agency regulations, CBP is required to take action when encountering poultry meat and eggs: importations presented without the required certification will be seized or refused entry.

As a reminder, travelers are encouraged to declare all food items to CBP officials. Failure to declare prohibited agricultural items can result in civil penalties. Penalties for personal importations of undeclared, prohibited agricultural items, depending on the severity of the violation, can run as high as $1,000; and up to more than $250,000 for commercial importations.