has anyone had experience…

…bringing dates into the US when traveling?

There is a possibility that AbuS and I will be traveling somewhere that produced excellent dates, and we’d like to bring them home with us.  According to the boarder patrol, dates aren’t on their list of generally approved products.

I brought back pastries from Egypt, but seem to remember getting some kind of fruit confiscated that I had saved from the in flight meal on the way back from England.

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8 thoughts on “has anyone had experience…

  1. I brought them in from Morocco in a plastic storage container without a problem and they were aware I had them; I had no problem. I know people who bring them in from Egypt as well.

  2. I think it may depend on the custom’s agent. One time when DH brought them back from Algeria they seized it (because the agent noticed that they were still on stems and thought it was not processed – he did declare it on the form). This last time we came back together, we kept them in the original packaging, and listed it on the form as packaged dates and they accepted it (didn’t even check it at all). I think if it’s something you pick up at a fruit stand (unpackaged) then they will more likely seize it. If it is pre-packaged, then you should ideally have no problems.

    (all times were the customs agents in Chicago O’Hare)

  3. Yep, definitely buy them in the packaging – e.g.Australian customs won’t let anything in that is not in its original sealed packaging, but will if it is. Make sure, esp for dates, that there is some kind of logo for the business on it too. My husband brought back Saudi dates once without a logo and that didn’t work, then he went back to the place and they just stuck something over it lol which did work.

  4. Assalaamu aleikum

    I brought some dates back to Canada from Saudi last fall, and the Canadian customs form asked travellers to declare fruits, among other things, and dates are technically a fruit, so I declared them. But the customs official said dates were o.k., because they can’t be grown here. Apparently it’s fruits that could be grown here that are the issue, in case they bring in some kind of disease that could affect local agriculture. Not sure if it’s the same issue in the US. But to be on the safe side, only bring in packaged and sealed stuff, like others suggested. Or check with the relevant govt department about what kinds of things travellers can and can’t bring back. HTH :-)

    Love the blog BTW, especially the kitty pics! :-)

    • wa alaikum assalam,

      JazakAllah khair for your comment and welcome to my blog! Squeaky says thanks for admiring her pictures.

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