Customs and Import Restrictions

Temporary Suspension on the Importation of Dogs

On June 10, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended until January 2023 a Notice of Temporary Suspension of Dogs Entering the United States from Countries Classified as High Risk for Dog Rabies.  The notice covers dogs in the following situations:

1) dogs coming from countries classified by the CDC as high-risk for dog rabies;

or

2) dogs that have been in high-risk countries during the past six months.

If this notice applies to you, you can apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit.  For more information, please contact the CDC or U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Customs Restrictions of Foreign Destinations – What You Cannot Take to Other Countries

Many countries have restrictions on what you can bring into that country, including food, pets, and medications. Even over-the-counter medications may be prohibited in some countries. Check the International Travel Country Information page for your destination to find contact information for its foreign embassy or consulate.  Visit the website of the foreign embassy or consulate to find out what is prohibited.

Customs Restrictions of Foreign Destinations – What You Cannot Take out of Other Countries

Some countries have restrictions on what items you can export or take with you when departing that country including, but not limited to:

  • currency,
  • gold and other precious metals,
  • precious and semi-precious stones,
  • electronic equipment not declared on arrival,
  • firearms and ammunition,
  • antiques,
  • animal skins,
  • religious artifacts and literature, and
  • ivory and certain other wildlife parts and products.

Countries may require export permits, which may take time to process. Travelers who violate foreign customs rules can be detained at the airport, fined, have the items confiscated, and, in some cases, be prosecuted and sentenced to prison.

To be safe, check on customs restrictions with the foreign embassies and consulates in the United States for your destination country before you travel. You can find general information about a foreign country’s customs regulations in the International Travel Country Information (state.gov) pages .

U.S. Customs Restrictions – What You Cannot Bring Into the United States

There are some items that you cannot bring into the United States, or that you can bring in only under certain conditions. For information on U.S. customs regulations and procedures, see the Customs and Border Protection booklet "Know Before You Go."

Many wildlife and wildlife products are prohibited from import into the United States, per the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. You risk confiscation and a possible fine if you attempt to bring them into the United States.  Watch out for the following prohibited items:

  • All products made from sea turtles
  • All ivory, both Asian and African elephant
  • Rhinoceros horn and horn products
  • Furs from spotted cats
  • Furs and ivory from marine mammals
  • Feathers and feather products from wild birds
  • Most crocodile and caiman leather
  • Most coral, whether in chunks or in jewelry

For more information, you may contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-9453, or send an email to the Fish and Wildlife Service at lawenforcement@fws.gov. 

Last Updated: August 22, 2022