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Old 28-03-2015, 09:10   #1
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Importing food

Has anyone ever had to import food items, when clearing customs? (Outside of booze, etc)
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:16   #2
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Re: Importing food

No, just write "Ship's stores" on the customs form. That covers everything you have in your larder except alcohol and tobacco.
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:21   #3
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Re: Importing food

Never had to legally import food but depending on the country certain items might be confiscated.

In most countries if personal stores on board it's not a problem. In some countries they will confiscate almost every food item you have (Australia comes to mind).

Others restrict certain items, usually fresh fruit coming into countries that are concerned about imported pests or diseases that could damage the local crops.
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:22   #4
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Re: Importing food

From where into where?
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:22   #5
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Re: Importing food

Thanks HUD. As a general rule, I know that's the case. I was wondering about exceptional issues, where some *particular* product might be, for some reason, considered an import even in small quantities.
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:25   #6
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Re: Importing food

Skipmac: Is this available on noonsite? Anyway, your answer is along the lines I'm meaning. I'm thinking more about Europe and the Med.

My reasoning is that I plan to pack fairly heavily to avoid med area food costs. At what point (if any) does this become an issue?
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Old 28-03-2015, 10:02   #7
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Re: Importing food

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor_Hutch View Post
Skipmac: Is this available on noonsite? Anyway, your answer is along the lines I'm meaning. I'm thinking more about Europe and the Med.

My reasoning is that I plan to pack fairly heavily to avoid med area food costs. At what point (if any) does this become an issue?

I read a lot of this on noonsite. I have specifically read about the very strict rules for Australia. New Zealand as well.

Have not see this issue mentioned for every country but am guessing that places where it's not a big issue it isn't discussed on the web site.

On the other hand, in my admittedly limited experience in Europe, basic food commodities aren't that expensive. Locally grown fresh fruits, veggies and meats were actually cheaper than the Bahamas and much of the Caribbean.
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Old 28-03-2015, 10:18   #8
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Re: Importing food

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I read a lot of this on noonsite. I have specifically read about the very strict rules for Australia. New Zealand as well.

Have not see this issue mentioned for every country but am guessing that places where it's not a big issue it isn't discussed on the web site.

On the other hand, in my admittedly limited experience in Europe, basic food commodities aren't that expensive. Locally grown fresh fruits, veggies and meats were actually cheaper than the Bahamas and much of the Caribbean.
Thanks! I suppose it's a difficult thing to research very well in advance of the trip. A lot might be up to the discretion of customs agent, etc. I am a little bit of an electronics junky, and will likely have a bunch of that sort of thing, and more laptops/computers than the average sailor. I wonder a little bit about how that plays at customs? Subject for another topic tho...
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Old 28-03-2015, 10:23   #9
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Re: Importing food

Skip is correct, you will find groceries to be no more expensive in Europe and the W. Med than in the USA. A lot cheaper if you do your shopping in NC at a Harris Teeter. You might find some food items harder to find in the more remote areas of the E. Med, but unless you are on a mega yacht your on board stores will be long gone by then.
I had no problem with on board food when entering Portugual and Spain. The only country that confiscated my food was the good ol' USA when I returned to FL from the Bahamas. I made the mistake of entering at Port Canaveral on what I guess was training day for the local Homeland Security folks. Took all my food, including everything in my freezer.

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Old 28-03-2015, 10:29   #10
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Re: Importing food

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I made the mistake of entering at Port Canaveral on what I guess was training day for the local Homeland Security folks. Took all my food, including everything in my freezer.

John
Really? That's annoying. Even cans, sealed bags, bread, whatever?
Any category or type they skipped?
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Old 28-03-2015, 10:35   #11
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Re: Importing food

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
Skip is correct, you will find groceries to be no more expensive in Europe and the W. Med than in the USA. A lot cheaper if you do your shopping in NC at a Harris Teeter. You might find some food items harder to find in the more remote areas of the E. Med, but unless you are on a mega yacht your on board stores will be long gone by then.
I had no problem with on board food when entering Portugual and Spain. The only country that confiscated my food was the good ol' USA when I returned to FL from the Bahamas. I made the mistake of entering at Port Canaveral on what I guess was training day for the local Homeland Security folks. Took all my food, including everything in my freezer.

John
Confiscate equals 100 percent import tax. Wow. Are you a citizen or legal resident of US?

BTW: Agree with Harris Teeter opinion - their BOGOS are great tho...
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Old 28-03-2015, 10:47   #12
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Re: Importing food

Yep, they took everything fresh and frozen, nothing in cans. The meat in the freezer was hermetically sealed from the processing plants in the USA (pork) and NZ (lamb). I'm a US citizen, FL resident on the US flagged boat.
I talked to a number of other cruisers who returned to the US from the Bahamas around the same time and none of them had my experience. My guess is that the Homeland Security office in Port Canaveral is larger than normal because of all of the cruise ships that are based there. They were either having an office cookout that weekend and needed a few more items on the BBQ or, as I surmised, it was training day. My advice is to enter the USA at any other port. On the positive side they also confiscated my garbage. Saved me a trip down the dock.

Hutch, for buying food in Europe - think Harris Teeter quality at Food Lion prices.

John
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