Some things are too funny to be sad and others are too tragic to be funny. A recent customs incident in the US seems to be a bit of both. Our country is in a constant war against illegally imported goods ranging from narcotics, weapons, stolen credit cards and dangerous parasites to….bananas?

Next time you come back to the United States make sure you finish that banana, orange or any other fruit on the plane. A frequent traveler was recently nabbed for having a banana in his carry on while going through customs by our first and best line of defense pictured below. A beagle. It may all sound funny but according to the post the customs officer issued the man a $500 dollar fine for not declaring any foreign fruits and vegetables upon entry! Ouch! If you are traveling in and out of the country this holiday season try to put some thought into what you are taking.  It is illegal to bring in any foreign fruits, vegetables, seeds or other agricultural products without declaring them. Did you know all meat and dairy products are banned? No bringing Momma’s bolognese sauce to the relatives! You can find all of the restrictions on this fascinatingly long and boring list of things you cannot bring into the U.S.

I have commonly found banana’s and oranges offered on long haul flights in all cabins and I am actually shocked that I haven’t taken one and forgotten it in my carry on as well! The traveler was a member of something I highly suggest called Global Entry which allows you to bypass customs lines and instead use a kiosk to get you through customs in under two minutes. His membership has now been revoked as he is a documented “smuggler”. Tragic! Global entry costs $100 but is good for years and has unlimited amounts of use. It’s saved me at least 5 hours in the last year.

Regardless of how tragic for the man, you have to love the beagle in this one. I feel safer at night knowing that man’s best friend is protecting America from its sworn enemies… and bananas. 

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I once forgot about a sea biscuit I had stashed in my dive bag and I accidentally brought it through customs from the Bahamas. Once I realized that no one checks stinky dive bags, I made my father a happy man every time I went diving somewhere that sold Cuban cigars.

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