I am planning to take some dry fruits like dates, figs, and almonds, and also some mix for making masala chai, which I intend to give my host and friends in the US. I have understood that there is a rather strict customs policy on bringing food items.

But it is customary where I come from (India) to give food to one's host when visiting. I feel it is impersonal to give duty free chocolates or alcohol.

What are the exact rules?


Dried fruits in packages are not a problem. Fresh fruits are prohibited.

If the masala chai is in a factory package it should be fine as well. If it is home packed or from a fresh market, then USDA inspectors would have the final say.

  • What of dried fruits purchased from bazaar? For dates packages are fine. But for figs & almonds, its packed in the shop or atleast packed by the shop and sealed in unit sizes. May 18 '15 at 21:33
  • I would get the sealed packs.
    – user13044
    May 18 '15 at 21:42
  • 1
    also note the full list: cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/kbyg/…
    – Vince
    May 18 '15 at 21:50
  • @Vince Thank you. Thats what I was looking for. May 19 '15 at 4:46

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