Because customs officers are stationed at all ports of arrival in the United States, including Puerto Rico, they are called upon to enforce laws and regulations of other government agencies.
A license or permit from the responsible agency may be necessary to import:
- alcoholic beverages
- animal and animal products
- certain drugs
- firearms and ammunition
- fruits, nuts
- meat and meat products
- milk, dairy, and cheese products
- plants and plant products
- poultry and poultry products
- petroleum and petroleum products
There are also restrictions on the importation of certain trademarked and copyrighted articles. (For further information see Customs Publication No. 549 U.S. Customs and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights.)
Certain items in these categories may also be prohibited.
The following items must comply with applicable regulations of other agencies:
- art materials
- cultural property
- hazardous/toxic/flammable materials
- household appliances
- some electronics products
- toys and children's articles
Most of the above items are regulated, variously, by:
Today, an increasing number of goods and products such as textiles, clothing, automobiles, boats, radios, CD players, television sets, and medical devices, are subject to special standards, declarations, certification, marking or labeling requirements.
Other merchandise must be examined for fitness of use, freedom from contamination, or may be subject to quotas on the quantity imported.
All these requirements must be met before the merchandise may be released by Customs. Finally, many categories of goods are subject to quota or visa restrictions. Please see the brochure Import Quotas for a complete list.