HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Green Beans and U.S. Customs (7 msgs / 134 lines)
1) From: Mejia, Carlos
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I posted this in a thread (People That Bring you Coffee) and I think it
got lost.  Reposting it under it's own subject:
I have a coworker who is going to Brazil this weekend (Southern..near
Sao Paulo).  I told him I would love some green beans if he happens to
see any :-).   I was recently in Puerto Vallarta and found a wonderful
coffee shop where the owner was roasting in the back room.  I wanted to
bring some green beans back and he was willing to sell me some but said
"how will you get them through customs?"   I did a quick web search and
the US Customs site actually said something along the lines of
...roasted coffee OK, green coffee NO.  However, when I came back into
the U.S. (Pheonix) the guy in customs said it would have been fine.
Two questions: does anyone know about bringing beans back into the U.S.
customs?    Any specific green beans I should ask my friend to seek out?

2) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
its a risk - either they will pass you on through or it could lead to 
the full search. I personally declare coffee, and have not had a 
problem, but in general i avoid it. other coffee buyers have had very 
bad problems. we're talking strip search here.
i also declare that i WAS on a farm, but not around livestock. i try 
to be 100% up front about that because i realize there is real risk 
there. i don't want to be the guy that brings back lord knows what 
and infests california with it.
by the letter of the law, no ... green coffee is not allowed. but it 
is up to you.
another thing to consider though - on a scanner an item like coffee 
looks very suspicious, a dense packet - that can be an issue too. I 
lost a bunch of samples from checked baggage last year, but it didn't 
delay me ... only my luggage was violated!
surprisingly, i have had most problems at small airports. in a medium 
sized city in peru they took every coffee item i had, my 
suspicious-looking aeropress, some tiny scissors i had in checked 
baggage, a few nic-nacs.
  oh well...
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com

3) From: Aaron
I bet they took  your aeropress because they needed something good to 
brew up the coffee beans they confiscated...  :)
yes, any produce generally is an issue going through customs.  I 
remember in the navy we used to have to throw a whole bunch of stuff 
overboard because customs would not allow it in.  it made me sick seeing 
all that good food going to the fishes but oh well... such is life in a 
government ran utopia.
As Tom said, try being honest and upfront with them, and declare it.  
Many times they will be cool about it, especially if you are only 
bringing a little bit back and not a huge sack, but yes they also can be 
dicks... it's a coin toss. 
good luck

4) From: Barbara Wilson
I've brought back green coffee several times from Ecuador with no 
problem. I did declare the  coffee on my declaration form as "processed 
coffee."  It seems that the fermentation process would kill any  
micro-organisms. Things are probably very different if you are taking it 
into California or Hawaii.
Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee wrote:

5) From:
My sister brings back green beans for me  from all over the world and has never had a problem 
---- Barbara Wilson  wrote: 

6) From: Floyd Lozano
tell your sis to visit boston with a load of beans for me!
On 3/6/07, pchforever  wrote:

7) From:
will do, next time she is off to the hinterlands, later this month actually, I will have her get extra and send some to you. The wild African were fabulous.
---- Floyd Lozano  wrote: 

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