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You can’t carry mangoes to the US

Planning to gift a box of Dusheri or Alphonso mangoes to your loved ones residing in Japan or United States? Drop the idea. Santosh Chowdhury tells you why.

lucknow Updated: Aug 24, 2007 05:42 IST
Santosh Chowdhury
Santosh Chowdhury
Hindustan Times

Planning to gift a box of Dusheri or Alphonso mangoes to your loved ones residing in Japan or United States? Drop the idea.

US authorities — the Food and Drug Administration, the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service and the Drug Administration — have informed Indian authorities that passengers from India have often been found travelling with mangoes as ‘personal baggage,’ which is not allowed.

“We would like to inform the general public that as per the agreement signed between India and the United States, only ‘pre-cleared’ and ‘certified commercial consignment’ of irradiated mangoes are allowed to enter the United States,” Sanjay Dave, Director of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, told the Hindustan Times.

Even if a passenger gets a box of mangoes certified as irradiated the baggage would not be allowed to enter United States, Dave said.

Similarly, as per the agreement between India and Japan, only pre-cleared and certified vapour heat treated (VHT) mangoes from designated VHT plants would be allowed to enter Japan. Mangoes exported to Japan from India are currently processed at the VHT facility in Vashi.

It has not always been this way. Kiron Chopra, National Council Member of the Confederation of Indian Industry and a frequent traveller to the US said that three years ago, she had no problems taking mangoes into the US. “I don’t know what the norms are right now. The US customs only want to make sure you don’t sell the vegetables and fruits in your personal baggage once inside,” he said.

Anant Jauhri, state co-ordinator of Reliance Petroleum in Uttar Pradesh said he had taken pickles to the United States a few years back and faced no problems at the port of entry. “I just signed a declaration on what food item was being carried by me and the US officials allowed pickles in my personal baggage,” he said.

Interestingly, tonnes of mangoes reach Dubai and Sharjah every season as personal baggage, along with passengers who board flights from Lucknow. This is because of the absence of any clear guidelines on whether mangoes are allowed as personal baggage to the UAE.

First Published: Aug 24, 2007 05:38 IST