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Old 01-25-2011, 10:25 AM   #1
rcgoodman
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Bringing back seashells from Caribbean

I read somewhere that you can't bring seashells back into the US, that they will be confiscated, but I looked on the US customs website and can't find where it says this. It lists "shellfish" on the list of prohibited items, but is an empty shell considered a shellfish? We're doing the Western on Feb 5th and I was looking forward to finding some shells in Cozumel to make jewelry out of.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:45 PM   #2
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We bring back shells all the time. Take a small box and bubble wrap or tissues to pack them safely in.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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We brought some of those ziploc plastic bowls when we went to the Caribbean.. didn't have any problem bringing shells back
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #4
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It can be done, but is technically illegal, plus very frowned upon by DCL. But they do not check all 5,000 bags and people that get off of the ship.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:28 PM   #5
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Not true, shells and sand are legal. I was following this thread because we bought and also took shells from the beach at Atlantis, and never had a problem. We are going on our first cruise and wanted to know the rules. Here is the government website:
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/cl..._prod_inus.xml
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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We collected some shells in Aruba a couple of weeks ago and put them with our son's sand toys in his mesh bag. They were clearly visible when we put the bag through security and no one said a word.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:50 PM   #7
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Just remember that DCL asks you to NOT take shells from Castaway Cay!
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:05 AM   #8
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I also believe the Mexican government frowns on people taking shells and coral but I don't know how well it is enforced. Just make sure to not take any living creatures or anything that could be reused by a hermit crab.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:04 AM   #9
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depends on the country

It all depends on which country you are in. I don't know the rules in Mexico, but in the British Virgin Islands it is illegal to take anything - sand, shells, dead coral. And they do check. They questioned the youngest in our party (very clever of the official) if she had any "treasures" she was taking home.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:33 AM   #10
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I feel Better knowing this... I felt repremanded for creating a FE gift in these lines. I was actually feeling bad, but who cares. It's a cool gift!
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindy327 View Post
I feel Better knowing this... I felt repremanded for creating a FE gift in these lines. I was actually feeling bad, but who cares. It's a cool gift!
On my December cruise, one of the gifts I received was a wooden picture frame with sand and shells glued to the bottom of the frame. The frame is painted to look like a beach. I love love love this gift!!! The frame made it home with no issues.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:31 PM   #12
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The important thing to remember is you are supposed to delcare on the customs forms that you have these items.

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/cl..._prod_inus.xml

All travelers entering the United States are required to DECLARE any meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, animals, and plant and animal products (including soup or soup products) they may be carrying. The declaration must cover all items carried in checked baggage, carry-on luggage, or in a vehicle.

Upon examination of plants, animal products, and associated items, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the ports of entry will determine if these items meet the entry requirements of the United States.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minniemiss View Post
The important thing to remember is you are supposed to delcare on the customs forms that you have these items.

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/cl..._prod_inus.xml

All travelers entering the United States are required to DECLARE any meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, animals, and plant and animal products (including soup or soup products) they may be carrying. The declaration must cover all items carried in checked baggage, carry-on luggage, or in a vehicle.

Upon examination of plants, animal products, and associated items, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the ports of entry will determine if these items meet the entry requirements of the United States.
I was double bad last trip. I brought home shells, coconut turtle toys, and the chocolate pirate coins left on my pillow by the steward. We did mention the Rum on the Declaration form, which Customs just barely glanced at and waved us thru.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:06 PM   #14
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The biggest part is the customs folks. Technically most of them consider sand, shells, and the like animal/agricultural/environmental and SHOULD be declared. All can be considered living or former living organism and have some bacteria/pest/ whatever you want to call it.

Like said above though, some are even more no nos than others, some of the countries you take it from it is illegal to take too.

And the crusie folks seem to be 100% more relaxed than most airport or land crossing folks, I guess they get too accustomed to people being in a really good mood getting off the boat to be a pain in the butt.

But hey take what you want, it is my vacation right?! Who cares what DCL or even the countries ask us to do Why is there no smiley for stirring the pot?
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepyluke View Post
The biggest part is the customs folks. Technically most of them consider sand, shells, and the like animal/agricultural/environmental and SHOULD be declared. All can be considered living or former living organism and have some bacteria/pest/ whatever you want to call it.

Like said above though, some are even more no nos than others, some of the countries you take it from it is illegal to take too.

And the crusie folks seem to be 100% more relaxed than most airport or land crossing folks, I guess they get too accustomed to people being in a really good mood getting off the boat to be a pain in the butt.

But hey take what you want, it is my vacation right?! Who cares what DCL or even the countries ask us to do Why is there no smiley for stirring the pot?
There is, here you go.
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