US: Rise in prohibited chile pepper and tomato imports at El Paso bridges

The chile harvest season is in full swing and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they are seeing an increase of individuals trying to import various peppers and tomatoes from Mexico into the United States.

On Tuesday, CBP officers seized a large quantity of these products at the Bridge of the Americas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service prohibits the importation of tomatoes and pepper fruits from all countries of origin in passenger baggage.

CBP officials said the majority of people trying to import these produce items are unaware that it’s prohibited. That is why CBP officers are giving handouts to crossers to inform them of what is and what is not permitted to cross.


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