Customs officers thwart attempted smuggling of food items


Officers at the Customs and Quarantine Agency (CQA) have thwarted smuggling attempts at the A.B. Won Pat International Air Terminal to bring in banned food items.

In the past month, CQA reported that customs officers have seized pork contained within tempura shrimp chip bags, raw duck eggs concealed beneath personal goods, noxious weed seeds concealed within tea bags, and undeclared corn, watermelon, citrus, and radish seeds concealed within medicine and cosmetic containers.

According to CQA, banned food and seeds from foreign countries may carry harmful diseases and parasites that could adversely affect the island’s ecosystem and indigenous animals on Guam.

In addition, animals, plants and foreign organisms such as microbes that are non-native to an ecosystem can cause economic or environmental damage that may also be harmful to human health.

CQA warned that swine disease, present in Asia, may arrive on Guam aboard meat products and most strands of this disease have no vaccine or cure. That is why all meat products arriving into Guam must have the proper clearance certificates prior to entry, otherwise, they will be seized.

Moreover, seeds deemed noxious weeds by the USDA are prohibited entry into Guam as they may become invasive and harm or overtake native flora. Therefore, those too arriving without the proper clearance certificates will be seized at the border.

CQA said its officers will continue to seize potentially harmful items at Guam’s borders that have the potential to damage the island’s ecosystem, environment or may be harmful to human health.