Can I Bring Dried Shrimp to the USA? A Guide for Travelers

Dried shrimp are a popular ingredient in many Asian and Latin cuisine dishes. Their concentrated umami flavor makes them a versatile seasoning agent for soups, braises, dumplings, and more So it’s no wonder that travelers who’ve developed a taste for dried shrimp abroad often want to bring some back to the USA. But can you actually bring dried shrimp into the country?

The short answer is yes, dried shrimp is permitted for personal use in reasonable quantities. However, there are some important regulations and recommendations to keep in mind. Here’s a comprehensive guide to bringing dried shrimp to the USA as a traveler.

Overview of Dried Shrimp Regulations

According to the USDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), travelers can bring in personal amounts of dried shrimp and other seafood products. This applies to shrimp in almost any form including dried frozen, canned, cooked, and more.

The key things to note are:

  • It must be for personal use, not commercial purposes
  • Quantities should be reasonable
  • All food items must be declared on customs forms

As long as you follow these guidelines, dried shrimp is allowed. However, CBP can impose fines if you violate regulations. And unpleasant odors may bother fellow passengers, so pack it well.

Why Dried Shrimp is Popular

To understand why travelers cherish those bags of dried shrimp, it helps to know what makes this ingredient so popular:

  • Flavor – The drying process concentrates the shrimp’s natural umami taste into a very potent seasoning Just a few dried shrimp can impart a surge of seafood flavor.

  • Convenience – Dried shrimp lasts a long time without refrigeration compared to fresh or frozen shrimp. It’s an extremely handy flavor boost to have in the pantry.

  • Versatility – Dried shrimp works well in a wide array of dishes, from soups and braised meats to dumplings, stir fries, noodles, and salads. Both the tiny and large shrimp have their uses.

  • Nutrition – Dried shrimp contains protein, antioxidants, omega-3s, and an array of micronutrients. Its nutrition profile is impressive for such a small ingredient.

With this winning combination of intense flavor, convenience, versatility and nutrition, it’s easy to see why dried shrimp is treasured by home cooks and travelers alike.

Tips for Travelers Bringing Dried Shrimp to the USA

To ensure your dried shrimp makes it through customs without issue, keep these tips in mind:

  • Pack it properly – Seal dried shrimp in airtight plastic bags or containers. This prevents any unpleasant odors that may bother fellow passengers.

  • Mind the quantities – Bring only reasonable personal-use amounts of dried shrimp – a few ounces or pounds at most. Large quantities may get flagged during inspection.

  • Know the regulations – Read up on USDA and CBP rules so you understand what is and isn’t permitted. For instance, certain meats from countries with livestock diseases are restricted.

  • Declare everything – Make sure to declare all food items, including dried shrimp, on your customs form to avoid penalties.

  • Check your destination’s status – Some countries have restrictions due to livestock diseases. So check disease status before departing just to be safe.

What if Your Dried Shrimp is Confiscated?

If CBP determines your dried shrimp poses disease risks or violates regulations, they may confiscate and destroy it. While unfortunate, cooperating with inspectors can help avoid fines or criminal charges.

Declaring items, even if prohibited, shows good faith. Fines and penalties are more likely if you intentionally hide banned food items. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and don’t bring it.

Other Permitted Food Items

In addition to dried shrimp, CBP allows travelers to bring many other food items for personal use, such as:

  • Baked goods like bread, crackers, cookies. No meat-stuffed items.

  • Solid cheeses, except those containing meat. Soft cheeses like brie are permitted.

  • Candy and chocolate.

  • Most dried spices, except citrus fruits and seeds.

  • Packaged tea and herbal tea.

  • Oil, vinegar, condiments without meat products.

  • Packaged juice, noodles without meat, nuts prepared by roasting/boiling.

Of course, agricultural items always need declaring. And commercial amounts (50+ lbs) face stricter inspection. But generally, foods for personal consumption present no issues, including nutritious and flavorful dried shrimp.

Can I Bring Dried Shrimp to the USA? The Verdict

Bringing reasonable personal quantities of dried shrimp into the USA is allowed and hassle-free for most travelers. Following the guidelines around declaration, packing, and permitted quantities will ensure your shrimp breezes through customs. So go ahead and enjoy those flavorful dried shrimp souvenirs from your travels. Just make sure to seal them tightly for the trip home!

Frequency of Entities:

dried shrimp: 21
shrimp: 24
USA: 7
travelers: 7
seafood: 3
CBP: 5
customs: 5

Dried Shrimp How to Eat/Cook Product of USA | Shrimp | Seafood | Louisiana


Can you bring dried food into USA?

Most dried fruits and vegetables are not allowed into the United States without meeting special requirements to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases. The following dried products are generally allowed but you must declare and present them to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for inspection: Beans. Dates.

Can you bring dried fish on a plane to USA?

You might think fish products would be restricted, but most are actually allowed! Fresh, frozen, dried, smoked, canned, or cooked fish and seafood is allowed in amounts suitable for your personal use. Just be sure to pack them well for the sake of your fellow passengers!

Can I bring frozen shrimp into USA?

Meat, seafood, vegetables and other non-liquid food items are permitted in both carry-on and checked bags. If the food is packed with ice or ice packs in a cooler or other container, the ice or ice packs must be completely frozen when brought through screening.

What foods can you not bring into the US?

Meats, Livestock and Poultry: The regulations governing meat and meat products are stringent. You may not import fresh, dried or canned meats or meat products from most foreign countries into the United States. Also, you may not import food products that have been prepared with meat.

Can you bring breaded seafood across the border?

Seafood products can usually be brought across the border without trouble, but breaded seafood may be subject to concern due to the milk or eggs used in the breading. If you have questions, you can contact a government official by checking this page (and clicking the “seafood” box).

Which foods are allowed in the US?

The US allows various food items, such as condiments, cooking oils, bread, cookies, crackers, cakes, cereal, and packed tea, to be brought in. The CBP (Customs and Border Protection) provides a list of allowed items on its website. Jarvis, a beagle, works in the baggage claim area at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Can you bring a turkey ham to the US border?

In the past year, US border officials have fined passengers for bringing various undeclared food items, including turkey ham. Be sure to declare all food items when traveling to the US.

What if you bring food from overseas?

Bringing food items from overseas can result in fines for travelers to the US. Last month, a passenger was fined $1,874 after two egg and beef sausage McMuffins and a ham croissant were found in their luggage at the US border.

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