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Bringing foie gras and/or shark fin into california.

Does anyone know the legality of doing this?

Do you know if it is legal to order these online and have them delivered to you?

Thanks.

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  1. Found this on line but you somone here from Cali might know more.

    <<The “California foie gras ban,” State Senate Bill No. 1520 (SB 1520), was so poorly written and vague, attorneys say the law is impossible to enforce. Read attorney Baylen Linnekin’s article “Overturn California’s Foie Gras Ban”.

    It is legal to possess foie gras in California, allowing individuals to enjoy the product at home. Select products are available for purchase in Reno, Nevada, where Mirepoix USA is now based. Please contact us directly regarding your options.>>

    http://www.enjoyfoiegras.com/

    1. If a supplier bought shark fin b4 the ban took effect they have until June to sell it, according to this posted on 3/8/13. But restos can't resell it so it can only be bought by consumers.

      http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/03...

      1. "California customers -- Please note that, as of July 1, 2012, California law prohibits the sale of foie gras within the state of California. While the law does allow for us to sell to you through our website and for you to consume the product, there may be restrictions on your ability to resell them within your own state."

        http://www.dartagnan.com/51177/731859...

        1. no problem ordering foie gras online or bringing it in by car, I've done both.

          no idea about shark fin.

          7 Replies
          1. re: tjinsf

            The foie gras law (SB1520) regulates sale in CA, but doesn't say anything about possession or consumption. The shark fin law (AB376), on the other hand, generally makes it illegal to possess shark fin.

            1. re: calumin

              interesting.

              i would assume i'd be fine, though, given it is a state ban and lots of people go through customs in sfo then continue on to other states.

              i wonder if any shark fin retailers will set up shop in Reno.

              1. re: Dustin_E

                Food for Thought:

                If you are returning from Mexico by air, and your first stop is in California to clear Customs, Federal regulations permit you to bring in 2.0L of distilled spirits.

                HOWEVER, if your first stop is in Arizona to clear Customs -- while there is (obviously) no change in what FEDERAL regulations permit -- ARIZONA permits you to bring in ONE liter of distilled spirits . . . it does not matter if you have a continuing flight out of the state to another destination (e.g.: San Francisco). ONE liter is all you can bring in, if you clear Customs in Phoenix.

                Thus, I would NOT assume you'd be fine . . .

                1. re: zin1953

                  interesting point, thanks.

                  i'll likely buy a small amount, also buy a little fish maw (which looks about the same), mix them together, and see what happens.

                  i know a friend imported several pounds of frozen shark fin a while back -- it was labeled "frozen fish". but this might have been before the ban went into effect.

                  i wonder if a shark fin restaurant (a fook lam moon or lei garden?) will pop up in vegas -- certainly a good place for conspicuous consumption.

                  1. re: Dustin_E

                    There are lots of places to get shark's fin soup and other Chinese luxury dishes in Vegas.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      i'm sure there are. i just don't know of any particularly well-known / destination-worthy spots.

                      i'm not sure if wing lei in the wynn serves these items -- it is at least not on their main menu.

                      1. re: Dustin_E

                        The Animal Welfare Institute has compiled a handy list that could be as useful for shark's fin fans as for protesters.

                        http://awionline.org/content/restaura...

          2. You're going to Hong Kong soon right? If you are talking about purchasing shark fin, fish maw, sea cucumber, dried abalone to bring back, I honestly cannot see them confiscating it, because nowhere does it say in the customs forms that is not allowed. Only meats (dried or preserved), and fresh fruits/vegetables are no no. From the HK side they will also stop you from bringing bottled drinks you purchased post security on the plane...but feel free to board with a roast goose, cheung fun (no sauce probably), beef chow fun, tonkatsu rice, or Maxim's pastries all you want.

            14 Replies
            1. re: K K

              yeah, visiting hong kong + tokyo in a few weeks.

              thanks for the advice -- i think i'll give it a try.

              1. re: Dustin_E

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10...

                This is an old article but I understand that the courts have upheld the ban.

              2. re: K K

                I doubt US customs would enforce a California state law.

                1. re: raytamsgv

                  They enforce Arizona state laws!

                    1. re: raytamsgv

                      So, I take it you didn't read my previous post above to Dustin ("Food for Thought") . . .

                      OK. Here it is again:

                      >>> Food for Thought:

                      If you are returning from Mexico by air, and your first stop is in California to clear Customs, Federal regulations permit you to bring in 2.0L of distilled spirits.

                      HOWEVER, if your first stop is in Arizona to clear Customs -- while there is (obviously) no change in what FEDERAL regulations permit -- ARIZONA permits you to bring in ONE liter of distilled spirits . . . it does not matter if you have a continuing flight out of the state to another destination (e.g.: San Francisco). ONE liter is all you can bring in, if you clear Customs in Phoenix.

                      Thus, I would NOT assume you'd be fine . . . <<<

                      Just so there is no misunderstanding, fly directly into Florida, California, New York, etc., bringing in 2.0L of distilled spirits -- what Federal regulations permit -- and Customs will have no problem with it. But fly into Arizona and try to clear Customs there, and they will confiscate anything over ONE liter . . .

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Thank you for the clarification.

                      2. re: raytamsgv

                        I can tell you from personal experience in Virginia and Arizona that the Feds enforce state laws regarding alcohol. Don't know about other goods.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I'd think they all would. If not they, then whom? Set up a second Customs clearing process operated by the state? That doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            California does have its own agricultural inspection stations on the Arizona border. I passed them on the Oregon border as well, but they were closed at that time.

                            1. re: raytamsgv

                              Actually I was referring to airport customs. The "bug stations" are there to keep "bugs" from getting in the CA agricultural system, which we probably all depend on. They're checking for produce only and not contraband. Many a traveler has lost their fruits and vegs picked up at local farm stands.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                These days, there's more concern about bugs getting out of California. Most of the Bay Area's in an agricultural quarantine zone.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  Wow, I didn't know that. That's scary. I've wondered how many people realize how important CA's agriculture is to at least this nation.

                            2. re: c oliver

                              There are many laws enacted that do not appropriate any funds for enforcement and no inspections happen anywhere. I don't know the situation in this case, as I said.