Don’t be surprised when you’re arriving or leaving Hawaii that you’ll need to go through a Hawaiian agricultural inspection when visit or move to Hawaii.
Hawaii-Inbound Agricultural Procedures Requirements and Declarations
Both inbound and outbound baggage is subject to inspection by the Agricultural Department.
Before arrival to Hawaiian airports from other than Hawaii origins, you’ll be asked to fill out a declaration and submit upon arrival.
If you’re arriving with plants, animals and any other agricultural items you need to declare them. There is an amnesty bin located so that you can dispose of items without declaring them.
For animals and pets, you’ll need to quarantine and/or get a special permit. The process is pretty grueling for bringing pets to Hawaii to avoid disease, particularly rabies, from entering the Hawaiian Islands. Currently, the Islands are rabies free.
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Live Fish and Amphibians
- Flowers and Foliage
- Plant cuttings
- Seeds and Bulbs
- Cultures of Bacteria
- Turtles, Reptiles…ANY animals, basically.
Here’s a link to the form for a better look.
The purpose of declaration and possible searches when entering into Hawaii is to make sure that there are no plants, animals and bacteria that could harm the natural fauna and flora of the Hawaiian Islands.
The Hawaiian Islands have already been ravaged by non-indegenous species of both plant and animal wreaking havoc on endemic species.
Hawaii-Outbound Agricultural Procedures, Requirements and Declarations
Upon leaving to go back to the mainland (or your other origin) then you will also be inspected by the agricultural department. You should report all agricultural items in your bag and be prepared to open them for inspection. They’ll also pass through an x-ray machine.
After your inspection your bag will have a sticker placed on it indicating that you have already gone through the agricultural inspection. Only then may you check into your airline. Your carry-on items will be checked at the TSA security area.
The purpose for the outbound inspection is to prevent the spread of fruit flies and other diseases and little critters (insects) that could harm mainland plants and animals.
All in all, it’s a painless process but just a little different than mainland airports.
For more information, check out the US Department of Agriculture information page.