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Is it possible to bring fruit or plants into California? What happens if something is rejected?

Published on: 10/30/2013 4:47 PM
Quarantine Inspector examining a box of cherries from out of state 

Is it possible to bring fruit or plants into California?


Where your fruit or plants were grown plays a big part on whether it will be allowed into California. Residents are allowed to bring indoor houseplants into California as long as they are free from pests and will remain inside. Outdoor plants and fruit have a large number of restrictions, which limit their movement. In order to find out if your item will be allowed into California, you can call our office, or you can look it up at the Food and Agriculture's website located under our related links.


* If you ship agricultural products into California, you must state on the outside of the package the common or scientific name of the item and where it was grown.  Failure to properly identify the contents of your shipment can cause your shipment to be destroyed.

What happens if something is rejected?

If something is rejected at a freight or mail facility, a Notice of Rejection will be mailed to the receiver, the sender, and to the State Department of Agriculture. When something is not allowed entry, we will give the sender and receiver one or two options in regards to the disposition of the held material.  Sometimes, the only option is to destroy the plant or produce.

When the decision is made to destroy an article, the way they are destroyed will depend upon the pest risk. Sometimes fruit or plants are incinerated at a State supervised facility, and sometimes they are buried at a landfill.