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

Quarantine Inspector examining a box of cherries from out of state

Is it possible to bring fruit or plants into California from another state?

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

* 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.


How do I mail something from California to another state: How do I label my package?


Shipping BoxAll shipments of agricultural products that enter or passes through California must be conspicuously labeled with the name and address of the shipper and receiver, the name of the country, state, or territory where the agricultural item was grown, and a statement of its contents.


Quarrantine Tape
​Quarantines:  Every state and country has established quarantines (areas that do not allow certain plants or soil) in an attempt to prevent the introduction of damaging pests into areas where they don’t naturally occur.  It is unlawful to ship or transport any plant, cutting, animal, fruit or vegetable into California that does not comply with quarantine requirements.


If you have questions about shipping an agricultural item into California, you can contact your local agricultural commissioner’s office with questions. Santa Clara County Ag Commissioner can be contacted at (408) 918-4600.  For a listing of all the agricultural commissioner offices in the State, visit:
How do I find out if it is ok to mail something from California to another state?
If you would like to ship something to another State, you can visit that state's agriculture website or you can look up their entry requirements at the National Plant Board's website:   If you are having trouble finding the information you can call our office at (408) 918-4600.​
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Last updated: 9/12/2018 9:54 AM