Bringing Green seeds through US customs

Kuppe Mugger

New member
Apr 3, 2007
4
0
Simi Valley, CA
I have friends who are from great coffee growing areas of the world like Guatamala and Java. I would love to have them bring back some green beans when they go home to visit family. Does anyone have any words of wisdom about this? Is it a bad idea to try? I mainly want to know if it is possible and feasable. I am not trying to bypass my importer.

:oops:
 

CafeBlue

New member
Dec 8, 2006
121
0
Toronto
I never had trouble bringing green or roasted coffee samples into the US or Canada. Green is usually not allowed in-bound to coffee producing nations.
You may be disappointed - since most top grade green is exported for foreign currency earnings, the coffee that remains in producing regions is frequently second rate.
 

equus007

New member
Apr 4, 2006
315
0
Austin, Tx
exporting

CafeBlue is right. Most Columbians I know drank Nescafe before coming to the states:evil:
If you are trying to do large amounts you will be noticed by customs and probably denied outright because carrying fresh produce in has been made illegal from most if not all of the coffee producing regions of the world, except Hawaii I suppose, in an attempt to keep out foreign pests and agricultural disease. For smaller amounts it is much easier if it is a sealed packaged item(for retail sale) rather than just a burlap sack full of beans or a zip lock bag.
I've had a couple of bags lost to customs coming out of Belise and Nicaragua but I tend to get searched everywhere I go and the customs officials like to be able to say they found something so I don't fight it.
UPS will get it to you faster anyway.
 
I would agree somewhat with Cafeblue. For instance, Java is an island of some 130 million people, coffee does not exactly grow by the side of the road...meaning it is very difficult to find!- I have quite a few expats living here who have given up searching for green, and just buy from me for home roasting, Good quality green is simply very difficult to find. So you may be disappointed in what they would bring you back...on top of that your friends, if not coffee savy, would probably brng back Robusta rather than arabica!

If you are commercial you should try and do some origin trips like Equus007 does. It may not yeild much the first time around, but it will give you an idea of the origin, growing conditions etc. In Indonesia nearly all coffee that is half decent is grown by small holders. The big Java Estates produce variable quality Arabica which is easily available via the brokers in the US anyway. The key if you were really looking for something interesting would be to visit yourself and then see if you can identify a good small coop of growers which would give you a unique Java.
 
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Kuppe Mugger

New member
Apr 3, 2007
4
0
Simi Valley, CA
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Buying Green coffee

Thanks for all the information. I had seen your web site and had told my friends to look you up. I also noticed that you have a representitive here in the US.
So If I were going to do an origin trip, I should buy the coffee and then ship it back to myself in the states?
 
If you did an origin trip you could so sampling while in the origin country, then if the timimg was right you could order directly. In Indonesia it can be a wee bit difficult, as we have so many origins and the crop/harvest times are all over the place.

Probably best thing to do would be to send it freight back to the USA. Use a reputable freight forwarder at origin. You will need to complete the FDA requirements before shipping, but it is only time consuming, not too difficult otherwise. A reputable forwarder is important, because unless you are sending a FCL (18metric tonns) of coffee back, it means you will share a container with other shippers. Shipping manifests for all the shippers are couriered to US Homeland Security by the steam ship line. Any descrepencies with someone elses paperwork, means your greens will also end up being put into the container holding pen in Longbeach, Seattle, San Fran etc. Demurrage and costs for doing a full search on a container are bourne by shipping parties, not the forwarder or the steamship line. If you decide to ship out of Indo, I am more than happy to help you with the paperwork and shipping side of things...learnt in some cases by not so pleasant experience!
 
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