Can I send food to the UK from the USA? Vice Versa?

Can I send food to the UK from the USA? Concurrently, can you send food from the UK to the USA?

Basically, no. It will be intercepted and destroyed by customs on both side. So, don’t try. However, if the food is already prepared, sealed in packaging, it may get through. But in general, it’s not a good idea to try and send food both ways. Most American food is available in the UK and you can find most major UK foods in the USA, either at speciality shops or in major grocery stores (the international sections).

Comments

  1. avatarShawn says

    I sent a friend in the UK some food: Taco Bell brand hot sauce, cheese-in-a-can, pre-packaged jerky and cheese, American-style baked beans and some candy, among other things. I marked them as “condiments” on the customs form.

    Everything got through just fine (and was very well-received – even the canned cheese!) I made sure to seal the glass hot sauce bottle in a plastic bag and wrap it in multiple layers of newspaper, though.

    • avatarLisa says

      Wow, I’m amazed that the cheese got through because usually dairy is the number one no-no. I guess it tells you how processed to death that canned cheese is if it was allowed!

      The rule of thumb is that the ingredients and place the food was packaged needs to be clearly described in English on the sealed factory packaging.

      Dairy products like most cheeses are prohibited to protect the British dairy industry and as with most places fresh fruits and vegetables are also prohibited.

  2. avatarShawn says

    I sent a friend in the UK some food: Taco Bell brand hot sauce, cheese-in-a-can, pre-packaged jerky and cheese, American-style baked beans and some candy, among other things. I marked them as “condiments” on the customs form.

    Everything got through just fine (and was very well-received – even the canned cheese!) I made sure to seal the glass hot sauce bottle in a plastic bag and wrap it in multiple layers of newspaper, though.

    • avatarLisa says

      Wow, I’m amazed that the cheese got through because usually dairy is the number one no-no. I guess it tells you how processed to death that canned cheese is if it was allowed!

      The rule of thumb is that the ingredients and place the food was packaged needs to be clearly described in English on the sealed factory packaging.

      Dairy products like most cheeses are prohibited to protect the British dairy industry and as with most places fresh fruits and vegetables are also prohibited.

  3. avatarLisa says

    Yes, sadly there is no way for me to get cider and donuts packaged up from Michigan and delivered to me here in the UK. ;-) This is one seasonal staple I miss dearly and it’ll cost me a plane ticket to enjoy it.

    Things like candy and other small bits that are packaged and heat resistant can usually get through, but its not worth it unless you are sending other things as well like including a few in a box of Christmas gifts.

  4. avatarLisa says

    Yes, sadly there is no way for me to get cider and donuts packaged up from Michigan and delivered to me here in the UK. ;-) This is one seasonal staple I miss dearly and it’ll cost me a plane ticket to enjoy it.

    Things like candy and other small bits that are packaged and heat resistant can usually get through, but its not worth it unless you are sending other things as well like including a few in a box of Christmas gifts.

  5. avatarDuffy Laudick says

    I’m fortunate to have a couple of places that I can get British snacks. One place sells fish and chips and another is an India food store where I can get some Tetley tea and a couple others. A website shop that you can get a lot of items, including alcoholic drinks is http://www.britishfoodshop.com/

  6. avatarDuffy Laudick says

    I’m fortunate to have a couple of places that I can get British snacks. One place sells fish and chips and another is an India food store where I can get some Tetley tea and a couple others. A website shop that you can get a lot of items, including alcoholic drinks is http://www.britishfoodshop.com/

  7. avatar says

    I should add that a friend once sent us a some tea from Britain and despite it being sealed and everything, it was taken out of the package by customs in the USA. We got the rest of the package with no tea and not even a note apologizing!

    • avatarLisa says

      I think you just got screwed Jonathan. Its just so arbitrary what they allow to get through and what they conveniently confiscate (and then probably enjoy in their breakroom). I just try not to send anything of any real value.

  8. avatar says

    I should add that a friend once sent us a some tea from Britain and despite it being sealed and everything, it was taken out of the package by customs in the USA. We got the rest of the package with no tea and not even a note apologizing!

    • avatarLisa says

      I think you just got screwed Jonathan. Its just so arbitrary what they allow to get through and what they conveniently confiscate (and then probably enjoy in their breakroom). I just try not to send anything of any real value.

  9. avatarAngela Blackwell says

    One good place to get imported food is a chain in the US called World Market. They even get some British seasonal foods like chocolate easter eggs. They carry typhoo and other nice teas as well many types of biscuits and chocolate.

  10. avatarAngela Blackwell says

    One good place to get imported food is a chain in the US called World Market. They even get some British seasonal foods like chocolate easter eggs. They carry typhoo and other nice teas as well many types of biscuits and chocolate.

  11. avatarDavid Melton says

    This reminds me of my recent return trip to the US from London. While waiting to board our flight at Heathrow my daughter and I bought all of the chocolate bars from the Pret a Manger in the terminal. Upon our arrival at Dulles in Washington, D.C., we were asked if we were bringing any food into the country. I already felt like a criminal (I don’t know why, but when I go through U.S. customs I always feel like I’m being accused of something) and so I stammered something about “chocolate bars.” The surly (and not overly intelligent) TSA guy misunderstood me, and a rather uncomfortable conversation ensued in which I found myself desperately trying to convince said TSA guy that I wasn’t trying to bring meat into the country! I have to say, though, that the chocolate bars from Pret are worth risking a lengthy stay at Guantanamo.

  12. avatarDavid Melton says

    This reminds me of my recent return trip to the US from London. While waiting to board our flight at Heathrow my daughter and I bought all of the chocolate bars from the Pret a Manger in the terminal. Upon our arrival at Dulles in Washington, D.C., we were asked if we were bringing any food into the country. I already felt like a criminal (I don’t know why, but when I go through U.S. customs I always feel like I’m being accused of something) and so I stammered something about “chocolate bars.” The surly (and not overly intelligent) TSA guy misunderstood me, and a rather uncomfortable conversation ensued in which I found myself desperately trying to convince said TSA guy that I wasn’t trying to bring meat into the country! I have to say, though, that the chocolate bars from Pret are worth risking a lengthy stay at Guantanamo.

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