Before you enter California from another country by sea or by air, you’ll be required to fill out a customs form. Check with the U.S. embassy in your country or the Customs Bureau website (www.cbp.gov ) for an updated list of items you must declare.
If you require medication administered by injection, you must pack your syringes in a checked bag; syringes are not permitted in carry-ons coming into the United States.
Also pack documentation describing your need for any narcotic medications you’ve brought with you. Failure to produce documentation for narcotics upon request can result in severe penalties in the United States.
If you’re driving into California along I-5 or another major freeway, prepare to stop at Agricultural Inspection stations few miles inside the state line. You don’t need to present a passport, a visa, or even a driver’s license. Instead, you must be prepared to present all your fruits and vegetables.
California’s largest economic segment lies in agriculture, and a number of the major crops grown here are sensitive to pests and diseases. In an effort to prevent known pests from entering the state and endangering the crops, travelers are asked to identify all produce they’re carrying in from other states or from Mexico. If you’ve got produce, especially homegrown or from a farm stand, that might be infected by a known problem pest or disease, expect it to be confiscated on the spot.
You’ll also be asked about fruits and veggies on your customs form, which you’ll be asked to fill out on the airplane or ship before you reach the United States.