$500 Fine Dropped for Woman Who Brought Apple Through Customs
The $500 fine levied on a woman who brought an apple through US Customs and Border Protection after deplaning from an international flight in April has been dropped.
Crystal Tadlock was offered an apple as a snack on board her US-bound Delta flight from Paris (CDG) on April 22. Tadlock had placed the apple in her purse and failed to throw it out before going through the airport customs checkpoint. A US Customs agent discovered the apple in Tadlock's bag, charged her $500 and revoked her Global Entry status.
Undeclared agricultural products are not allowed to be brought into the United States.
US CBP dropped the fine and reinstated Tadlock's Global Entry status after her representative from Congress became involved.
"It didn’t sound right," US Representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado told Fox 31 Denver of the fee. "It sounded excessive. I found myself kind of offended that there would be a $500 fine for an apple wrapped in plastic from Delta," he said, noting he agrees with the laws against bringing in produce from other countries, but that this case was different because the apple was given to her by an airline.
So, Perlmutter decided to meet with US CBP and the US Department of Agriculture.
"When cooler heads prevailed, and when they thought about it for a second, they did the right thing," Perlmutter said. "Now the next step is to take a look at can they add some discretion so the agency isn’t having to issue a fine like this when it doesn’t make any sense and is there something the airline can do before you get off the plane to remind you."
So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, it could be a good idea to write a letter to your congressional representative about it. To avoid a similar fine, read this guide on what food items can go through US Customs.