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Re: The USDA is after me for ordering French Rations - NEW 5/21 UPDATES! This is happening! To everybody :-(

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 2:07 pm
by mikeoverhere
Fortunately, when USDA detects a violation all they are doing for now is filing a case and sending a letter with threat of prosecution. If at that time you admit to currently having unconsumed ration meat, they arrange a visit so that they can come over and personally seize and destroy those rations. The possessor may not remove, trash, or destroy the products themselves. The importer may not sell, trade, or give away the prohibited products. USDA may record or seize the shipping label if present (they want the parcel/shipment intact and the ration unopened).

While they could prosecute the initial detected violation, USDA is electing to give the person a warning and seize the rations, if any. I suspect they would only raid/arrest and prosecute someone if they were detected to have lied or to have continued illegal activities. So they give you a chance to turn over any illegal products and perform a Mea Culpa with promise to cease and desist further illegal action. They may use your shipping information for use in other cases.

As best as I can tell several agencies are involved in this: The USDA Veterinary, USDA Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Food Safety Inspection Services (FSIS) (for inspection of commercial shipments). CBP with Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance detects and reports shipments, while APHIS is handling these cases guided by Veterinary, Plant Protection and Quarantine, and Marketing and Regulatory Programs. It is APHIS that contacts you from the office of the agent that regulates your state and each agent regulates multiple states.

I have found the APHIS agent that regulates my state of Alaska as well as others to be very professional. They are not zealots, they are simply enforcing established laws and regulations. I believe the only way to change any of this is through legislation as the departments are only doing their job and fighting with them will not change the rules they are required to follow. USDA is excellent at providing information and resource material to educate people in how to legally acquire the proper permit, how to ship, and what the requirements are for both the shipper and importer.

I believe Federal legislation needs to be enacted to alter the 9CFR94 that regulates this area, adding some sort of exception so that not all sterilized and shelf stable meat shipments are automatically considered "commercial". I do not have the resources to do that. Maybe someone else or a collective group could use their representatives and attorneys to accomplish this.

Re: The USDA is after me for ordering French Rations - NEW 5/21 UPDATES! This is happening! To everybody :-(

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 4:20 pm
by paintballer4lfe
bknight3 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 11:46 am
mikeoverhere wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:18 am
I don't think they are going back that far, basically just starting this year and going forward. A case will be opened with threat of federal prosecution if you get caught, which is what happened to me.
I am curious on what the public reaction would be if they arrested someone like Steve or Gundog.

Speaking of which, I hope the get together doesn't get raided.
Like if it made the news? I mean some people would be mad but most won't care because that's just how the US is now a days lol.

My final update on my own case

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 6:14 pm
by mikeoverhere
Today I met with the APHIS agent that serves Alaska. She was not armed and we met at a coffee shop. I had two Russian rations to show her that had not been received when my case was opened. One was intact while the other had already been opened by CBP and resealed. All the meat products were seized in the intact ration. Had the sausage been just pork instead of a mixture of pork and beef, she would have let me retain it. In the previously inspected ration we went through she found that while the meat products had been removed, but they had forgotten to remove the tube of sweetened condensed milk which has to be heated to a higher temperature to avoid Mad Cow. The powered milk drink was fine, as was the processed cheese. I learned that Mad Cow cannot be eliminated by the sterilization process, it must literally be burned to ashes. The shipping labels were recorded and she noted that one was marked as "Camping Supplies". I think it was the one that hadn't been opened and inspected but I wasn't really paying attention. All she was concerned with was beef meat and milk products. She acted professional and was a nice lady with a sense of humor.

Re: The USDA is after me for ordering French Rations - NEW 5/21 UPDATES! This is happening! To everybody :-(

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 6:19 am
by housil
That´s great to hear

Re: The USDA is after me for ordering French Rations - NEW 5/21 UPDATES! This is happening! To everybody :-(

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 7:28 am
by Pod
I only started this hobby last year. I recently bought a french RCIR for my birthday and i'm worried something bad will happen now. I hope this changes at some point but i'm going to be wary of buying foreign MREs from now on.

Re: The USDA is after me for ordering French Rations - NEW 5/21 UPDATES! This is happening! To everybody :-(

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 8:09 am
by supremeplatypus
That sucks for you guys in the US. Especially since EU food regulations are to my knowledge STRICTER than the US ones.

Re: The USDA is after me for ordering French Rations - NEW 5/21 UPDATES! This is happening! To everybody :-(

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 10:35 am
by Pod
Maybe the US gov is embarrassed that we have inferior food? :P

USDA Animal Products Manual

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 3:23 pm
by mikeoverhere
IIn the video Nina and Art supplied, they said the agent mentioned a few countries that had no import/export restrictions. I asked my APHIS agent about this and was told there is no simple list. If anyone wants to look up a particular country and the restrictions for import/export, guidelines for which products, and permits you should be able to in this resource though it requires a bit of work to dig it out.

USDA Animal Products Manual

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfoc ... ports_home

Re: The USDA is after me for ordering French Rations - NEW 5/21 UPDATES! This is happening! To everybody :-(

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:45 am
by Drew78
The list changes weekly. There is no dedicated list. Right now Africa and surrounding countries are highly restricted as foot and mouth disease is highly prevalant. Watch, The next step will be stopping all the selling of US MREs which is technically illegal to resell. I cant wait till they jump all over that next.

Re: The USDA is after me for ordering French Rations - NEW 5/21 UPDATES! This is happening! To everybody :-(

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:15 am
by prado67
Interesting rules. It never came to that before. And when the rations go to customs, what happens ?
1. It is removed from the prohibited items and send on. 2. It will be confiscated entirely
3. It's being sent back.