PDA

View Full Version : Honey in Honduras



CarriageWorks
01-22-2009, 08:18 PM
It appears that I will be going to Utila, Honduras in April. I plan on arriving in San Pedro Sula then to La Cieba and on to Utila.

I am thinking about searching out some local honey and bringing it back with me. I figure there should be someplace I can buy honey.

Am I going to have problems with customs?

Any other tips on this project?

Kee
01-22-2009, 10:45 PM
How much are you planning to bring back? A few pounds or a few gallons? Do you think this will be packaged (and sealed) for resale?

CarriageWorks
01-22-2009, 11:30 PM
It depends on what I can talk my wife into bringing back.

Kee
01-23-2009, 12:49 AM
Haha! Good answer!

You might check out tas.dhl.com, which is a free product that gives trade data, including required docs. Honduras isn't a 'supported country'; however, that is due to the fact they don't have all of the docs for that country. HN is scheduled to be added this year. Fedex and UPS have similar products, but I'm not familiar with them. You might check out the CBP sight as well.

Oskaar
01-23-2009, 05:09 AM
It appears that I will be going to Utila, Honduras in April. I plan on arriving in San Pedro Sula then to La Cieba and on to Utila.

I am thinking about searching out some local honey and bringing it back with me. I figure there should be someplace I can buy honey.

Am I going to have problems with customs?

Any other tips on this project?

Generally liquids (even slow moving ones like honey) are going to be an issue in US Customs, as well as on the planes. I'm ignorant of the laws in Honduras and transporting from there into the USA, so any comment I make would be speculative.

In your place I'd try to get a well sealed 1 liter soda bottle into your checked baggage. That should give you enough to make a gallon's worth when you get home, and, if they reject it at the airport your investment would be minimal. In that environment I'd go for the wild forest honey, or tropical blossom honey. However, if you can get coffee honey, I'd consider trying to ship it. It's worth it!!

Hope that helps, Oskaar

osluder
01-23-2009, 10:54 AM
Am I going to have problems with customs?

I travel quite a bit internationally and have successfully brought a number of "foodstuffs" through US Customs, but bear in mind you are largely at the whim of the Customs and--when they are uncertain about an item--Department of Agriculture agents who have full discretion when you reenter the US. Forget even trying to hand carry any volume of honey as current restrictions only allow a few ounces of liquid in your carry-on bags if your travel involves any domestic segments that require you to go through security. Most major airlines will enforce those restrictions even for international segments. You'll generally find that items that are commercially packaged and sealed will get through easier. Prefer transparent containers over opaque ones as they are less likely to confiscate it if they can easily see through it. Your safest bet is to pack the items in your checked bags so they are readily accessible for inspection, fully declare all items and be prepared to honestly answer any questions the agents ask. Don't forget to take packing materials (e.g., ziploc bags, bubble wrap, tape, etc.) with you as they may not be easy to get at your destination. -- Olen

CarriageWorks
01-23-2009, 12:23 PM
I will remember the packing materials. That is a really good idea.

I will check around to see what I have in the way of containers that are durable enough. Maybe something that I can put inside of a plastic bag inside my BCD. Or wrapped in my wetsuit. I have some nice containers from Kallas. Currently they have honey in them. Geez, I will have to make some mead. If I make my acerglyn, should I use Blueberry, Wildflower, or cranberry blossom? I am a little uncertain about cranberry blossom. The last time I ended up with a distinct peppery note. Not something I want in any of my upcoming batches (it was long enough ago that I don't remember where I got it). I think there is a weed that grows in Cranberry bogs that gives this flavor.

I checked the customs website and they said honey should be OK, but to check with the Ag dept. The Ag dept said it should be OK as long as it was for personal use and not for sale but I sh ould check with the FDA. The FDA said it should be OK as long as it wasn't from China (problems with antibiotics in the honey there) but it was really up to customs.....

osluder
01-23-2009, 01:29 PM
I will remember the packing materials. That is a really good idea.

I will check around to see what I have in the way of containers that are durable enough.

Add a roll of electrician's tape to that list so you can put a "seal" around the lid or top of the container. Again, the more it looks like a commercially packaged and sealed container, the better you are. I wouldn't leave any existing labels on especially if the product origin states someplace other than Honduras. You may even consider mocking up some labels with the volume and weight, "Product of Honduras", etc. on them. Obviously, if they ask if you packaged it yourself, you want to be honest, but you don't have to volunteer that information. Also, bear in mind weight restrictions: the major airlines have gotten quite particular and overweight or extra bags can be costly. Check with your airline, but I have found it can be sometimes cheaper to have an extra bag rather than a couple overweight ones. -- Olen

CarriageWorks
01-23-2009, 02:28 PM
If I make up my rose mead that will free up a gallon and 2 x 5 pounders that would work OK.

I don't suppose they would believe I got 2 gallons of maple syrup down there.

Maybe I could work out a trade with someone down there for some syrup.

osluder
01-23-2009, 02:49 PM
I don't suppose they would believe I got 2 gallons of maple syrup down there.

Probably not. We have some "lost maples" down here in South Texas (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/lost_maples/) and over in West Texas (http://www.nps.gov/gumo/gumo/mckittrick.htm) left over from the last ice age, but I suspect there aren't many in Central America. ;D -- Olen

CarriageWorks
01-23-2009, 09:28 PM
As for Coffee honey, I do have some contacts with coffee producers. I will check around and see what turns up.

How would you describe the flavor?

Vino
01-23-2009, 10:35 PM
I've made numerous trips to Central and South America on business, and have brought back quite a few food items and many beverages.

I always wrapped them in bubble wrap or other packing material, and put them on the top of my clothes...were they would be seen by TSA as soon as they opened the suitcase...I always labeled the wrapped package with the contents.

In 30 years I have only had packages opened/unwrapped three times, and once a bottle of Scotch mysteriously disappeared.

Whatever you do...don't remove from the original container...and never "hide" it...that just draws attention.

And make sure you put them in large ziplock bags...I have a suitcase that still smells like mezcal. ;D

osluder
01-23-2009, 11:09 PM
In 30 years I have only had packages opened/unwrapped three times, and once a bottle of Scotch mysteriously disappeared.

I have only been red-lined for inspection by Customs a handful of times in 20 years. Usually, if you declare everything and answer any questions without apparent evasion, they will just wave you through assuming you haven't exceeded your allowances by too much. One big exception is if you are carrying back a large amount of booze, and even then it is a 50-50 proposition if you will even have to pay duty. One time, I brought back a case of rum from Barbados and had to pay $13 or $14 in duty. Another time, I brought back a case of ice wine from Canada and they just wanted to hold each bottle up to light to see if there was anything that shouldn't be in the bottles.

There is also a direct correlation between appearance and a visit with the Customs agent: the scruffier or more casually dressed you are, the more likely you are to be red-lined.


And make sure you put them in large ziplock bags...I have a suitcase that still smells like mezcal. ;D

Vino, you don't want a matching bag that reeks of Cuban rum do you? ;D

As far as the ziploc bags, you can get really big ones at the Container Store and occasionally I even see them at my local supermarket.

-- Olen

CarriageWorks
01-24-2009, 08:29 AM
The last time I came back from Honduras, I was taken out of line sent to a separate room for further evaluation. Dave Johnson is a common name. Apparently it is on some sort of list.

At least my wife said she would visit me in prison (after she got home, unpacked, did the laundry) on weekends.

If they only take my honey and don't send me to Gitmo, I count it a plus.

osluder
01-24-2009, 02:45 PM
The last time I came back from Honduras, I was taken out of line sent to a separate room for further evaluation. Dave Johnson is a common name. Apparently it is on some sort of list.

La Migra definitely has a list, but for Customs it's largely based on profiling. For example, a large number of bags for a small number of people with nothing to declare is a red flag. I've already mentioned appearances in a previous post. Any uncertainty or hesitation in answering questions, nervousness or attitude will likely get you red lined too.


If they only take my honey and don't send me to Gitmo, I count it a plus.

As they drag you off, be sure to tell them how the Qur'an praises the health benefits of honey. ;D -- Olen


And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills, on trees and in [men's] habitations ... there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for mankind. Verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.

Qur'an 16:68-69

Oskaar
01-25-2009, 12:14 AM
As for Coffee honey, I do have some contacts with coffee producers. I will check around and see what turns up.

How would you describe the flavor?

The coffee honey I got was a nice deep brown color with a nutty, caramel, almost malty flavor with some nice woody, spicy and molasses-ey flavor.

Cheers, Oskaar