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Maca and coca

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posts: 3
Maca and coca

Hi there!

I'm in Peru during three weeks doing voluntary work and I was wondering if I could take coca teabags or coca leaf chocolate home to Belgium, having a lay-over in the USA?

Same question for maca powder, is it legal to take home and pass security?


21 replies to this topic
posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
1. Re: Maca and coca

Coca tea in the USA is potentially problematical, especially when depending on airport your stuff may be revised as you may need to pass thru customs to get your next flight. I know it's like that in JFK airport.

Coca not, Maca no problem.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 6,334
reviews: 75
2. Re: Maca and coca

No you cant bring coca. To make an international connection in the USA in any airport except Houston you have to go through customs. Coca is illegal in the us so it would be a bad idea.

posts: 3
3. Re: Maca and coca

How about Maca powder? Just want to make sure I'm not buying anything and then have to leave it there.

Edited: 2:01 pm, August 30, 2013
posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
4. Re: Maca and coca

maca powder is probably ok if it's in a proper container, but you may need to fill a customs declaration. Some plant products are not allowed, such as live specimens. I think Maca would be fine since its a dried powder.

Evansville, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Peru
posts: 3,090
reviews: 14
5. Re: Maca and coca

If it's powdered maca, I think it should be fine as it's a packaged product. That has more to do with US Customs so you might consider checking their website.

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
posts: 16,120
reviews: 306
6. Re: Maca and coca

Coca tea or whatever is a no no

Maca powder in a sealed bag is no problem whatsoever

posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
7. Re: Maca and coca

On my return to London via New York, i had to pass thru American customs with a customs declaration filled in. The declaration explains that certain goods are not allowed. These include plants and live specimins, etc.

Coca isn't allowed because it's illegal, period. Maca would be allowed in sealed packet but i warn you that the customs declaration is a strictly defined document, for example if you declared you were bringing in the dried maca in root form you may not be allowed. Chances are you will be fine, and the customs do understand. After all you are in 'transit' to Europe onward proof, and not really bringing anything into the USA.

To sum up, you have nothing to worry about.

Edited: 3:03 am, August 31, 2013
posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
8. Re: Maca and coca


Note that on the 'back page' it says that plant products are prohibited, may be seized, and you face penalties. As much as i'd like to say you're 100% safe i cannot, since Maca is plant product. Officially it MUST be declared, and really should NOT be transported. But in reality......

I'll leave it up to you. Chances are that unless you're carrying large amounts like several kilos then you'll be ok.

Edited: 4:18 am, August 31, 2013
Cusco, Peru
posts: 1,547
reviews: 33
9. Re: Maca and coca

Honestly, we have had several people take Coca tea back to the US, my mother-in-law even brought some on a visit when we were living there. So far I have only herd of one person getting caught and they just took the tea, no fines or issues. This may be because it was the teabags and not the leafs.

While not necessarily advisable, if you were to try it I would take the packaged bags and not the Coca leafs.

posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
10. Re: Maca and coca

Lyle, you're right.

However, being 'politically correct', the customs declaration needs to be filled out. So you would have to declare 'tea' since it is a plant product. You take your chances, and i'm sure most tick only 'nothing to declare'. Of course here i can only reccomend that people do the correct procedure, as 'officially' one can potentially get into trouble, even if it's highly unlikely ;-)

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