Can you take sand?

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#1
1 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
My DH and I are going on our first cruise in a few weeks, and would like to take some sand for our collection of sands around the world. Is this possible? We've heard quite a few stories of it not going through customs. TIA!
#4
IA
8,916 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Yes you can. "Soil, Sand, Minerals, and Shells
Soil-borne organisms threaten both plants and animals. If you visited a farm or ranch in a foreign country, agricultural specialists may have to examine and disinfect your shoes or clothing. Vehicles must also be cleaned of any soil. No soil or earth of any kind is allowed into the United States without a permit issued in advance by USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine Permit Unit. Pure sand, such as a small container of decorative beach sand, is usually allowed. Always check with the permit unit in advance for details. "

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/cl..._prod_inus.xml
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#5
Stone Mountain GA
9,480 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
What a great idea. Sands from around the world. When we were snorkeling in the Bahamas, Sweetums found a ,well ,I guess you would call it a sea biscuit. It has a sanddollar (*) shape on the top but it's the size of a rather large biscuit. It was hollow, dead, and completely hard. But very fragile. We wrapped it carefully and display it with a dried coral clump and large barnacle clump which I purchased in Sanibel FL. Makes for a nice coffee table collection. We had no problems bringing it back into the country. But then again, we didn't say, Hey look what we found! No one ever went through our bags in customs. In fact, no one ever stamped our passports.
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#6
DDI and T&T
1,373 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
In Most Caribbean countries it is illegal to remove sand from the beaches. I know this law is more for large quantaties to protect the beaches. Everyone goes home with a little sand in theit swim siute, towel etc.
Just say thats the sand that came off from your swim suit
It's good to check first though. I dont know the legalities of taking it in to the U.S but looks like mamaparrothead has explained that to you.
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Goneclear
Trinidad & Tobago.
#7
91 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We have 102 quart sized mason jars of sand from around the world. 4 of the jars are from GC. We have never had a single problem ever bringing jars of sand into the US.

In fact last year we went a south pacific/Hawaii cruise and brought back 14 quart jars back via out carryons. Customs opened the bags and asked about the sand. I explained we collect it and the agent just rolled his eyes and zipped the bags back up and waved us through. He didn't even open one to verify which was kind of scary. I would have felt better if he had opened one to verify that there was nothing concealed inside. The only place that I have ever encountered a beach where it was clearly posted " Illegal to remove any amount of sand" was on a coal black sand beach in Hawaii. It is volcanic sand and apparently a state protected substance. In fact as we went on the beach a ranger asked to check our bags and confiscated an empty jar. We had planned to get some black sand and didn't realize it was illegal to remove any until we got to the beach. A different ranger checked out bags to verify we hadn't removed any when we left to head back to the ship. Oh and in Antartica you can't remove ANYTHING not even the smallest pebble. The ships security are VERY thorough when you come back on the ship.


You should have no problems at all bringing GC sand back.
#8
Grand Cayman
1,958 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
In Cayman the sand belongs to the Crown. Removing large amounts is definitely illegal.

There is an old Caymanian tradition of maintaining sand yards. Much as you may have grass to mow, owners of old style Cayman cottages carefully rake leaves from the sand and periodically spread fresh sand around the yard. There are specific limits as to how much sand can be removed from a public beach for such purposes, though I could not say what the limits is.
#9
Toronto
112 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
I really dont think you will have a problem....I am well travelled and been to most of the Caribbean, and i have brought sand back from every single beach i have visited from, Cuba to Aruba to Jamaica to Bali to Australia....I have NEVER had a problem.

I dont bring HUGE jars, but a small amount. I usually go to the dollar store or bulk store and buy those empty spice jars. and fill those. It's kinda neat when you make a wall deisplay out of them....the many different shades and sizes make it looks like art.

I've also brought back shells, coral, sanddollars, conch (from Jamaica found on the beach {this is illeagal but i got thru with it) and the most neat thing and best conversation piece....the outter shell of a small crab...soungs sweird i know....but this is SOOO tiny and amazing...there is no body at all just the top shell.

However, always assume discretion when taking things back like this. worst they can do if they wanted to is take it....but its rare
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#10
Grand Cayman
1,958 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
A couple posters have mentioned sanddollars or other shells...

In Cayman it is a violation of our Marine Law to remove echinoderms, a category of marine creature which includes sanddollars. Kindly do not remove these, and be certain you know what you are taking and whether it is legal to do so.
#11
Hampton, Va
2,847 Posts
Joined May 2001
We were asked by customs point blank if we had brought back any sand on our last cruise. Not sure what would have happened if we had said yes or if he had found any.
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Tony
#12
Stone Mountain GA
9,480 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by drew sailbum
A couple posters have mentioned sanddollars or other shells...

In Cayman it is a violation of our Marine Law to remove echinoderms, a category of marine creature which includes sanddollars. Kindly do not remove these, and be certain you know what you are taking and whether it is legal to do so.
Thanks Drew, we will behave. Is this still true if the creature is dead?
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival- Elation 1/14, 1/16

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.










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#14
PA
400 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
First let me say I think this is actually a really neat idea/collection. Now to play devils advocate, I can understand why places do not want people taking a small amount of sand, pebbles, etc. One quart may not seem like much, but if everyone took a quart what kind of impact would that have to the area beaches, etc?
Originally posted by poopbag28
We have 102 quart sized mason jars of sand from around the world. 4 of the jars are from GC. We have never had a single problem ever bringing jars of sand into the US.

In fact last year we went a south pacific/Hawaii cruise and brought back 14 quart jars back via out carryons. Customs opened the bags and asked about the sand. I explained we collect it and the agent just rolled his eyes and zipped the bags back up and waved us through. He didn't even open one to verify which was kind of scary. I would have felt better if he had opened one to verify that there was nothing concealed inside. The only place that I have ever encountered a beach where it was clearly posted " Illegal to remove any amount of sand" was on a coal black sand beach in Hawaii. It is volcanic sand and apparently a state protected substance. In fact as we went on the beach a ranger asked to check our bags and confiscated an empty jar. We had planned to get some black sand and didn't realize it was illegal to remove any until we got to the beach. A different ranger checked out bags to verify we hadn't removed any when we left to head back to the ship. Oh and in Antartica you can't remove ANYTHING not even the smallest pebble. The ships security are VERY thorough when you come back on the ship.


You should have no problems at all bringing GC sand back.
#15
Owensboro, KY (on the Ohio River)
2,171 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
This sand collecting made me laugh. All I could think about was the volume of sand that poured out of our beach shoes when we got back on the ship! We usually leave our shoes in the trash at the end of the cruise because there's so much sand we don't want it in our suitcase!

Also, I'd like to know if taking conch shells from G.C. is illegal?

We brought back two which Capt. Marvin's crew brought up from the ocean on our tour. No one ever told us we couldn't bring them out of G.C.

Maybe we should bring them back?
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#16
Florida
1,010 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
We've been on several cruises to the Mediterranean and Caribbean and always bring back sand (Malta, Cozumel, Mykonos, Palermo, etc...). I use film roll containers and then put them in a ziploc bag -- then it goes in my camera bag! Once home, I keep my sand in glass spice jars, labeled by beach/country -- on display. So pretty and you can see the differences in grain and color! A great conversation piece.
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