DHS Bears Down on NC

Crystal Canterbury

Customs and Border Patrol agents to be stationed on Outer Banks.

In a sweeping and swift measure, the Department of Homeland Security announced today its new policies that will directly impact travel on any of the North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division vessels, privately-owned watercraft, and privately-owned airplanes.

DHS Bears Down on NC

In a broad attempt to tighten security and prevent harmful and exotic goods from entering the various rural locations accessed by ferry, personal watercraft, or airplane, DHS will begin enforcing standard customs regulations, effective immediately.

What does this mean for visitors and residents who utilize the ferries? It means everyone will be required to produce detailed reports of items being transported, just as people must do when traveling abroad. Those wishing to travel on their own vessel must first pass through a United States Coast Guard checkpoint in a designated water channel before being allowed to reach their destination; those arriving by airplane must pre-schedule their arrival so a DHS agent can be on-site at the time of arrival.

“These measures are an attempt to keep harmful, addicting, and unlawful substances from entering the remote islands of the Outer Banks,” said DHS Agent Joann S. Bach and, continuing, stated, “The residents and visitors have access to enough luxury items as it is, so there’s no need to bring things like fancy condiments from up north that don’t compliment the local seafood anyway.”

DHS Bears Down on NC

Agent Bach also stated that products containing DEET, such as insect repellent, will no longer be permitted to be carried if they are in aerosol containers; only those with a pump spray will be allowed. Other specialty items that will be prohibited are any product made with or containing truffles (mushrooms). Bach explained that, “The United States government has evidence truffles are highly addictive and can lead to drug addiction.” The basis for or the research to back up this claim were not released at the time of this statement. Himalayan salt and salt lamps, the Pokeman Go! app and any Pokemon Go! accessories, Nutella, Man-buns, fishing pole and gun racks (even if not in use), messenger bags, unpasteurized dairy products, and Old Bay seasoning were also listed by Bach as being prohibited. The reasons these items are banned are still unclear. Bach stated that, “confiscated items will be returned when departing the islands.” Items that must be claimed are as follows:

DHS Bears Down on NC

-Items you purchased or and are carrying with you upon arrival to and departure from North Carolina. (Gifts purchased or received.)

                  -Items you inherited.

                  -Items you bought in duty-free shops, on a ship, or on a plane, or from roadside stands.

-Repairs or alterations to any items you took out of North Carolina and then brought back, even if the repairs/alterations were performed free of charge.

                  -Items you are bringing into North Carolina for someone else.

-Items you intend to sell or use in your business, including business merchandise that you took out of North Carolina on your trip.

-All monetary instruments such as traveler’s checks, cash, gold, negotiable checks, money orders, promissory notes, and securities or stocks.

Those intending to reach North Carolina by ferry, privately-owned watercraft, or privately-owned airplane must declare, on the CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) form, each item being transported and what you paid for each item in U.S. currency only. The price must include all taxes. If you don’t know for sure, estimate. If you did not buy the item yourself – for example, if the item was a gift – enter a reasonable estimate for that item’s cost and in which state you received the gift.

Remember: Even if you used the item you bought on your trip, it’s still dutiable. You must declare the item at the price you paid or if it was a gift, as its fair market value.

Enjoy your visit to charming and isolated Ocracoke Island!

Too scary to be funny? Don't worry, check the date! Thanks, dear Ocracoke Current readers, for indulging us on the most fun newsday of the whole year!  


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