San Diego, California - As the fourth of July approaches, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reminding travelers that fireworks are prohibited from entry at southern California passenger border crossings.

CBP works with more than 40 other government agencies to enforce over 400 laws to stop unsafe and illicit goods such as fireworks from entering the country.  

Traveler safety is a priority issue for the agency, and CBP officers at the southern California  ports have increased their enforcement efforts to prevent these potentially dangerous products from entry; lowering the risk of fireworks-related injuries or damage. 

“While some travelers may be tempted to purchase fireworks in Mexico in the days surrounding the Independence Day holiday weekend,” said Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations for CBP in the Imperial and San Diego counties, “we want to warn the public now to help avoid the financial loss caused by confiscation, as well as possible penalties.”

When travelers arrive at ports of entry with fireworks and properly declare them, seizure of the merchandise is required, but without penalty. 

Failure to declare the merchandise can result in penalties ranging from confiscation of the contraband, to seizure of the transporting vehicle and monetary fines equal to the U.S. dollar value of the fireworks.  In addition, arrest and prosecution are possible in the more egregious cases.