Reference on US Customs Site re Absinthe

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Reference on US Customs Site re Absinthe
By Bjacques on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 11:28 am: Edit

If past prohibition policies are any guide, customs won't vigorously and specifically enforce this yet. First there must be a few high-profile deaths (due to plain old alcohol poisoning), then a media frenzy (with collateral media damage to goths), remarks by concerned Congressbeings and, finally, a special bulletin alerting customs officers.

Right now it's little white pills with indented Mitsubishi logos.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 05:42 am: Edit

Oh, this is interesting. It seems you are allowed to use Wormwood (or any artemisia species, which is odd, since tarrogon is listed as "recognized as safe") in "finished foods" if it is "thujone free." The same applies to white cedar, oak moss, yarrow and tansy, except yarrow can only be in beverages and tansy can only be in alcoholic beverages.

Sage is also listed as "safe" with no thujone restrictions...but then, when did the FDA ever make sense? Ask Wilhelm Reich...

The criteria they set for determint thujone content are "As determined by using the method (or, in other than alcoholic beverages, a suitable adaptation thereof) in section 9.129 of the ``Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists,'' 13th Ed. (1980), which is incorporated by reference. " Ted, can you give us any insight into the accuracy of this methodology, or will it have to wait until you can publish your data?

Other than the above, and USDA regulations regarding wormwood as a pesticide and crop commodity, I can't find any reference to absinth(e), a. absinthium, or wormwood in the Code of Federal Regulations, nor can I find anything reference at all in the US Code. As near as I can tell, any ban on importation is grounded solely on Customs' responsibility to enforce Title 21 FDA regulations.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 04:58 am: Edit

"The importation of absinth and any other liquors or liqueurs that contain an excess of Artemisia absinthium is prohibited."

Not that it matters...

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 04:50 am: Edit

The hyper linked FDA Q&A has zero to say about absinthe or any other alcoholic beverage, it is a short summary about NONalcoholic beverages regulations. So much for Customs website.

By Joalco on Wednesday, June 20, 2001 - 08:12 pm: Edit

I recently returned from Europe with several bottles in tow, and had no problems whatsoever. In fact, I expected to get searched due to my appearance (red & blue hair, many visible tattoos & piercings) -- to quote my father on my passport photo, "They're going to nail you for a drug runner." Of course you take a chance bringing it back, but at least from my own experience, the chances of being caught are fairly slim.

My $0.02,


By Netsurfer on Wednesday, June 20, 2001 - 07:40 pm: Edit

I'm going back overseas in August and was checking to see exactly what the customs laws were for bringing back wine etc. While checking out the restrictions (one litre of alcohol is duty free up to the $400 personal exemption) and did see this reference to Absinthe at
" Absinthe The importation of Absinthe and any other liquors or liqueurs that contain an excess of Artemisia absinthium is prohibited." It links to:

Just thought I'd share it. - YMMV

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