An official website of the United States government

Foreign Agricultural Service

Foreign Agricultural Service

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  We provide information to buyers looking for U.S. agricultural genetics, bulk and processed commodities, food, and beverage products.  We also gather market information and offer market briefs to help U.S. firms better understand the local market.  FAS offers some capacity building and other agricultural technical assistance programs, as well as provides technical expertise in international agricultural policy and trade discussions (i.e. food security, sustainability and climate change).

FAS can help you find U.S. agricultural product suppliers and register your company as a foreign buyer of U.S. products.

FAS has information on foreign import requirements for the following U.S. products.

Meat, Poultry and Eggs

Prior import approvals (PDF 6.6 MB) are required for live animals and non–heat treated animal products.  The State Veterinary Office’s Department for Food Safety and Conditions in Facilities provides final approvals.  Export facilities need to register (PDF 6.6 MB) with the State Veterinary Office the first time they export to BiH.

Exporter Guide (PDF 412 KB)
FAIRS Country Report (PDF 219 KB)

Live Animals and Veterinary Drugs

Live animals are subject to the ordinance on quarantine requirements for imported animals issued by the State Veterinary Office.  For ruminants, the required quarantine is 30 days, for poultry and pets 21 days, for semen and inseminated egg cells 14 days.

Veterinary drugs must be on the approved list maintained by the State Veterinary Office.

Exporter Guide (PDF 412 KB)
FAIRS Country Report (PDF 218 KB)

Seeds and Pesticides

For seeds, planting materials and pesticides the Entity agricultural ministries provide prior approvals.  Seeds and pesticides forms for the Federation are available at the Federation Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry, and seeds and pesticides forms for the Republika Srpska are available at the Republika Srpska Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management sites.  Seeds can be imported only if the varieties are recognized in the country.  The National List of Recognized Varieties is maintained by the Plant Health Protection Administration.

Exporter Guide (PDF 412 KB)
FAIRS Country Report (PDF 219 KB)

Alcohol and Tobacco

Products are subject to specific taxation rules and require an import license issued by the Indirect Tax Administration (ITA).  The ITA issues control excise stamps, which must be included on the packaging prior to export to BiH.

Exporter Guide (PDF 412 KB)
FAIRS Country Report (PDF 219 KB)

Additional Information

Sustainability Alliance Website and Factsheet

The Sustainability Alliance (website)
This Is How We Grow (Blog)

Fact Sheets:

U.S. Rice (PDF 628 KB)
U.S. Corn (PDF 658 KB)
U.S. Organic (PDF 603 KB)
U.S. Hardwood (PDF 805 KB)
U.S. Dairy (PDF 613 KB)
U.S. Soy (PDF 707 KB)
U.S. Seafood (PDF 570 KB)
U.S. Wheat (PDF 719 KB)
U.S. Poultry Eggs (PDF 692 KB)

Trade Shows

U.S. Information
BiH Information

Calendar of Fairs in 2019

International Economic Fair Mostar
March 31 – April 4, 2019

Exhibition program: Various, including agriculture and food industry
Number of exhibitors: 700
Participating countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Number of visitors: 50000 visitors
International Economic Fair Mostar Website

International Agriculture and Food Industry Fair (Plum Fair) Gradacac
August 28 – 31, 2019

Exhibition area: 13000 m2 (indoor and outdoor)
Exhibition program: food products; seed products, seeds, plant protection, animal exhibition, honey and honey products, animal feed and additives, agricultural machinery and spare parts, etc.
Number of exhibitors: 250
Number of visitors: 12000
Plum Fair Gradacac Website

International Agriculture Fair Interagro Bijeljina
September 20 – 22, 2019

Exhibition area: 8000 m2 (indoor, tents and open space)
Exhibition program: food products; seed products, seeds, plant protection, animal exhibition, honey and honey products, animal feed and additives, agricultural machinery and spare parts, etc.
Number of exhibitors: 120
Participating countries: Republic of Serbia, Republic of Croatia, Israel, Italy, Austria, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Number of visitors: 12000

General BiH Fair „ZEPS” Zenica
October 1 – 5, 2019

Exhibition area: 16.990 square metres (indoor 12.100 square metres and outdoor 4.890 square metres)
Exhibition program: Various, including agriculture and food industry
Number of exhibitors: 405
Number of participating countries: 27
ZEPS Zenica Fair Website

Bringing/Sending Food and Alcohol to the U.S.

Sending store bought foods (i.e. chocolates, candies, canned goods, etc.) as gifts to the United States.

If you are a private individual who wishes to send beverage and food items to the U.S., you should be aware that some items are highly restricted, particularly food items with meat products, including soup mixes, bullion, sausages, tinned meats, etc., and fresh produce. As a general rule, candies, condiments, spices, coffee and teas that are commercially packaged are ok, however bulk teas or spices, etc. are subject to inspection and if they are found to have insects, they may be seized and destroyed.

Food that is sent to an individual in the U.S. for personal use (i.e. not for resale) by a business is subject to special requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.

Businesses that send goods to the U.S. must file prior notice. (please refer to Prior Notice of Imported Foods). A prior notice may be filed on-line if the goods are being sent through the postal service. (Foods sent from an individual to an individual for personal use or as a bona fide gift are not subject to the Prior Notice requirement). When filing prior notice, you will be asked to provide the following:

  • The identity of the article, which includes the FDA product code (if known), common name, trade or brand name, quantity, etc.
  • The manufacturer, shipper, or growers’ name and address, e-mail address, telephone and fax number (if known).
  • The country from which the article originates and is shipped or mailed.
  • Additional information may be required if the goods are intended for commercial use in the United States.
  • When businesses file prior notice for a mail shipment, they will be given a PN satisfied number. If the goods are going to be sent via mail, the PN number should be provided at the time of mailing.
  • If the goods are being sent via rail or air, prior notice must be filed and satisfied 4-hours prior to the goods arrival in the U.S. If the goods are being sent via vessel, prior notice must be filed and satisfied 8-hours prior to the goods arrival in the U.S. Prior notice can be submitted via the FDA Web Portal.
  • For additional information on the Bio-Terrorism Preparedness and Response Act regulations and prior notice requirements, please contact the Food and Drug Administration 1-800-216-7331, if outside the U.S. call (301) 575-0156

What about taking food with me to the United States?

U.S. Department of Agriculture has strict regulations concerning the importation into the United States of food and agricultural products. Imported foods are also subject to FDA requirements and may be seized upon inspection if, in the opinion of the FDA, they pose a health risk of any kind. Please check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for additional information.

If you are not sure, if you can bring a certain product, the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture will be able to assist you.

In general many fruits and vegetables are either prohibited from entering the United States or require an import permit (for commercial importers) or a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin. Every fruit or vegetable must be declared to a Customs Border Patrol Officer and must be presented for inspection – no matter how free of pests it appears to be. Failure to declare food products can result in a $10,000 fine.

Meats, livestock, poultry, and their products are either prohibited or restricted from entering the United States, depending on the animal disease condition in the country of origin. Fresh meat is generally prohibited from most countries. Canned, cured, or dried meat is severely restricted from some countries.

Bakery items, candy, chocolate, and cured cheese are generally admissible. Canned goods and goods in vacuum packed jars (other than those containing meat or poultry products) are also generally admissible if being imported for personal use.

Dairy items such as milk, yogurt, butter are generally admissible, although this is subject to change, depending on disease outbreaks. Eggs may be admissible, although frequent outbreaks of Exotic Newcastles Disease and avian flu make it very likely that they will be denied entry. Hard cured cheese such as parmesan or cheddar are generally admissible, soft cheeses such as brie and soft curd cheese and cheese in water(ricotta, feta, etc.) are not.

Fish, if it is for your personal use, is generally admissible.

Condiments such as oil, vinegar, mustard, catsup, pickles, syrup, honey, jelly, jam, etc., are generally admissible.

Other then the above general guidelines, it is impossible to advise you in this forum about the admissibility of specific food items because it is so susceptible to change. Disease and pest outbreaks, which impact the admissibility status of fresh and packaged food items, occur all over the world at a moments notice.

Failure to declare all food products can result in civil penalties.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture establishes criteria for the admissibility of plant, dairy and meat products returning with travelers and they have the final say about what may be admitted into the U.S. Please refer to the USDA website for more information.

Can I bring alcohol back to the United States for my personal use or as a gift?

Generally, one liter per person may be entered into the U.S. duty-free by travelers who are 21 or older. Additional quantities may be entered, although they will be subject to duty and IRS taxes.

Duty is generally 3% of value and the IRS excise tax is generally between 21 – 31 cents per 750 ml bottle of wine, 67 cents/champagne, and $2.14/ hard liquor.

It is illegal for travelers under the age of 21 to import alcohol – even as a gift.

The total amount of alcohol you may enter the country with is primarily determined by the laws of the state where you will arrive back into the U.S. Each State sets the amount of alcohol a person may bring in without a license or permit from that state. Travelers must check with the individual States.

There is no federal limit on the amount of alcohol a traveler may import into the U.S. for personal use, however, large quantities might raise the suspicion that the importation is for commercial purposes.

Duty rates on alcoholic beverages can be obtained in Chapter 22, “Beverages, Spirits and Vinegar (PDF 852 KB),” in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

Alcoholic beverages purchased in duty free shops are subject to duty when you bring them with you into the United States – Shopping Abroad: Duty Free, Gifts, Household Items.

You are not permitted to ship alcoholic beverages by mail to the United States per U.S. postal laws.

How do I import food to the United States (canned goods, meat, fruit, vegetables, bulk foods etc.) for resale?

If you are interested in importing food for commercial purposes, you may want to consult with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) import specialist at the U.S. port of entry through which you intend to import. The import specialist can let you know what is required, which varies depending on the type of food, the country of origin of the food, as well as whether or not there are quota or other restrictions on what you want to import.

As an importer, you have the option of hiring a Customs house broker to file your entry with CBP, or you can do it yourself – although there are so many details to handle when importing food items, we strongly advise using a broker. For more information on brokers, please refer to Custom Brokers on U.S. Customs And Border Protection.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines the admissibility of food being imported into the United States and CBP enforces those laws. All commercial imports of food and beverage products require the filing of Prior Notice (please see above) with FDA, and foreign manufacturers and/or distributers of food products must register with the FDA before their goods may be admitted.

(These requirements DO NOT apply to food accompanying a traveler into the U.S. or being sent by an individual – not a business – for personal use.)

CBP will not release food shipments without proof that prior notice has been filed with FDA. Therefore, it is imperative that the PN satisfied number is submitted to CBP along with the entry documents. The PN satisfied number should be annotated on the shipping documents (i.e. bill of lading or airway bill).

For additional information on the Bio-Terrorism Preparedness and Response Act regulations and assistance with filing prior notice, please contact the Food and Drug Administration 1-800-216-7331, if outside the U.S. call (301) 575-0156.

In addition to the prior notice requirement, once the goods arrive in the U.S., FDA may collect a sample or tell Customs Border Patrol to proceed with releasing the shipment. If a sample is in violation of FDA regulations, you will receive a Notice of Detention from FDA. To find out the status of food that has been detained by FDA, call the number referenced on the detention notice.

If the product you wish to import is a plant or farm animal product, you should consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To inquire about the admissibility of meats, livestock, poultry and their products intended for resale, contact the Food Safety and Inspection Service, Import Division, http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

For fruits, and vegetables contact the Plant division of APHIS.

Baked goods, seafood, canned and packaged goods, candy and chocolate, etc. must be labeled with country of origin, ingredients, and nutrition information.

Agricultural, Production, Trade and Marketing Reports

BiH Information

FAIRS Export Certificate (PDF 197 KB)
Exporter Guide (PDF 412 KB)
FAIRS Country Report (PDF 219 KB)
Dairy and Products (PDF 152 KB)
Fresh and Processed Vegetable Products (PDF 217 KB)
Fresh and Processed Fruit Products (PDF 234 KB)
Wine (PDF 232 KB)

USDA Cochran Fellowship Program 2020

Apply for Cochran Fellowship Program

The Cochran Fellowship Program is excited to announce that the 2020 training topics have been approved for candidates in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

1. Agricultural Policy and International Trade:
  • Agricultural policy process, formation and major stakeholders
  • Policies that adhere to international standards and agreement obligations
  • Farm credit, government loans programs, agricultural insurance
  • U.S. experience in access to international markets and product promotion
  • Role of federal, state and industry groups in exports development
  • Agricultural extension and farmers associations, funding of agricultural research
  • Role of agricultural cooperatives
  • Government support of farmers and WTO requirements
  • Policy on food safety and food quality control
  • Legislative side of the agricultural policy development and major processes and stakeholders.
2. Craft Beer Ingredients, Marketing, and Promotion:
  • Craft Beer Industry in the United States (U.S. beer styles, new trends in brewing, and brewers associations/home brewers
  • Craft Beer Production Management and Best Practices (ingredients/raw materials, quality, flavor techniques, flavor profiles, quality control, canning or bottling, malting, packaging and labeling, storage, and shelf life)
  • Craft Beer Marketing and Strategies (import/export, product placement, food pairing & display, sales plan, low cost marketing, brand identity/recognition, and social media).
Candidate Recruitment

For more information about the program please download the Cochran Program brochure (Word 268 KB). To apply please download the Cochran Program application (Word 112 KB). Deadline for submissions is February 25, 2020. Completed applications and supporting documents should be mailed to:

American Embassy Sarajevo
USDA/FAS (Cochran Program)
Roberta Frasurea 1
71000 Sarajevo

Please email scanned applications to agsarajevo@fas.usda.gov.

Please note that we accept English-speaking candidates only.

Cochran Program brochure (Word 268 KB)
Cochran Program application (Word 112 KB)

Contact Us

U.S. Embassy
Office of Agricultural Affairs
1 Robert C. Frasure Street,
71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel. +387 33 704 305
Fax +387 33 659 722
e-mail: agsarajevo@fas.usda.gov

Official Websites

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Food Safety and Inspection Service(FSIS)

FDA Bioterrorism Information

FDA FSMA Stakeholders Notice (PDF 70 KB)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The New FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
The Bioterrorism Act of 2002
Protecting the Food Supply
How to Import Foods (FDA) into the U.S.
Prior Notice Information
Food Facility Registration Portal
FDA’s Foreign Food Inspection Program
Clarification on FDA Registration Requirement (PDF 19 KB)

Partner Links

U.S. Market Cooperators in Europe (PDF 427 KB)
U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
Food Export Association of the Midwest USA
Food Export USA Northeast
Southern United States Trade Association
Western United States Agricultural Trade Association

Importing In The U.S.

Food Import Assistance
Meat, Poultry and Eggs
Plants, Animals and Animal Products
Alcohol and Beverages
Animal Feed
Veterinary Drugs