Is it safe an/or legal to bring a Virginia ham to the Philippines from the US?
September 2, 2004 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Going home to Manila for Christmas, and Mom just emailed, asking me to bring along an entire fricking leg of Virginia Ham. I've checked the State Dept site and the US Embassy in Manila for regulations on bringing in food, but I'm running into dead links. Plus, I'm flying Emirates, with an overnight layover in Dubai. The ham should fit in my bags, well within the weight allowance, but is it safe and legal?
posted by brownpau to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
I just spoke with the guys at the Philippine Consulate General here in Chicago and they don't see any problems. On your layover at Dubai, it probably won't be an issue as long as you don't unpack it but ask your carrier just to be sure.
posted by azul at 7:34 AM on September 2, 2004

If it counts as cooked or fully prepared, you stand a reasonable chance of success. Of course, the decision as to what constitutes cooked is probably up to your local customs folks wherever you land.

Your layover in Dubai will be simplified if you stay inside the airport (it's got a fairly decent hotel in it).

If it's a bone-in ham you might have some additional trouble at the x-rays. There's a chance someone will see the bone in there & freak out.
posted by aramaic at 7:58 AM on September 2, 2004

You might want to check the Dubai situation, read the travel advisory about local laws and customs here. Then again you are not importing it, just walking through.

The Dubai customs website is here, but I could not find anything about fricking legs of ham there.
posted by sebas at 9:04 AM on September 2, 2004

I am not sure how wise it is to transport ham into the Muslim world. Some may be quite offended, and you should check the laws. Wouldn't it just be easier to ship the ham ahead?
posted by caddis at 9:21 AM on September 2, 2004

I'm pretty damn sure Manila has some pigs rootin' around on it. What's the matter with their ham?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:29 AM on September 2, 2004

Response by poster: FFF, meet the Filipino "pasalubong" tradition.
Jokes about "bringing home the bacon" are welcome.
posted by brownpau at 9:34 AM on September 2, 2004

What about ordering one and having it shipped to your Mom in advance? The Virginia Company ships internationally.
posted by onhazier at 9:49 AM on September 2, 2004

Have you checked into FedEx'ing it? I know Intl. Econ to the Philippines is pricey, but $100 might save you a lot of headaches. FedEx's big distribution center for SE Asia is in Manila, so intl econ should only take about 5-7 days.

Good luck with customs on your Balikbayan Box of the Infadel.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:52 AM on September 2, 2004

Good god, I'd go batshit insane in a pasalubong culture! Last thing I ever want from anyone is some trinket or other to clutter my house.

I elect onhazier's idea as the best. Cut out the worries of being hassled by customs and airlines. Lord knows it's difficult enough flying these days without throwing a hoghank into the mix.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:33 PM on September 2, 2004

If you cary this, wrap extra securely. If anyone questions this, POLITELY explain the excess wrapping, that your wish was to take care to prevent anyone from accidental pollution by contact. Modesty and concern for other's customs will win you similar respect.
posted by Goofyy at 11:20 PM on September 2, 2004

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