A woman is facing a $650 fine from US Customs and Border Protection after she kept an apple given to her on board a flight from Paris back to the US.
Crystal Tadlock was flying on Delta Airlines when flight attendants handed out apples in plastic bags as a snack, Fox News reports.
The passenger from Colorado stuffed the fruit into her carry-on luggage, thinking she would eat it on the second leg of her journey.
But when she arrived in the US, her bag was randomly searched at customs.
She asked officials if she could eat the apple on the spot or throw it away, but instead she was told she would have to pay a US$500 ($657) fine for not declaring her fruit.
“He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said ‘yeah’,” Ms Tadlock told Fox 31.
“I didn’t really get why he was asking that question, and then he said, ‘It’s about to get a lot more expensive after I charge you $500’.”
Ms Tadlock said she was frustrated that the airline had not warned passengers to get rid of their fruit and said customs officials had treated her “like a criminal” over a piece of fruit.
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However, a customs and corder protection (CBP) official said in a statement to Fox News that “all agricultural items must be declared”.
“Prohibited items that are not declared by a passenger are confiscated and disposed of by CBP,” the statement read.
“More importantly, civil penalties may be assessed for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products and may range up to $1000 per first-time offence for non commercial quantities.”
Australia has the same rules for passengers entering the country.
Ms Tadlock said she would fight the charge in court.