To import weapons, waste, drugs, and agricultural products, the importer must have authorization from the Haitian government. In June 2013, the Minister of Commerce and Industry removed the 2008 ban on poultry meat only, and imports of eggs are still prohibited from areas exposed to avian influenza. Other than poultry and eggs, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has not updated the list of prohibited products since 1962. Prohibited items include: materials of a pornographic nature; military equipment, including tanks, armored vehicles and parts, warships and lifeboats; arms and ammunition not intended for government use; narcotics; and equipment to be used to manufacture or print counterfeit currency or securities. According to the 1962 law, it is illegal to import used shoes and used clothing. Nonetheless, the law is not usually enforced and used clothing imports constitute a lucrative business in Haiti, particularly used clothing coming from the United States and the Dominican Republic. The goods are usually cleared through customs as personal effects.
The Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Environment are responsible for the health and environmental controls of imports. Imports of certain goods are subject to control for security and health reasons. Reasons for prohibition and/or restrictions include protecting Haiti’s flora, fauna, and livestock from dangerous diseases. In September 2021, an outbreak of African swine fever on the island of Hispaniola, after nearly a 40-year eradication, was confirmed through testing at a laboratory on Plum Island in New York. The United States prohibits Haitian and Dominican imports of pork to prevent ASF’s spread in the States. Though the epidemic on the island has not reached its end yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is consulting with animal health officials in both countries.
Imports of ethyl alcohol, generic chemicals, and pharmaceuticals require prior authorization from the Ministry of Public Health. Imports of agricultural inputs, cattle feed, and animal products (processed or unprocessed) require authorization from the Quarantine Department of Ministry of Agriculture and the submission of a health certificate issued by the exporting country. Imported live animals, plants, and seeds are subject to quarantine. An animal health certificate is required for imports of bovine animals and swine, and the certificate must indicate that the country of origin is free of foot and mouth disease, contagious bovine pleuro pneumonia, rinderpest, vesicular stomatitis, and lumpy skin disease.
In the case of swine, the certificate must also indicate that the animals originate from countries free of vesicular exanthema, African swine fever, ordinary swine fever, and swine encephalomyelitis. Haiti is not a member of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); however, it voluntarily adheres to CITES directives. Haiti has no quantitative restrictions on imports of animals.