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When arriving onboard an airplane, every passenger is given out the Hawaii Agricultural Declaration Form that states the following:

YOU ARE REQUIRED BY STATE LAW TO FILL OUT THIS AGRICULTURAL DECLARATION FORM.

A reference to said form is found in Chapter 150A of Hawaii law:

§150A-5 (1) All passengers, officers, and crew members, whether or not they are bringing or causing to be brought for entry into the State the articles listed on the form, shall complete the declaration, except that one adult member of a family may complete the declaration for other family members. Any person who defaces the declaration form required under this section, gives false information, fails to declare restricted articles in the person's possession or baggage, or fails to declare in cargo manifests is in violation of this section;

There are two ways to read what passengers are actually obligated to do:

  1. Fill out the form truthfully no matter what. Not filling out the form (even if you don't have fruit/vegetables) is a violation of the law.
  2. Fill out the form truthfully, however those without fruit/vegetables are technically not in violation of that section, as the second part of 150A-5 does not specify "failure to submit the form" as a specific violation.

What's the proper way to read section 150A-5?

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  • "shall complete" means if you do not you will be in violation. The second bolded statement does not eliminate the meaning of the first, it adds additional requirements.
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Oct 10, 2021 at 23:43
  • Filling out the form includes the requirement to submit it in accordance with the form’s instructions
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 1:23

1 Answer 1

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To me, it seems that you have basically answered your own question with the bolded words.

  1. “All passengers, officers, and crew members, whether or not they are bringing or causing to be brought for entry into the State the articles listed on the form, shall complete the declaration.” You’ve got to fill out the form. If not, you’re in violation.

  2. “Any person who defaces the declaration form required under this section, gives false information, fails to declare restricted articles in the person's possession or baggage, or fails to declare in cargo manifests is in violation of this section;” If you do fill out the form, but you lie, deceive, or otherwise screw up, you’re also in violation.

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  • or "defaces the declaration form required under this section" as in writes in anything but a declaration, dunks it into coffee or makes it illegible...
    – Trish
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 1:24

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