Moreover ranked 3rd port of entry in the number of pest interceptions
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Juan Office of Field Operations announced today that the Rafael Hernandez International Airport (BQN) reached the list of the top 10 airports throughout the country where the agency inspected the highest volume of imported cut flowers during FY 2015.
This port of entry ranks third in the nation on the number of pests intercepted, with 307 pest interceptions.
Flowers are one of the most popular gift items during the yearly celebration of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and other popular yearly celebrations, but they could be the hiding place for dangerous pests. Detecting and preventing pests from entering the U.S. avoids significant economic and environmental harm.
CBP agriculture specialists in Puerto Rico inspected for bugs and diseases more than 2 million flower stems entering from South America. Colombia is the main flower exporter, followed by Ecuador
“Stopping pests at the ports of entry is a critical mission for CBP agricultural specialists to protect the public and our commercial vitality,” said Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
During inspections, agriculture specialists detected numerous pests that could represent a risk to local agriculture. Before they can affect local agriculture flower shipments found containing harmful pests are fumigated, destroyed, or re-exported.
The top three types of flower shipments in the U.S. during the Valentine’s season last year were roses, mixed bouquets and rose bouquets.
For the past four years, San Juan ports of entry remain among the top 10 airports nationwide in terms of the volume of imported flowers that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspects.
Each day, CBP prevents potentially harmful plant pests and foreign animal diseases from entering the U.S. at more than 300 ports of entry.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.