BOSTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) know how important Valentine’s Day is for some people, and also how important it is for those flowers to be pest and disease-free.
“Boston CBP ranked 7th in the nation, clearing more than 2.5 million flower stems during last year’s Valentine’s Day season,” said Director of Field Operations Kevin Weeks. “CBP agriculture specialists maintain their position as the first line of defense against pests and diseases that could damage not only the flowers, but also devastate our agricultural and environmental resources.”
During the 2015 Valentine’s Day season, CBP agriculture specialists nationwide intercepted 2,870 pests. In the same period, approximately 976 million cut flower stems were processed compared to 801 million stems during the 2014 season, an increase of 21 percent.
Historically, Valentine’s Day is the second busiest time for cut flower importations. Mother’s Day is the busiest.
If pests or diseases are intercepted, the shipments are treated, re-exported or destroyed.
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. The top three countries of origin were: Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.
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.