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CBP Ensures Flowers are Pest Free on Valentine’s Day, Boston in the ‘Top 10’ Nationwide for Flower Importations

Release Date: 
February 12, 2016

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.

A shipment of fresh roses arrive at Boston Logan International Airport for CBP inspection.

A shipment of fresh roses arrive at Boston Logan International Airport for CBP inspection.

“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.

Chief Agriculture Specialist Richard Barry takes a closer look at an interception from an international flower shipment.

Chief Agriculture Specialist Richard Barry takes a closer look at an interception from an international flower shipment.

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.

For more information and photos on CBP’s efforts inspecting cut flowers, please see CBP Cut Flower Imports FY-2015.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017