Plants and seeds concealed in FedEx package
HONOLULU— U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists (CBPAS) stationed in Honolulu intercepted a FedEx package from Malaysia containing nine Nepenthes species carnivorous plants and a seed pod concealed in a foil wrapped bundle. Endangered plant species require special permits and documentation for import into the U.S.
“CBP works closely with our international partners to curtail the illegal trade of protected and endangered species, “said Richard F. Di Nucci, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Francisco.
The international shipment of Nepthenes sp. is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in certain specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
The species is endangered because the wild population has been over harvested. Although there is a Nepenthes species that inhabits bogs in the U.S. (The American Pitcher Plant), the plants seized by CBP are indigenous to Malaysia and Greater Asia.
Upon close examination of the shipment, the roots of the plants were wrapped in damp paper towels indicating intent and preparation for replanting. The shipment of plants was not accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, USDA plant permit or CITES documentation and was seized by CBP under 7 CFR 319.37.
The plants were turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for final disposition.