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  4. CBP issues important reminder on the importation of flowers and other greenery ahead of Mother’s Day

CBP issues important reminder on the importation of flowers and other greenery ahead of Mother’s Day

Release Date
Tue, 05/07/2024
For More Information
(202) 344-1780

SAN DIEGO – Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and CBP agriculture specialists want to remind the traveling public of the restrictions on certain commodities imported from Mexico.

Mother’s Day is one of the busiest times of year for flower imports, which can carry pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment. Certain flowers, greenery, potted plants, and soil are prohibited to prevent the introduction of plant diseases, invasive insects, and parasitic nematodes. By their destructiveness, invasive plant diseases and pests reduce the quality of ornamental plants and crops, and cost millions in eradication efforts and export trade restrictions.

A common cut-flower called “Chrysanthemums” from Mexico, are prohibited through the passenger ports of entry. With the current restrictions, CBP is trying to prevent funguses, such as “Chrysanthemum White Rust” from entering the United States, as this disease could put flower growers in jeopardy. Plants for propagation require a permit to enter the U.S., and soil is prohibited to prevent the introduction of soil pests. To learn more about this type of plant disease, visit Chrysanthemum White Rust.

Additionally, certain types of cut greenery that are used to fill bouquets may have pests and diseases. An example of this greenery is the Murraya, more commonly known as “orange jasmine”. Murraya is a host for Asian citrus psyllid; a dangerous pest found in citrus. If any portion of a bouquet has pests, the entire bouquet will be confiscated upon entry into the United States.

Roses, carnations, and many other flowers are allowed into the United States after they undergo inspection. However, plants for growing require a permit to be admissible, and soil cannot be imported from Mexico. Travelers must declare all flowers and plants to CBP officers. While a relatively small number of harmful pests are found among the millions of stems inspected by CBP, a single dangerous pest could cause millions of dollars of damage to our nation’s crops.

CBP recommends travelers who wish to import flowers, plant materials, and other agricultural items consult the CBP Info Center section on the CBP website before they travel.

Travelers should always declare all items they have acquired abroad to CBP officers to avoid civil or criminal penalties and reduce the risk of introducing pests and disease to the U.S. ecosystem. For more information on prohibited/restricted items, visit CBP’s Know Before You Go website.

All travelers can monitor wait times by visiting CBP’s Border Wait Time (BWT) web page or download the BWT app via Google Play or the Apple App Store. 

Last Modified: May 13, 2024