MIAMI—The most popular gift this Valentine’s Day could be a hiding place for dangerous insects and diseases, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s highly trained agriculture specialists have been hard at work ensuring the cut flower imports you’ll be sending your Valentine are pest free.
“CBP’s agriculture specialists are the frontline in preventing the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the United States while protecting the public and our economic vitality," said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “CBP and industry partners are committed to facilitating the movement of these flowers while ensuring the interception of hitchhiking pests to protect American agriculture.”
CBP processed approximately 976 million cut flower stems nationally during the 2015 Valentine’s season from Jan. 25 to Feb. 14, compared to 801 million stems processed during the 2014 season—an increase of 29.81 percent. Most of the cut flower shipments are imported from South America, primarily Colombia followed by Ecuador.
During the 2015 Valentine’s season:
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.