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CBP Agriculture Specialists Ensure Flowers are Pest Free for Valentine’s Day

Release Date: 
February 11, 2016

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 agriculture specialists inspect imported cut flowers for Valentine's Day.
CBP agriculture specialists inspect
imported cut flowers for
Valentine's Day.

“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:

  • CBP agriculture specialists in Miami processed the most imported cut flowers nationally, approximately 91.5 percent, followed by Los Angeles.
  • The top cut flower imports processed in Miami consisted of roses, mixed bouquets, and Dianthus.
  • The imported cut flowers inspection process resulted in 2,870 pest interceptions nationally. Miami intercepted 1,467 pests, followed by Los Angeles with 372 pests.
Last modified: 
March 14, 2019