WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists throughout the United States are busy inspecting cut flower shipments ahead of Valentine’s Day in order to protect the nation from agricultural and floral pest risks.
“CBP agriculture specialists play a vital role before Valentine’s Day celebrations and are the first line of defense against destructive pests,” said CBP Agriculture Programs and Trade Liaison Director Nidhi Singla. “The extraordinary dedication and unwavering commitment of CBP’s workforce inspecting cut flower imports is key to protecting American agriculture.”
Valentine’s Day is the busiest time of year for cut flower imports. Last year, CBP officials inspected more than 352 million mixed bouquets, 76 million roses, and 75 million chrysanthemums. These numbers are expected to increase in 2024 as travelers and importers prepare for the holiday.
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. As of Feb. 7, agriculture specialists have cleared more than one billion cut flowers, intercepting 1,581 insects and pests, with 877 that could have potentially introduced diseases into the United States, such as Chrysanthemum White Rust, a fungus that can put flower growers in jeopardy.
CBP recommends consumers who wish to import or travel with flowers, plant materials, and other agricultural items visit the CBP website for more information, and for information on country of origin marking requirements for fresh cut flowers. Follow CBP on X, formerly known as Twitter, @CBP for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.