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  4. CBP Surpasses 1 Billion Flowers Ahead of Valentine’s Day

CBP Surpasses 1 Billion Flowers Ahead of Valentine’s Day

Release Date
Fri, 02/10/2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists have reached 1.15 billion cut flower inspections this season as the country moves toward Valentine’s Day. 

Cut flower inspection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations agriculture specialists inspect imported cut flowers to ensure that no harmful pests enter the United States at Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Va., Jan. 20, 2023. CBP screens a larger volume of imported cut flowers in the weeks prior to Valentine’s Day each year. CBP Photo by Anthony Guas

This marks the fourth straight year that CBP has surpassed 1 billion cut flowers, with this year’s numbers expected to surpass 2022 by the end of the season. Most shipments come from Colombia and Ecuador, most going to Miami and New York. The most popular flowers remain roses, mixed bouquets, and chrysanthemums.

CBP agriculture specialists inspect each flower shipment that enters the United States to prevent the introduction of insects, pests and diseases into the United States. As of Thursday, CBP agriculture specialists intercepted 1,641 insects and pests. In 2022, agriculture specialists inspected more than 1.23 billion cut flowers, intercepting more than 1,975 pests.

“Inspecting and clearing over a billion flowers in such a short time period is an amazing accomplishment!” said Acting Executive Director Dina Amato, Agriculture Programs and Trade Liaison. “CBP’s agriculture specialists face an incredible challenge, and they continue to work day and night to protect our agriculture.” 

People who wish to import flowers, plant materials, and other agricultural items should consult the CBP Information Center section on the CBP website or call (877) 227-5511. For more information on each country of origin’s marking requirements for fresh cut flowers, click here.

Travelers into the U.S. should also declare all items acquired abroad to CBP officers to avoid civil or criminal penalties and reduce the risk of introducing pest and disease to the United States. CBP now offers the CBP One mobile app, which allows travelers to request a variety of CBP services, including inspection of agricultural products. The CBP One app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Last Modified: Feb 10, 2023