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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Processes Cut Flower Imports for Valentine Bouquets

Release Date: 
February 12, 2010

Washington - In the weeks leading to Valentine's Day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's highly trained agriculture specialists are ensuring that plant diseases and plant pests are detected and prevented from being introduced into the United States where they could cause harm.

CBP's highly trained agriculture specialists ensure that plant diseases and plant pests are detected and prevented from being introduced into the U.S. where they could cause harm.

CBP's highly trained agriculture specialists ensure that plant diseases and plant pests are detected and prevented from being introduced into the U.S. where they could cause harm.

At international ports of entry, land borders and mail facilities, CBP agriculture specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the United States. In fiscal year 2009, CBP agriculture specialists seized more than 1.5 million prohibited plant, meat and animal byproducts and intercepted more than 166,000 pests at the U.S. ports of entry.

During the 2009 Valentine's season, from January 1 to February 14:

  • CBP will process approximately 148.5 million cut flower stems. Most of the cut flower shipments are imported from South America, primarily Colombia (97 million stems or 65 percent) followed by Ecuador (33 million stems or 23 percent).
  • Of the 97 million cut flower stems imported from Colombia, 90 million (or 93 percent) are processed in Miami, where the top cut flower imports are Roses, mixed bouquets, and Dianthus.
  • Miami ranks first among U.S. ports of entry for shipments of cut flower imports, followed by Los Angeles, JFK New York, and Newark.
  • CBP at the Miami port of entry will process approximately 123 million (or 83 percent) imported flowers stems, compared to 7.5 million flower stems at the port of entry in Los Angeles and 4 million stems at JFK in New York.
  • To date, in these shipments of imported flowers Miami intercepted 1,566 plant pests that could be detrimental to American agriculture, New York intercepted 277 and Otay Mesa intercepted 206.
  • The most common type of insects intercepted in these cut flower imports are Moths (Noctuidae), Miner Flies (Agromyzidae), and Thrips (Thripidae).

The top 10 ports of entry, by volume, that processed shipments of cut flower imports for the 2009 Valentine season are: Miami; Los Angeles; JFK New York; Newark; Laredo; Otay Mesa, Calif.; San Juan, P.R.; Dallas; Wilmington, Del.; St. Louis, Mo.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017