Are Valentine’s Day Flowers Safe from Europe and South America?


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Are Valentine's Day Flowers Safe from Europe and South America?

Are Valentine’s Day Flowers Safe from Europe and South America?

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Traditionally, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and the Easter holiday weekend are the busiest times of the year for CBP agricultural experts. CBP agricultural experts are the last line of defense against the introduction of insects, pests and diseases into the United States. In January 2022 alone, they inspected more than 382,000 batches of cut flowers from Europe, Africa and South America, intercepting 628 different species of important pests.

Of the more than 497,700,000 rhizomes, the largest number of rhizomes came from Colombia, most of which were shipped through Miami International Airport. The most popular flowers include roses, mixed bouquets and chrysanthemums.

While it is not illegal to import flowers from other countries, certain flowers and plant material commonly found in flower arrangements are restricted because they may carry plant pests and diseases that can cause damage to U.S. agriculture. One pest can cause millions of dollars in damage to a nation’s crops. Noctuidae, or owl moths, include more than 35,000 known species, according to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and are reported to feed on a range of herbs, shrubs and trees, including crops such as beans and plants. corn.

CBP recommends that those wishing to import flowers, plant material, and other agricultural products consult the CBP Information Center section of the CBP website before traveling, or call (877) 227-5511. Travelers should also declare all items acquired abroad to CBP officials to avoid civil or criminal penalties and reduce the risk of bringing pests and diseases into the United States. CBP now offers the CBP One mobile app, which allows travelers to request a variety of CBP services, including produce inspections. The CBP One app is available for free download from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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