CBP Tops 1B Valentine’s Day Flower Check

CBP Agriculture Experts Ensure Valentine's Day Flowers Are Disease-Free

CBP Tops 1B Valentine’s Day Flower Check


Washington – Agriculture experts at U.S. Customs and Border Protection topped 1 billion flowers for the third year in a row as they ensure imported Valentine’s Day flowers are free of insects, pests and diseases that could harm U.S. agriculture and the flower industry.

Cut flower inspectionCBP agricultural experts inspect bouquets
Insects and pests of roses.

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, 2022 numbers are expected to match previous years. As of February 8, CBP agricultural experts had inspected more than 1.1 billion cut flowers in 482,754 shipments and intercepted 1,770 insect and pest species. In 2020, agricultural experts inspected a total of 1.14 billion cut flowers, and a total of 1.21 billion in 2021.

CBP agricultural experts are the last line of defense against the introduction of insects, pests and diseases into the United States. Of the 58 countries importing flowers to the U.S., Colombia remains at the top of the list with more than 738 million, most of which go to Miami International Airport. The most popular flowers are still roses, mixed bouquets and chrysanthemums.

“I applaud our agricultural experts for their incredible accomplishments examining more than a billion flowers,” said John Sagle, acting executive director of CBP’s Agricultural Programs and Trade Liaison Division. “Ensuring that flowers are pest-free is a difficult and complex job, and clearing these shipments fast enough for the holidays. Through their hard work and commitment to CBP’s mission, our nation’s agriculture is secured.”

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.

CBP recommends that those wishing to import flowers, plant material, and other agricultural products consult the CBP Information Center section of the CBP website or call (877) 227-5511 before traveling. 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.

A video of the cut flower inspection can be found here.

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