EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Mother’s Day is just around the corner and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at El Paso area ports of entry are paying special attention to flower shipments making sure they’re pest-free.
Traditionally, Valentine’s Day, the Easter holiday, and Mother’s Day weekend are the busiest times of the year for CBP agriculture specialists, who are the last line in the fight against the introduction of insects, pests, and diseases into the United States.
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. CBP recommends that people who wish to import flowers, plant materials, and other agricultural items consult the CBP Info Center section on the CBP website before they travel or call (877) 227-5511.
“Our ever-vigilant CBP agriculture specialists are carefully inspecting all floral shipments to be certain that they are free from insects, pests, or disease. To avoid unnecessary delays or fines, we encourage travelers to declare all floral arrangements, therefore facilitating the delivery of flowers in time for Mother’s Day,” said CBP El Paso Director Field Operations Hector A. Mancha.
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CBP now offers the CBP One mobile app, which allows travelers to request a variety of CBP services, including inspection of commercial shipments of agricultural products. The CBP One app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.