Crossing the San Ysidro port of entry with certain flowers is prohibited for this Valentine’s Day

U.S. Customs and Border Protection warned travelers about crossing flowers in Valentine’s Day at ports of entry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a statement regarding crossing flowers due to Valentine’s Day. According to the agency, CBP agriculture specialists want to guarantee that imported flowers are free of plagues.

Authorities have remined the community that all flowers must be declared so that they can be checked; this may last up to 15 minutes. Not doing so could result in economic penalties of up to $300 dollars.

Mums, gladioli, and Mexican orange jasmines are prohibited, in order to prevent insects, plagues, and diseases that could harm the agricultural and floral industry of the United States.

We understand that travelers like bringing unique gifts, especially flower bouquets for their loved ones. However, protecting the integrity of our floral and agricultural industry against plagues and invasive diseases is our main priority,” Sidney Aki, CBP Operations Director in San Diego, said.

For her part, Rosie Maizuss, agriculture specialist, spoke about the main risks regarding the floral and agricultural industry when one enters with plants or flowers with insects or other diseases: "There are species that threaten the agriculture of the United States. For example, there are plagues that attack all citrus, the Mediterranean fly, seeds that are prohibited, as well as diseases such as Chrysanthemum White Rust", she explained.

Roses, carnations, and many other flowers can enter the United States after being inspected.. However, harvest plants require a permit to enter and soil cannot be imported from Mexico.

The Otay Mesa port of entry is registered as the one with the third highest level of nationwide flower imports. To get more information, travelers are recommended to visit the section “Bringing Agricultural Products Into the United States” on the official CBP website.

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