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Agents Will Inspect all Flowers at Border Crossings


Aired 4/19/09

US customs agents want to prevent Valentine's Day surprises from crossing the border from Mexico. They warn that some flowers are prohibited and that agents will inspect all arrangements. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Cupid's arrow will earn you a red arrow directing you to secondary inspections at border crossings.

That's if you bring flower arrangements from Mexico to the US.

Jackie Dizdul, with customs, says everyone bringing flowers or plants northbound needs to declare them.

Dizdul: Most flowers are allowed into the US after they pass inspection. There are some flowers that are not permitted through the passenger ports of entry. Those include crysanthemums and gladiolas. So, when travelers are thinking about what to bring back, they might want to keep that in mind.

Dizdul says cysanthemums and gladiolas can carry two fungi that can infect other plants.

She says people who don't declare bouquets or other greenery could face a $300 fine.

She says SENTRI users could be fined $500 and have their SENTRI pass revoked.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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