The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reminded travellers that the importation of fresh yucca flowers is prohibited

Travellers have been advised that the importation of fresh yucca flowers – more commonly known as chochas or flor de palma – is prohibited. Some Christians associate the flowers with Lent, which began on February 14, and the CBP is concerned that travellers will attempt to bring them into the US from Mexico.

“We are asking the travelling public not to bring fresh yucca flowers as they will not be allowed to enter,” said acting port director Michael B Reyes, Brownsville Port of Entry.

Importation of fresh yucca flowers is prohibited. However, cooked yucca flowers are allowed since the cooking process kills pests within the flower and effectively mitigates the pest risk. 

Travellers must declare all animal and plant agriculture products to the inspecting CBP officer. Prohibited items that are not declared by passengers are confiscated and disposed of by CBP agriculture specialists. Attempting to bring undeclared prohibited agricultural items can lead to traveller delays and may result in a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000.

Upon examination of plants, animal products, and associated items, CBP agriculture specialists at the ports of entry will determine if these items meet the entry requirements of the United States.

Yucca flowers should not be brought into the US
Yucca flowers should not be brought into the US CBP