U.S. Customs and Border Protection is advising travelers. The warning is about certain holiday decorations sold in Mexico that can carry harmful pests and disease.
Murraya is a common ornamental greenery used for festive decorations. Customs and Border Protection says as good as it may look, the plant can carry Citrus greening disease.
Phil Barrera, CBP Supervisor, “They tend to bring in altars for example or they’ll build altars at the cemetery. A lot of times they bring it built already from Mexico. That is strictly prohibited for CBP agricultural purposes.”
The Citrus greening disease affects oranges, pomegranates, grape fruit, sour limes and are prohibited from entering the United States. Barrera shares what travelers can do to avoid getting fined and their products thrown away.
“They should ask before they purchase their ornaments. Have them ask for U.S. friendly ornaments and believe it or not, a lot of the flower shops in Mexico will already know what to use.”
U.S. Customs advises travelers to be more cautious when purchasing holiday decorations and fruits in Mexico. they can face a fine of up to $1,000 for undeclared prohibited agricultural items. For more information on prohibited items visit https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go/prohibited-and-restricted-items