US Customs and Border Protection officials in Cincinnati said they recently confiscated an intentionally mislabeled shipment of 21 small trees from China.
Probably thought of as bonsai trees, they were featured as a bracket, vacuum pump, and brochure in a shipment supposedly going from an electronics company in Shenzhen, China to someone in Brooklyn, New York.
“Experts found that the trees were covered with a variety of coverings – fabric upholstery, black plastic, bubble wrap and finally tied tightly with colored tape – presumably to bypass the inspection,” the press release said.
The trees did not have a certificate from China stating the health of the trees required for their import and were destroyed by customs officials.
“The United States has approximately 900 million acres of farmland and agriculture and allied industries contribute approximately $ 1.1 trillion to our economy annually,” said Barbara Hassan, Cincinnati customs regulatory agriculture specialist in the press release.
“Living plants can harbor pests and diseases that, if introduced into our agricultural systems or natural resources, can seriously damage our food supplies or native species. Our agricultural specialists are dedicated to protecting these vital American resources from foreign pests and diseases. “