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Surge in floral imports expected

The Ministry of Environment is reminding the public to adhere to import regulations ahead of an expected surge in floral material for the 35th America's Cup.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources must adhere to the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures routinely employed for the importation of all plant material. This relates to the issuing of import permits as required for imported nursery stock, release forms for floral material and the inspection of all incoming plant material.

Minister of the Environment Cole Simons said: “Our ultimate goal is to facilitate trade without placing Bermuda at risk. The importance of plant inspections is demonstrated throughout the year by frequent interception of plant pests and diseases that could have a severe impact on our farming industry and Bermuda's natural beauty.

“We fully understand there will be an increased demand for imported plant materials over the next few months. We are preparing now because we want to remain vigilant in protecting our garden paradise.”

A ministry spokeswoman added that there had already been an increase in imports, and the department is proactively taking steps to manage the increased demand for imported floral material.

This includes:

• reaching out to importers to determine their level of involvement with the America's Cup specifically as it pertains to their plant and cut flower importations;

• meeting one-on-one with those stakeholders who anticipate increased imports to determine the type and volume of plant product to be imported;

• devising the appropriate plans to best manage customers' expectations based on information from stakeholders;

• setting a schedule for inspections.

Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Andrew Pettit said: “The department intends to solicit ideas from individual importers for making this process as quick and efficient as possible.”

Terry Lynn Thompson, principal plant protection officer, added:“Bermuda's florists are creative and hard-working, our commercial plant importers are diligent and our team is dedicated. We want to assist our importers by providing information and quality service before, during and after the America's Cup event.”

The department recommends that any importers who expect to bring in plant material in preparation for the America's Cup event contact the principal plant protection officer as soon as possible by calling 239-2321 or emailing tthompson@gov.bm. For more information, visit www.gov.bm/online-services/import-live-flowers-floral-arrangements-or-greenery and www.gov.bm/online-services/import-plant-material-propagation.

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Published February 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm (Updated February 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm)

Surge in floral imports expected

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