Renewing the GSP Program: A Vital Mission

In October 2020, AFIF – America’s Flower Connection (AFIF) achieved a significant milestone by securing the inclusion of roses in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). However, as the program faced expiration at the year’s end, AFIF has been hard at work ever since and engaged with our partners in Washington D.C., making a strong case to Congress to renew the GSP program.

The impact of GSP on the flower industry is significant. By allowing duty-free imports, the supports economic stability in developing economies by granting them access to the U.S. market. Unfortunately, since the GSP’s expiration in 2020, the U.S. Flower industry has borne the burden program provides essential cost savings, enabling businesses to thrive. Equally crucial, it of over $ 80 million in duties on imported flowers, stifling local investment and job growth.

Over the past three and a half years, AFIF’s has engaged in countless conference calls, meetings, and visits with members of Congress. Its unwavering message emphasizes the urgency of passing a new GSP program, one that includes retroactive payments for eligible imports and increased Competitive Needs Limitations (CNL). As the industry’s advocate, AFIF remains committed to ensuring a robust GSP program that benefits all stakeholders.

As the association of floral product importers, AFIF remains committed to advocating for its members for a robust GSP program and fostering a productive dialogue. Stay tuned for further updates as we navigate this complex landscape.


Petals and Protocols: AFIF's Tour with CBP to Reinforce Flower Import Operations

On April 10th, 2024, a tour took place at the USA Bouquet facilities in Doral, FL, organized by AFIF's Executive Vice President, Christine Boldt. The occasion? A detailed tour for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) delegation, led by the recently appointed Director of Field Operations for the Miami and Tampa Field Offices, Mr. Carlos C. Martel.

This wasn't just any tour. The representatives from USA Bouquet, led by Director of Operations Ergie Fernandez, meticulously explained the intricate process, stringent timelines, and essential cold chain requirements vital for delivering quality flowers to clients on time. It highlighted the crucial stages of flower processing, from the moment they arrive at the port of entry to their journey to the warehouse, emphasizing the key role that CBP plays in supporting this process.

The essence of this gathering was twofold. Primarily, it served as an insightful demonstration of the industry's operational challenges and requirements directly to key regulatory figures. Secondly, it underscored AFIF's ongoing commitment to advocate for its members by facilitating a deeper understanding among CBP officials regarding the critical time-sensitive nature of the cut flower industry's logistics.

This initiative is particularly crucial as Mr. Martel assesses avenues to enhance CBP operations, ensuring that such improvements support the flourishing of the imported cut flower industry rather than hinder it. Through collaborative efforts like these, AFIF continues to champion the needs of its members, striving for operational efficiencies that benefit all stakeholders involved.