All the best,
You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt
*** Growlist / Wants / Offers *** (with Pics)
So we in America are relatively new to the idea. As to yourself... well... you're the inspector, by occupation, the one some folks have been trying to dodge
While I've never known anybody to get caught doing this illegally, my USDA representative previously informed me that it's a federal offense and can be punishable with prison timeAlternatively if you do it illegally, the punishment is, "the seed may be destroyed". That's it.
I've gone through that process and have the proper permits to import. As far as the thing you have to mail to the person exporting - this is called a green/yellow sticker (and isn't actually a sticker at all, lol). It has a port destination on it (a port with customs present). The rules require for the actual sticker to be attached to the package. However, depending on who is exporting your seeds/plants, they may be able to attach a photocopied version. While this violates customs rules, it is generally ok when the exporter goes through a particular customs port that is familiar with their products. Otherwise, I've been told to make sure to use the real sticker.
If you do have seed sent to you internationally, make sure the person sending the seed does a good job of packaging it. Simply putting the seed in a bag, in an envelope will ensure that the seed will never germinate (USA likes to crush things in their mail, anything flat is run through machines, etc).
As far as the epermits process goes, the majority of the permits are free. One that is required to import actual plants will cost you $70. That particular permit is the one that came with the green/yellow sticker. I've never applied for the seed permit though - never had any use for it. While the initial permit process is quick and easy, some of them require you to go to a local government office to verify your identify. While this is a pain, it's really an easy process once you get there (took me about 2 minutes). If you're supposed to receive the green/yellow stickers, they will be mailed to you once your permit is approved. Be sure to allow a solid 4-6 weeks from start to finish.
Points of clarification
2) I deal with USDA quite frequently and I can say with certainty that they do not take 2 weeks to do an inspection. It is rare that they take even 2 hours.
3) A LOT more than that can happen. I have a good friend who got spanked with a $2500 fine when an improperly labeled shipment got intercepted.Alternatively if you do it illegally, the punishment is, "the seed may be destroyed". That's it.
5) Actually, I do not have a seed permit. I have the PPQ 597 for full plant importation. This covers seed as well though I have not used it for that purpose.Since the, to my knowledge, only Travis Wyman, Ron Lane, and PhissionKorps have done so.
'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'
See You Space Cowboy
My apologies Jim,
Just reread my initial post and my first sentence did not come across as I meant it to. Arrogant is probably the best way to describe it.
I wasn't meaning it to sound like that and should have worded it differently. I just noticed that there appears to be a little bit of misinformation/misunderstanding of the process. It is no different here where noone in my CP society has any clue about our import requirements.
As you say though, that was my job and I have an interest in the various import regulations of various countries.
Thanks, Sean! Let's go Buff-a-lo!