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Thread: To import or not to import

  1. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimscott View Post
    Phissionkorps is spot on!
    Not exactly. It is strange that an Australian would know more about the importation of small seed lots into the US than its own citizens.

    To be fair, I've had a bit of experience in this area though. I've supplied seed to a US grower using the small seed lot system and it is fairly simple. The owner of the permit must send an envelope to the supplier that contains another envelope with a label addressed to APHIS. Within this envelope, a collection of numbered baggies are sent with a catalogue containing species names corresponding to the list. Clean seed is then placed into these baggies and the package mailed to APHIS.

    It did take awhile for the letter to arrive- I reckon about 1 month after I posted it.

    BTW- the reason for this procedure has nothing to do with "terror threats", it is to protect the US environemnet from the potential spread of exotic weeds, diseases or other pathogens- however minimal the chances of that are.

  2. #10
    What is and what should never be Crissytal's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone of your input. I appreciate the clarification. I was getting both yes and no and a lot of gray areas when researching.

    I have started the application process. Unfortunately I don't know if I'm going to finish it. There's more than just applying online. I had seven days to present my driver's license to the local USDA center, I never made it. If I would have known I couldn't do it all from home I would have waited. I may try to reapply soon.

    If the seed really do set on a shelf awaiting inspection, is there really any point? It seems like a lot of trouble to go through and then not have viable seed in the end. I agree with herenorthere, there's really nothing exotic enough that I can't wait until it becomes available in the states. I'm sure a lot of people think, "well just do it without it". I prefer not, the permit is required for a reason. It ensures the shipper follows strict directions for cleaning, packaging, and shipping the seed to prevent outbreaks of disease and pests. I'm sure it's rare for something to happen, but I'm sure there risk will always be there.

    Thanks again guys,
    Crystal
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  3. #11
    What is and what should never be Crissytal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seandew View Post
    BTW- the reason for this procedure has nothing to do with "terror threats", it is to protect the US environemnet from the potential spread of exotic weeds, diseases or other pathogens- however minimal the chances of that are.
    Exactly, you beat me to it.
    Where do we go when we just don't know,
    And how do we relight the flame when it's cold?
    Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing,
    And when will we learn to control?
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  4. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crissytal View Post
    I agree with herenorthere, there's really nothing exotic enough that I can't wait until it becomes available in the states.
    When you want seeds from the Petiolaris complex, he's got the largest selection and is almost the only show in town. I have some concerns for availability when he exits the market...
    All the best,
    Ron
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  5. #13
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seandew View Post
    Not exactly. It is strange that an Australian would know more about the importation of small seed lots into the US than its own citizens.

    To be fair, I've had a bit of experience in this area though. I've supplied seed to a US grower using the small seed lot system and it is fairly simple. The owner of the permit must send an envelope to the supplier that contains another envelope with a label addressed to APHIS. Within this envelope, a collection of numbered baggies are sent with a catalogue containing species names corresponding to the list. Clean seed is then placed into these baggies and the package mailed to APHIS.

    It did take awhile for the letter to arrive- I reckon about 1 month after I posted it.

    BTW- the reason for this procedure has nothing to do with "terror threats", it is to protect the US environemnet from the potential spread of exotic weeds, diseases or other pathogens- however minimal the chances of that are.
    Not sure what you meant by "not exactly". APHIS is reatively new. to my knowledge, Droseraguy and I were the first forum members to go through and receive the ePermit, each of us re-submitting the application and talked through by a representative to get the correct phrasing. That was 3 years ago. Since the, to my knowledge, only Travis Wyman, Ron Lane, and PhissionKorps have done so. Before the "small lots of seeds (~50) program, people either shelled out significant money to do things legally or had the approach of "as long as I don't get caught...."

    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

  6. #14
    Ryan + Sara
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    Alternatively if you do it illegally, the punishment is, "the seed may be destroyed". That's it.
    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 time

    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.
    CPsinSC
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  7. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimscott View Post
    Not sure what you meant by "not exactly".
    Hi Jim,

    I just meant that the information provided by Phissionkorps was not exactly correct. There was a couple of things I thought I should clarify.

    Regards,

    Sean.

  8. #16
    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Points of clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by phissionkorps View Post
    This system sucks and it's not worth it for nep seeds. If I wanted some from Malaysia, it'd take 2 weeks for my letter to get there, then 2 weeks for the seed to get to the US, then at least 2 weeks for customs to deal with it, then another couple days in the mail. It'd be totally or largely non-viable by that time.
    1) Customs does nothing with the small seed lots, that is only USDA/APHIS. Customs only gets involved if the total declared value is over $200 at which point you are required to pay tariffs and such

    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.

    Alternatively if you do it illegally, the punishment is, "the seed may be destroyed". That's it.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimscott View Post
    Not sure what you meant by "not exactly". APHIS is reatively new. to my knowledge,
    4) APHIS is not new at all, it has been around for years. But, a lot of these regulations are recent to the system so the knowledge of APHIS involvement is suddenly becoming more commonplace.

    Since the, to my knowledge, only Travis Wyman, Ron Lane, and PhissionKorps have done so.
    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.
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