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Thread: USDA Permit Madness

  1. #17

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    Got the permit earlier this week, so about 2 months from mailing to received.

  2. #18
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    The gubermint shutdown may have been a factor in the time frame.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  3. #19

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    Very well could have been, I've planned way ahead so its not a problem.

    They did give me a blanket permit for all legal seeds/countries instead of listing them out.

  4. #20
    anramitaco's Avatar
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    Apologies for resurrecting this thread several months later...

    Following the advice here, I avoided the online application and was surprised by the fast turnaround time on my snail-mail application. I got a blanket permit for eligible taxa and a bunch of shipping labels.

    RSS, have you used your permit yet?

    I want to buy some stylidium seed from Oz. Such a cool little genus but hard to track down here, except for S. debile. Two different sellers, both of whom seem reputable, assured me that all I would need to do is scan and email them a copy of the permit and the shipping label. Has anyone done this? I don't have any moral scruples scanning the labels, I just don't want men in black to show up at my door...

    Once the seeds clear customs/inspection, how have you arranged to get them? Do you have to drive to the inspection center to pick them up?

  5. #21

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    The part I refer to has a section with Special Instructions to Inspectors. Under that is says 'This permit authorized small lots of eligible seeds to be imported [I]without a phytosanitary certificate under the provision of...
    [I] That is the part you want to be sure to get right. As for getting your shipments forwarded, that is up to the individual inspection station from what I hear. The Hawthorne Station has moved to Torrance, and it is the only one that I know of that has an arrangement with the USPS to forward at no additional charge. I think that assumes that your package can be opened and resealed with little effort, and and is smallish. Anything big like a commercial order requires (from what I understand) an agent to be present to repack and so on. That should not be a problem with hobbyist shipments.

  6. #22

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    I've never had an issue with forwarding yet, but I haven't done enough of it to say how it is supposed to work. Everything I get is basically a padded envelope so opening/resealing/remailing is quick and easy for all parties involved.

    The best thing to do is to call the center you plan to send them through and ask them, all the centers seem to do there own thing. One thing you have to be careful about is that once the seller has your address and payment they don't always want to wait for the labels or actually use the labels. This enters the buyer into a "gray" area, and from my understanding so long as you did your part the most they would do is destroy the shipment although I feel that is unlikely.

    Still very much a novice at this, and they have not exactly tried to make the process clear and easy.

  7. #23
    anramitaco's Avatar
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    Thank you both for the advice.

    Have you always sent the seller the actual labels, or have you sent a PDF? If the worst case scenario involves destroying the shipment, then maybe I'll just send the seller the scan as he requested and keep my fingers crossed.

  8. #24

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    My understanding is the actual label, not a scan, has to be attached to the package. I have asked in a hypothetical sense, what if I order something from someone/somewhere where it is not possible or practical to get them the shipping labels...and had them mail the package directly to you at the IS. The answer was sort of "some tow the line, some want to cooperate with the spirit of the law as much as the letter." I agree with RSS, if you have some question, call and ask first. You can always call and let them know you are expecting something and they will keep an eye out. A scan is probably better than nothing, but I would check first. I had some things come in last summer, and one item out of six or seven was not labeled or mislabeled or something. They took that one out and sent on the others. They also included a somewhat ominous sounding letter. I called and they said no worries. Kind of a form letter letting you know what they did. The packages I have had brought in thru an IS have all arrived in good condition with two exceptions. One came in mashed and mangled, and another did not arrive at all. Both of those from AU. Don't know on which end it went south. One thing I would ask myself, is if the seller can't handle receiving a label, and putting that on a package, what are the odds the he/she will properly do the paperwork that must accompany it? If your seeds or plants are not properly labeled, that is considered a violation and they most likely will be destroyed.
    Last edited by pearldiver; 03-03-2014 at 10:27 PM. Reason: typo

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