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Thread: Recent experiences shipping to California?

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    Recent experiences shipping to California?

    While reading this thread today: Short notice Giveway 24 hrs - Utricularia pubescens + Microgramma vaccinifolia I found RSS's comments saying:

    "Yep CA is California, they are actually starting to enforce plant shipment laws and without all those fancy nursery certs good luck getting plant materials via mail anymore The last few packages we tried were returned to us after a friendly phone call from CA asking if they could open the box to inspect it. Returning boxes take 2-4 weeks to get back to us.

    Just not worth all the effort, they did say you could drive any (legal) plant material over the state lines and that was just fine. You just can not mail it over.....
    "

    So I am wondering what effect this will have on the upcoming auction and also on our sellers here at TF? I have not been active recently as a vendor here but I expect to be in the future. Are some of us going to have to post the words "Sorry. No bids to growers in the state of California"? I am also wondering if others have had similar experiences to the ones RSS has had recently?
    - Mark

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    I recently started a mail-order CP nursery and obtained all the requisite permits and licenses. Resultingly, I've been in touch with my inspector (GA Dept of Agriculture) frequently so I can learn and abide by all the regulations. Each state is different.

    He told me that CA had the strictest laws regarding incoming plant shipments. All legal nurseries must pay a fee to have our shipments tested for nematodes. Aside from the expense, the time holdup for boxes to be opened and tested is also a big blow to wanting to do business within CA. Right now, my policy is not to ship to CA.

    I would hope that illicit shipments from hobby growers and unlicensed nurseries would undergo the same kind of protocols for inspection and enforcement. Invasive species and diseases are no laughing matter.
    Last edited by theplantman; 03-20-2016 at 02:18 PM.

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    All the boxes we sent to CA were marked in very large writing "live plants keep from heat or cold" and they said a dog alerted on the boxes. Seems they could have simply read the box but whatever. We received no warning or talks of fines or anything they were very nice and just wanted to open the boxes and send them back if it did not meet CA requirements. In our instance, a lack of permits/inspection paperwork. Being a hobbiest I will never have.

    The part that really baffled me was that I could have got in my car and driven the plants into CA without any issues according to the employees we talked to. But once you pack it into a mail box you are now subject to these inspections.

    I have not heard of any others with similiar issues nor have I looked for others with these issues, but I do see alot of places that do not ship to CA or AZ.

    I do know all my NASC items will have the CA restriction as we don't want to break laws the state is trying to enforce.

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    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    Thank you Mark and RSS for posting about this. Being just a hobbiest I also will never have permits/inspection paperwork that nurseries have, so I guess my auction items and any future sales or giveaways will have the CA restriction also...just not worth the risk. So sad.

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    Greetings from the netherworld. curtisconners's Avatar
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    It amazes me how ridiculous some laws can get. Like a plant that's in a car being treated differently than one in the mail. I feel sorry for the cp enthusiasts who are trying to order something, but the store won't ship there.

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    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    It's a matter of scale and opportunity to enforce the regulations. The first place enforcement can be done is at the airport. Many major international airports have trrained dogs to check cargo and checked bags for plant material. At times carryons and purses are also checked. Then it trickles down to checking bags, including carryons and purses, for incoming domestic flights as well. If you check out plant smuggling on line I'm sure you will find a list of which airports have the tighest system for inspection.
    Now they are checking incoming packages at the postal level, soon I am sure they will include private carriers such as Fed-ex.
    It's not that the laws are so different for plants coming in by car, it's that there is no way to stop them short of having checkpoints at every road coming into the state.
    Last edited by chibae; 03-20-2016 at 05:29 PM.
    It's a tough life being a Sarracenia farmer
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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    There are agricultural inspections stations on the California border. When moving back from Washington to California I remember being stopped at the Oregon border and being asked if I had any plants. If you read the Agricultural laws for California there are no differences - any plants crossing the border are subject to the same quarantine and inspection.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    This is sad to hear. I'm certainly glad I don't live in California right now, though it's very unfortunate for those who do.

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