|). They still have head hunters in Irian Jaya you know! [/QUOTE]|
For real or are you pulling my leg? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
I wish I could afford to go with the guy who owns Orchids Ltd. here in Minnesota on his trips over to Borneo and Sumatra... maybe someday!
A bit off topic but have you any fears of the terrorism going on over there these days? We will be having a TV show called Orchid Hunter on public TV which tells the story of a guy looking for orchids in I think it's Borneo or Maylasia (the show hasn't been on yet) and gets kidnapped by some rebel group.
For US viewers it will be on your local public television stations. It will be showing Nov 26th on the show Nova for anyone interested.
I'm living in Sri Lanka. Peace has broken out here and seems to be holding. There's no anti-American or anti-Western sentiment here at all as far as I can tell. I used to live in Borneo throughout the 1980's and then it was quite a peaceful place except for certain parts of Kalimantan. I used to travel all over the place and never felt threatened. Not so some parts of the Philippines which can be very nasty as you probably know. Mindanao is the nastiest place I have been to. I don't ever want to go back there. Lots of AK-47's in the hands of obviously drunk guards and soldiers.
This friend of yours travelling around, he's not wild-collecting plants is he? If he is he should be aware of CITES and the penalties if he is caught. The rules are rigid and uncompromising and the penalties can be very tough. There's a guy in the US who has just had a huge fine slapped on him for receiving plants through the post from Malaysia with no permits. Claims he didn't even know they were coming, poor guy. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]
I do not believe the owner of the orchid shop is wild collecting (at least I hope not). I do not know from what company he receives his Neps from (possibly Malesiana Tropicals as that's where he orders the C. Clarke books from). He just runs a "yearly" trip to bring fanatics (mostly of orchids) to the jungles. He's an older fellow who's been running his greenhouse since the seventies (I think). Age doesnt mean intelligence but I hope he's on the up and up cos he's a nice very guy. Most plants he sells are very small yet which leads me to believe he's getting TC or seed grown stuff. Some of his Neps are in the "huge" catergory being taller than me with amazing pitchers.
If you have the plant import permit you don't have to worry about getting fined do you? I just received my permit (w/ green & yellow stickers) but I don't know if that's all I need. I definately wanna have it all correct before I order anything!
I'm not familiar with all the US laws on the subject, but I believe the guy in the US who was recently fined did have an import permit and the best of intentions. If the country of export is a signatory to the CITES convention (and most countries are) then the plants have to be accompanied by a CITES export permit also, otherwise the shipment is in breach of international law and people at both ends are culpable. The guy who sent the plants can be prosecuted for smuggling (sending plants without due documentation) and if it can be shown that the importer "caused the illegal importation" e.g. offered money or other inducement to cause the plants to be sent, then the importer is also liable to prosecution in most countries.
I think this is what just happended to the guy I mentioned in the U.S. He was advised to plead guilty and fined several thousand dollars. The alternative would have been a long legal battle that would have cost far more than this in legal fees.
Don't want to sound as though I'm scare-mongering, but it's best to be careful not to make a mistake. Even an innocent mistake can be costly as ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Incidentally, in the case above the parcel was labeled something like "toys" or "clothing" so there was no doubt that it was an attempt to smuggle on the part of the exporter. The poor guy who was caught at the US end suffered the penalty and is kindly warning everyone not to get caught in the same trap.
Finally, I'm not trying to imply that your friend is dong anything wrong at all. Sounds like a great guy!
Thanks for the info on the permit thing!
Most mailorder places seem to offer free CITES documents and phyto certificates either free of charge of for a small amount.
That sucks that the box was mislabeled cos that really is suspicious to The Law. Was the company which this guy ordered from a real company who is well known and 'respected' or some fly by night industries incorporated private party seller/exporter? I want to open a terrarium/vivarium shop in Minneapolis in the next year or so I'd like to know who to avoid if they're supposedly well known and respected as there are about 3-4 SE Asian companies I'm looking at ordering starting stock from. I'd hate to have the shop close before it even opens from some crooked suppliers!
The guy who sent the plants was an individual in Malaysia, that's all I know. I'm sure it wouldn't have been any of the genuine outfits that you might find on the internet.
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