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Thread: Careful with Ebay!

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    There is a seller on Ebay selling giant N. rafflesiana seeds who will not be supplying proper export paperwork. The seeds would be coming from Singapore . Almost guarenteed to be opened by customs due to the increased SE asian terror alerts.
    Every single item I've received through the post from SE Asia in the last couple months has been opened and repacked by customs. Yes even letters (sent fully opened and sealed in a baggie with an "apology"). If any of you thought of bidding on these seeds be warned. I asked and you will be running the risk of getting nabbed. I don't know if the penalties for seed is the same as live plants but Griffins story/fine is something to keep in mind.

    Just a friendly PSA! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    edit: BTW I am not trying to protect a bid, just my a - - and yours too!

  2. #2
    Copper's Avatar
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    They are also asking way too much money for the seeds.
    I am just like a Super Hero, but without the power or motivation.................and the funky suit.

  3. #3

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    Dear Swords:

    I am very curious about laws, restrictions and regulations about importing plants or seeds. Could you tell us, or show us the thread on Griffin's story.

    Thanks

    Agustin Franco

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    I have travelled to Germany on 3 occasions and on each one, i have seen plants by Thomas Carow. He is a master in growing cp's. I think the quality of his plants surpasses that of many of his local competitors. It is a shame that he does not export to the U.S.


    cp addict

  5. #5
    swords's Avatar
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    To legally import seeds (or plant parts - live or dead) you must have an import permit as well the plants (or parts) must be accompanied by phytosantiary certificate (i.e "clean bill of health" from the exporting country's agriculture dept.). Since Nepenthes are almost all Appendix 2 (N. khasiana and N. rajah are on App. 1) of the endangered species list of CITES (Conservation In Trade of Endangered Species). This documentation must accompany CITES protected plants (or animals) when shipped internationally. These documents state (officially) that the plant (or parts) are from artifically cultivated (not wild collected) plants.

    There was an update to the importing of seeds due to "possible biological agents" being distributed on seeds a year or so ago. but I do not recall the exact details whether seed importing was to be halted or would just be watched more closely.

    Actually, I'd pay up to $1 per seed so I think the current price is great, the risk however, is greater. I do not recall The Griffins exact thread but I'm sure he will pop in and recant the expensive details. I think the fine was $2500 and the plant was originally $20... And it was the SENDERs screw up, Griffin had the necessary import permit but the sender didn't have the phytosantiary or CITES paperwork (this paperwork is not generally free so unless they do a volume business you will usually have to pay extra for these documents) The sender also lied about the contents of the package on the outside of the box.

    Importing can be a risky thing when you deal with a new company or a possible "smuggler", or rather, someone who doesn't know the laws. In this sense "smuggling" of cultivated plants is not smuggling on a sinister level, just ignorance of the laws. But as they say on the lawyer shows "ignorance of the law is no excuse" and saying you didn't know won't get you off. With no paperwork how do you prove that you grew it? The federal government takes this seriously.

    For more information, read the book Orchid Fever by Eric Hansen for some very dreadful tales of the tactics used by the government to halt the international underground orchid trade (not exactly the same as Neps but are classed the same as "endangered flora"). Including raiding greenhouses in guerilla combat style with uzis and attack dogs as if they were busting a drug lab or mafia stronghold.

    Just be careful when dealing with sellers outside the USA (or your home country wherever it is) CITES is an international treaty and is enforced in almost every nation. Actual nurseries who deal in plants are generally safe to order from as they are registered with their governments and know to send the apropriate documentation for the country they are exporting to.

    Here is a link to some reading information on APHIS the department of the USDA who handles the import permits:
    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/permit...cts/index.html

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    Seven plants at $25 each, otherwise Swords memory is correct. A $2500 fine for the me, because the sender did not have the paperwork, and labled the package as "children's toys". Since he did that and I ordered it, I was considered a "smuggler" in that case. I choose not to fight it in a hearing, because I was having stress/depression issues and if the judge did not see it my way, the fine could go up to a maximum of $10,000. A lawyer was not an option, as the costs of one researching the case would probably exceed $2500.

    Regards,

    Joe

  7. #7

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    That's terrible Griffin! That makes me glad I didn't try and ship to Canada! I was told just to label the plants as "windowsill ornaments" and they would get through OK.

    Whew! What a tough break!

    SF

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    SnowyFalcon,

    Up here in Canada, the hobby of CP's is growing (pardon the pun) but selection and variety is limited. So most of us grow from seeds or depend on kind-hearted individuals who are willing to go the extra bit to obtain a phytosanitary certificate to send with the CPs. Many of us are willing to reimburse for the expense of such documentation and would not advocate breaking the law (better to pay a little extra for a plant than to not have it at all!).

    But then again, there are always the few that ruin it for everybody.

    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/ghostface.gif[/img]
    DOH!

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