Seed imports to U.S.

Tue, 23 Jan 2007 18:58:15 PST
Don't send them stamps. I did that last year and the envelope with the 
stamps and instructions was mysteriously empty.

I had to open a fed ex account.  All together  this is a completely 
unworkable system. Pretty much the way everything at the USDA is done. I 
don't have enough millions to influence anyone but I think we should start a 
campaign among our public representatives to address these problems.

The Plant Inspection people claim to have been working on this since I first 
complained last summer.

Richard Wagner

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lee Poulsen" <>
To: "PBS Society" <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 5:03 PM
Subject: [pbs] Seed imports to U.S.

>I just a phone call from USDA/APHIS down the street from the L.A.
> Airport informing me that a package of seeds had arrived from Rachel
> Saunders in South Africa, and that I could either take time off from
> work to fight traffic and drive over there and pick it up in person. Or
> I could open an account with Federal Express and then give them my
> account number that they could charge to and they could ship it across
> town via FedEx. Or I could mail them actual postage stamps of
> sufficient value ($1.35) for the weight of the package to have the US
> Postal Service deliver it to my home. The guy I spoke with says he has
> called several superiors of his several times since this new method was
> begun seeking instruction on what exactly to do. He also acknowledged
> that the USDA and the USPS are having an argument over whether the USPS
> has to continue shipment or if they can charge full postage rates
> depending on what the final destination that the package was addressed
> to is. (The permit says the shipper should not put our address on the
> outside of the package, but when the Archibalds put both the green and
> yellow label and my address on the outside of the package it was
> delivered all the way to my house. I couldn't tell if USDA/APHIS had
> opened it for inspection or not.)
> What this guy did say was that I could not send them money in any form
> nor could they take a credit card number. I talked over various crazy
> ideas with their dispatcher and she said that the program was so new
> they hadn't really thought up any long term plans or solutions. I asked
> her about sending her a supply of postage stamps that she could save
> and use until they were all used up. She thought she could probably
> keep them in a file for all packages I received and notify me when the
> supply was gone. She suggested the idea that I send the postage stamps
> along with the copy of my permit and the green and yellow label to the
> overseas sender and then that person could include the postage stamps
> inside the package together with the seeds. This of course would
> require that I know how much the package was going to weigh beforehand,
> or at least have an estimate of it.
> In any case, it is an added complication that I wish they had figured
> out back when they were figuring out this new method of seed importing.
> Question: In Australia, after they've checked over your incoming seed,
> do you have to go pick them up at the inspection station? Or are you
> required to send them or provide them with the means or money to ship
> them from the station to your home? Or do they just put them back in
> the mail and your postal service delivers them to the final destination
> without any additional charges? It would be somewhat ironic if they
> don't charge you for that service since they do charge you for just
> about everything else including many services that we in the U.S. don't
> have to pay for, and yet here in the U.S. they do want to charge
> additional for delivering the seeds the final leg of their journey. (I
> also found out that if I need to get a phytosanitary certificate to
> mail plants overseas, for about US$40 total the inspector will drive
> over to my house, inspect all the plants I want to send, make out the
> certificate, and give it to me. I believe that is cheaper than what the
> Australians have to pay.) Anyway, just wondering.
> --Lee Poulsen
> Pasadena, California, USDA Zone 10a
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