Seed imports to U.S.

Angela and Dean
Wed, 24 Jan 2007 23:33:30 PST
I love the first rate treatment you get for applying for phytos!
In Australia, I need to make an appointment, have the forms filled out, see 
the AQIS inspector, pay by 15 minute intervals for his time, minimum half 
and get that lovely blue stamp on everything!  Usual cost is around $100.00 
AUD.  But I'm kind of glad he doesn't come to my house, as he is more likely 
to get distracted by all the bugs there!
At least the postal service is great.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lee Poulsen" <>
To: "PBS Society" <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 10:03 AM
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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