Imports to USA from Scotland and other parts of the EU

Lee Poulsen
Wed, 06 Feb 2008 11:56:25 PST
Wow, Iain, what an offer! I have both a small lots seed import permit 
and a regular plant import permit. The single most difficult thing to 
obtain when wanting to get a plant (and now bulbs) from overseas, is a 
phytosanitary certificate. Because that is really all that is required 
to accompany a plant or bulb that is being imported to the U.S. from 
overseas. The plant import permit is issued to anyone residing in the 
U.S. for free and lasts 5 years before needing renewal (also free). I 
live relatively near one of the main import inspection stations (which 
is near the Los Angeles Airport) so I don't have to deal much with the 
problem of getting the plants from the inspection station to my home.

But the phytosanitary certificate problem has always been the primary 
and serious obstacle to importing plants and now bulbs from overseas, in 
my experience. It seems, and my experience has been, that our APHIS 
inspectors here, don't much care what gets imported, as long as it isn't 
on the forbidden list and is observationally disease- and pest-free. And 
it is accompanied by a phyto. They then will very nearly immediately 
release it as soon as they inspect it. I've never had anything 
quarantined. They seem to put great stock in that phyto piece of paper.

What are your feelings about having things from outside the UK sent to 
you (that the UK allows to be imported, such as from other EU countries) 
and then sent from you to here with the phyto issued in the UK? The 
agent I've dealt with only seem to care that a phyto be included in the 
package no matter who did the inspection before arriving in the U.S.

I hope you don't get swamped.
--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USDA Zone 10a

Iain Brodie of Falsyde wrote:
> Folks I don't know if this is of any interest or use to members on this forum but 
> perhaps it might be worth scoping amongst yourselves.
> Now I am not inviting a veritable stampede but if there are really special material needed by folks 
> who are unable to secure them in north America then we can coordinate in a way that allows me to 
> do things in batches and by that means keep costs down by way of shipping PHYTO certificates, 
> etc there are some possibilities here to be of help.
> Thinking out loud with the caveat that the system would need to be checked as feasible, which I am 
> sure it is, then e.g. if for instance three people had sourced plants in either this country and or England, 
> did the required deals to pay direct to the suppliers, these could be sent here in the first instance at a 
> roughly similar date. I would prepare them for inspect and hopefully the issuing of a Phyto certificate 
> and thereafter pack them as USDA requires, send them down to either Edinburgh or Glasgow by 
> courier and then flown over to those buying them. I have three caveats of my own, [a] I don't want paid 
> for my efforts, and [b] don't want to incur any lost costs......... I am Scots after all, and [c] this would
> be subject to the quarantine facilities, not very big. not being locked up into things coming in to us here.
> Just thoughts from the desk of Iain as I know e.g how hard I have had to hassle to secure two of this and 
> two of that, etc in the Lily, Iris and Paeone world.
> Have a chat amongst yourselves, if of no interest no harm done and no offence taken.
> Iain
> Iain Brodie of Falsyde
> Auchgourish Botanic Garden & Arboretum

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