Importing seeds and bulbs

Laura & Dave
Thu, 26 Feb 2009 14:25:00 PST
Hi Uli and all
  I too have been following this thread, and certainly greatly 
appreciate getting all the information put forth.  There are  couple of 
things I'd like to comment on briefly.

  I'm slowly working on the idea put forward earlier on the list, about 
having a website where the permits and conditions are translated into 
various other languages, in a printable form (pdf, most likely).  My 
intension is to start with the Small Lots of Seed permit, as that seems 
to be of the most interest to members of this group.  I've had people 
volunteer to do the translations for both French and Spanish.  The more 
languages, the better.  And no, the translated documents would not be a 
substitute for the actual permits; they would be sent, or linked to, 
only so there would be accurate, understandable information.
  The great, grand, pie-in-the-sky idea is to have translations of all 
countries regulations (pertaining to individuals  or small businesses)  
translated into various languages.  And of course posted in the original 
language as well.  For instance, I know that sending seed to Australia 
and/or New Zealand is very strict, but I don't have a clue as to how to 
go about actually sending something.  Along with the permits, 
regulations and so on, links to regulating agencies could be posted.  
Yes, this would be a lot of work!  A responsible person in each country 
would help divide the work.

  Reading the postings, the mail is the way that most small lots of seed 
enter the country.  When I order something, I'm visualizing it being 
sent from point A to me, directly.  But the government says that it 
needs to be diverted to be inspected.  Now this is great by me, as the 
inspectors have found and dealt with a couple of things in packages, 
that I really, really, really didn't want to have to deal with myself 
(let alone having the scourge named after me if it got loose!).  And I 
don't really mind having to pay for postage to have the package returned 
into the postal system.  But that is where the problem seems to be.  In 
the old days, things could be delivered COD (collect on delivery), or if 
your carrier was nice (and most are), delivered with an envelope for you 
to return the additional postage due.  I can't imagine any of us not 
paying for the postage, to get our precious packages as quickly as 
possible.  But the system doesn't seem to be set up for this anymore.  
So, what do we do?  Here are some ideas:
  1) A special stamp, decal, label that the inspectors could put on a 
package, saying something like 'postage due on receipt'.  The postal 
system would have to agree.
  2) Having an additional field on the permit data base that contained 
an amount that the permit holder has deposited with APHIS, perhaps with 
a small fee for the service.  The appropriate postage could be affixed 
to the package from this fund.  Lots of extra work, but doable.
  3) Sending a check with the order, made out to APHIS, for the cost of 
one of the flat fee boxes that the post office offers, into which the 
entire package could be placed.  This eliminates the variable of postage 
cost, and the accounting inherent therein.
  4) Your ideas??

I guess not so brief,
  Dave Brastow, Tumwater, Washington  - Where I did NOT order the snow 
that arrived last night!

P.S.    I'm being hampered a bit by the fact that I must have left the 
second page of the three page permit in the copier.  I don't think this 
has any personal permit information on it , just the first of the 
conditions (am I wrong), but I cannot find a source anywhere on the 
APHIS site, that has the actual conditions, or image of the permit.  I 
talked to the people at the AHPIS booth at the Seattle Flower and Garden 
Show (Bill Aley , they said to say hello!), and they suggested that I 
try going through the e-permits system again.  But as I didn't use it 
for a while, the access has expired, and I have to reestablish it.  Sigh ...

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