Well, J. R. I don't know-- except that historically the green and yellow label diverted the package automatically to inspection--and there's probably substantial lawand regulations with the force of law covering this and lots of precedent for it. Perhaps Bill (WBA) can tell us. But I think it's the way the law and regulations thereto were originally written. If I recall this was the point (after inspection) where a broker might have been brought in to handle issues of customs and duty, etc. and additional postage (if any) might be assessed. It's probably this diversion and the busines of brokerage at or shortly after the PIS (Plant Inspection Station) that led to the qustion of postage due to send it on to the import permit holder. Historically this was borne by the USPS as part of the treaty agreements. I have still not received any satisfactory answer as to why this is not being continued. To my mind, this has resulted from a misreading or a different interpretation of the original agreements which has come about only since the privatization of the USPS. USPS stands for United States Postal Service. Italics mine. But service has been reduced, improved somewhat in places and certainly having had to adapt by handling much greater volumes of mail than was ever imagined historically. I'm sure that the USPS lost money (viewed from the point of view of private industry)--but it was originally conceived of as a Government SERVICE to its people --paid for by point-of-service-taxes--fairly and equally assessed and paid for at the time of use by the users. It was never supposed to be profitable. And clearly with the enormous amounts of advertising mail generated daily, advertising products that not everybody wants nor would even consider buying, and which now constiutes the largest portion of all mail, and which travels, I think more cheaply the the average letter (I'm sure you'll correct me here Bill, if I'm wrong, ( but I don't know and I'm guessing--and really inviting you, because I'd lke to know if I'm wrong.). I'm old enough to remember that a letter could go across the country for 2 cents. (Granted, not by air--but even airmail was only about 6 cents then and everything else was different I can even remember nickel ice cream cones for a double scoop in California.) 'Nuff said. The postal service needs money. ----- Original Message ----- From: "J. R. Johnstone" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <email@example.com> Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 9:21 PM Subject: Re: [pbs] Importing seeds and bulbs > Why use the green and yellow label at all? Couldn't I have the > sender address the outside of the package to myself, and include the > permit inside as usual.