[BULBS-L] Importing Bulbs and Seeds

Justin Smith oothal@hotmail.com
Sun, 25 Jan 2009 12:07:40 PST
Hi all,
This was said:
> How do you deal with the multitude of species and the multitude of countries> of origin? E.g. do Zephyranthes from Mexico have to be separated from the> same genus from Argentina? And after the permit is issued, what if you> decide that you want to import some zephyranthes seed from Indonesia and> hadn't listed it?  > I just tried to apply on line and found that I needed to establish an> e-authentication account. .....     ...And then I see that I have to take a picture> ID to a USDA office to get the account activated. So, I'll try again to> apply the old fashioned paper way.> > Dell
The USDA implemented the new online account after I had gotten my "small lot of seed" permit, but lucky me the post office decided to renumber my road. So I had to make me an account to get to my information to change it. What a pain.  In order to find the right person who could validate my account with a photo id. I had to make two trips to my so called... "Local" office some 30 miles away. 
All that said and done. If you ask two different people at the UDSA about any rule you will get two different answers usually along with a request for you to call someone else. LOL 
I have no idea why they ask you to spell out exactly what seed you want to import and from what country. I called someone at the USDA HQ. I think it was in Maryland. The woman told me you don't have to list every seed from every country. All I did was list 3 or 4 seeds from just a couple of countries. My permit also says "Eligible Taxa" and "Varius approved countries." I have a list of what is restricted and from where. Though I do not remember if it came with my plant permit or my seed permit. 
Everyone (I mean US citizens) should have a copy of the "Federal noxious weed list", Circular Q.37-10 "the cites requirement list", and the:
United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine
Title 7 - Agriculture
Chapter III Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Part 319 Foreign Quarantine Notices
Subpart - Nursery Stock, Plants, Roots, Bulbs, Seeds and other Plant Products
Sec. 319.37
The title itself takes up half a page of paper. 
I had recently a USDA inspector come to my house from Colorado over a Cites question. It was too bad he could not even explain the rule to me, and he was investigating it. Go figure that!
One important things to remember about the "small lot of seed" program is that it is just that a "SMALL" lot of seed, thats 50 seed or less. If you import 51 seed it is suppose to have a phyto. Bummer huh.
The way the "small lot of seed" is "suppose to work" is really frustrating.  
You get your permit along with several Green and Yellow stickers with the USDA port of entry address on it. You send a copy of your permit and the green and yellow sticker to your seed supplier. They place a copy of your permit in with the seed, close up the package and place the Green and Yellow sticker on the outside. (The sticker is just a facy address label for the USDA port of entry)
Your address is not to appear on the outside of the package! This package gets shipped directly to the USDA port of entry address. The USDA open and inspect contents for violations. Then they put your address on the package and place it for pickup by ....... "oh this is where it gets good"  a carrier that you have an account with. 
So ..... That pretty much means you need to have some type of account with UPS or hope the US post office would ship things to you postage due but i doubt it. The shipper only pays postage to the USDA port of entry, it is up to you to figure out how to get it shipped to you from the Port of entry. 
That is the way it is "suppose to work" though the shippers that bother to use the green and yellow label ALSO put your address on the outside and pay shipment to "YOUR" address. That seems to get the package to customs if they want to look inside and to your address without much pain on anyone. But this is not how it is suppose to work.
But then again most seed suppliers don't even bother with the green and yellow labels even when you send it to them and ask them to.
The "small lot of seed" program is simply designed for the USDA to give to the mass of people who buy, sell and trade seeds a "legal" way of doing business. Though "legal" does in no way mean, it is easy to follow.
Happy Seed Importing!!!    
Ring... ring.....  Hello?........ Yes this is the USDA and we have a shipment of seed for you and we have had to destroy the packs of brunsvigia seed........ Uhhhh why?......... Because they are in fruit........ In fruit? But they are fleshy seed!......... I am sorry but our inspector says they are in fruit so they have been destroyed....... BUT... BUT.... They are fleshy seed!!.... You have any other questions before I go?......... Uhh, I guess it would do me no good, even if I did.......... Ok then goodbye   click
Yes, and another fan of the USDA is born!!
Have fun all!
Woodville, 8b/9a
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