More info than you probably need about importing into the USA

William Aley
Sun, 23 Jan 2011 07:02:50 PST
Ellen, the small lots of seed do not require a phytosanitary  
certificate. The seeds are inspected at 100% at the USDA Plant  
Inspection Station. The limits to the small lots of seed permit are 50  
lots not to exceed 50 grams or 50 seeds, each, which ever is greater.  
Its an arbitrary number and amount~ ie:  50 grams of larkspur seed  
verses 50 palm seed.
Larger lots of seed (often up to several hundreds of Kilos) imported  
under the standard Q37 permit are often sampled by a Department of  
Homeland Security Customs Border Protection (DHS CBP) inspector at the  
first port of US entry, usually in a Customs Bonded warehouse. The  
inspectors could not easily inspect 100 Kilos of seed at 100% and get  
all of the other inspections accomplished in a day.

The authorization as stated on the permit  requires a phytosanitary  
certificate for the general permit and except for woody tree seed, a  
DHS CBP inspector can inspect the seed at the first port of entry.  
Under the small lots of seed the shipment must go to a Plant  
Inspection Station for inspection.
Thus it is not a convenient as far as how fast or when the shipment is  
inspected. Also not all seed requires a permit for import into the  
USA, again know the rules of importation as stated in the CFR.   
Restrictions are based upon disease status of seed borne pathogens and  
insect pests and the country of origin.

The pros and cons: obtain a PC and a CBP inspector can inspect and  
release at any port of entry OR use a small lots of seed permit,  
limited by weight, size and number and it must go to a plant  
inspection station, but no PC is required.

This permit is a concession to individuals who tend to trade as a  
collector or for breeding purposes since the import regulations were  
put in place for commercial imports. Again, 100 years ago most people  
were not importing small amounts of seed into the USA.
This change is less than 10 years old as a result of the way trade has  
  Hope that helps.

On Jan 23, 2011, at 9:36 AM, Ellen Hornig wrote:

> Bill A - I'm curious (and I'm not being accusatory - it's not like  
> you're responsible for this system) - what was the thinking behind  
> requiring separate permits for small seed lots and general plant (or  
> large seed lot) imports, when they are, at least as I understand it,  
> the same type of permit. just differently designated?  Why couldn't  
> those of us who own general permits be allowed to use them for small  
> seed lots too?
> Ellen
> Ellen Hornig
> Oswego NY 13126 USA
> USDA zone 5b
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "William Aley" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 8:36 PM
> Subject: [pbs] More info than you probably need about importing into  
> the USA
>>>> About the import permits,
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

William Aley

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