More info than you probably need about importing into the USA

Boyce Tankersley
Fri, 28 Jan 2011 09:33:08 PST
Hi Bill:

I can't speak for everyone but I have found your comments very helpful. Yes,
things have changed, and yes, they got more complicated. I appreciate your
taking the time and interest to answer the PBS questions.

Boyce Tankersley

On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 7:36 PM, William Aley <> wrote:

>  About the import permits,
>>> Under the previous administration we were handed this process. It seems
>>> like the system is a government mess, designed under the rules imposed as
>>> the result of 911, it's a system that allows US residents and citizens to
>>> conduct computer peer to peer communication. It is also designed by
>>> civilians under contract to the government and is not owned by the
>>> government. In an effort to spread tax payer dollars back to the civilians,
>>> who are in the business of making money. That's the system we got and at
>>> this point in time it's what we have to work with.
>>> 1. Permits are required for small lots of seed permit and the general
>>> "Q-37" permit. All shipments are required to have a Phytosanitary
>>> certificate, but not required for the small lots of seed permit.
>>> Links that may be helpful
>>> ePermits. Designed to be helpful once you get over that annoying
>>> verification process. one trick is to click on the map to see validation
>>> sites near you, call to make sure they are open,. because of government cut
>>> backs some services are limited because of staffing shortages and funding.
>>> USDA did not invent it nor was it APHIS idea, it was a system designed
>>> and implemented  by an elected official using private civilian contractors.
>>> USDA does not own nor can we change the system without paying more money to
>>> the civilians who are awarded the contract. <
>>> Mail/fax can still be used, it will take longer to get a permit  because
>>> the paper submission is typed into the electronic system by  a college
>>> student  to get to the application to the right permit specialists. The more
>>> submissions received, the longer it takes them to get through the in-box.
>>> First in first out policy no expedited permits are done even when you have a
>>> brother who is an elected official. Its all FOIA documentation.
>>> No APHIS cannot hire more people to process permits because there is a
>>> hiring freeze in place, and  only one person is hired for every two that
>>> leave. We are in the age of smaller government.
>>> Typing in the permit  with epermits yourself means it will go directly to
>>> the permit writer. Thus saving time and possible errors. Picture an 18 year
>>> old college student at minimum wage processing your application. What level
>>> of quality control would you expect?
>>> If you apply for a permit know the regulations that you are applying for.
>>> 7 CFR319.37 is the regulation to be aware of. Just like getting a
>>> driver's license there are reasons why the permit is required. The rules
>>> were in place before anyone on this chat group were born and probably many
>>> of your grandparents too. Unless of course  they are 145 years old, then I
>>> apologize.
>>> The 587 is the general import permit that most people will need, CITES is
>>> another level of import requirements, it's a trade regulation put in place
>>> by the "exporting" country, the importing country monitors and when things
>>> go wrong have to offer the plants back to the country of origin.
>>> links to permits: <
>>> Remember that these are free permits. Not so in all countries. The cost
>>> for issuing and monitoring is paid by all taxpayers,
>>> The Phytosanitary certificate is part of the international agreements.
>>> Shipments can be rejected for lack of this document.
>>> PPQ established the small lots of seed permit to help out small business,
>>> seed collectors and folks who found it difficult to obtain (cost is
>>> prohibitive in some countries) A US Phytosanitary certificate is about 50$
>>> to obtain for US origin exports.
>>> <
>>> >
>>> this may be a good option for you if you do seed exchange into the USA,
>>> there are restrictions and every shipment must clear through a Plant
>>> Inspection Station. IT is only for seed that have no special restrictions.
>>> Know the import requirements first be fore you request or pay for a
>>> shipment.
>>> There is useful information under the circulars <
>>> for bulbs, seed and plants
>>> Bulbs that are precleared is an option from the exporting country, the
>>> inspection is the same overseas as if done in the USA. The foreign exporter
>>> pays for this service to have a US inspection and inspector in a foreign
>>> country,  thus not all bulbs are precleared.
>>> Just a personal note after being on this chat group for four years now.
>>> Please understand that every year I check in and as a result  I get the
>>> usual comments about my lineage and how much of a plant nazi I am and a few
>>> other comments. I realize that this is often individuals not this group.
>>> Which I find generally have a keen interest in plants.
>>> Please disregard this if you choose, I know I'm long winded and I never
>>> seem to make this simple, but regulations are complex and don't always make
>>> common sense, changing the federal regulations is a glacial process. My
>>> participation in this group is not entrapment, nor am I being a sneaky
>>> sleaze, in all honesty I can care less if you want to smuggle or think the
>>> government is out to get you personally, just be smart enough to realize
>>> that this is a public forum as part of the web. If you bring in dirty plants
>>> or an invasive plant it'll be your backyard that is ground zero. I hope your
>>> not my neighbor.  Very few chat groups have the senior import specialist
>>>  for plants for planting on their site, trust me I do grow plants and I have
>>> a valid import permit just like anyone else. If you have specific details
>>> I'll be glad to discuss off line.
>>> Bill
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