Import permits

Karl Church
Fri, 22 Feb 2013 15:03:15 PST
Thanks Jane for the additional info. I'm beginning to think a few seeds may
not be worth all the hassle the USDA is making it..
On Feb 22, 2013 2:56 PM, "Jane McGary" <> wrote:

> Gastil's description of acquiring import permits from the USDA is
> very helpful. However, I found that at one point fairly far along in
> the procedure, one of their pages froze my computer. I called their
> telephone help line and was told how to reconfigure my browser
> temporarily to alleviate this.
> Also, after going through the initial series of steps you can do
> online, you have to physically go to a USDA extension office near
> your home (fortunately there are plenty of them near mine) and
> identify the staff member who is authorized to verify your identity
> by looking at your photo ID, and then that person will input the
> verification into their system (which, the helpful local staff person
> told me, does not always work the way it should). Then you have to
> get back online with USDA to complete the process and order the
> stickers Gastil mentioned.
> In addition to getting a permit for the Small Lots of Seed Program
> (originally an initiative by Joyce Fingerut of NARGS, by the way),
> you may as well get a permit to import other plant materials at the
> same time, so that you can import bulbs. I did this recently and it
> was no more time-consuming and confusing than just getting the seed
> permit alone.
> The USDA has about twice as many layers of security as my online
> banking, which apparently was put in place because (a) many people
> try to hack all US government websites, (b) there is a high level of
> paranoia as a result, and (c) they did it because they could.
> Once you have sent your seed order with the requisite paperwork and
> address stickers, the seeds will be sent to the specified inspection
> office (some are more efficient than others; ours, Seattle, is pretty
> good), and some but not all packages will be opened for inspection.
> The delay can be as much as 5 weeks, and who knows what will happen
> if the "sequester" goes into effect and federal employees' work time
> is reduced.
> No doubt it is worth it to prevent the USA from being overrun by
> species tulips, as dangerous as kudzu.
> Jane McGary
> Portland, Oregon, USA
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