Import permits

Karl Church
Fri, 22 Feb 2013 11:42:34 PST
Thanks Gastil, I'm definitely a newbie. Tried to get permits online from
the USDA but their system doesn't work with my mobile which is my only
internet access.
 On Feb 22, 2013 11:25 AM, "Gastil Gastil-Buhl" <>

> Hi Karl,
> It took me awhile to figure out how to import so Im happy to pass along
> what I learned, most of which I got from this pbs list.
> Yes any seed coming from outside the US needs a permit. But you do not
> need a big-deal/real permit if your order qualifies as a "Small Lots of
> Seed".
> There are limits and restrictions.
> I have ordered twice from Silverhill Seeds and once from Gordon
> Summerfield. Both of them are familiar with the process. Only I was the
> newbie. All three orders arrived without any problem. It does take awhile,
> but then, if you grow bulbs from seed you are necessarily a patient person.
> 1. Go to the APHIS website and get an online account
> 2. Download, print, and fill in the form*
> 3. Mail it in. ( I dont recall if I did that electronically or on paper.)
> 4. They corresponded with me via email, not a form letter but an actual
> person there, re some details.
> 5. Receive your yellow/green stickers and Small Lots of Seed permit in the
> mail
> I think it might have taken one month, possibly 3 weeks.
> 6. Photocopy the permit. Make a copy to send to each place you will be
> ordering from.
> Some places, like Silverhill, will keep your permit and a supply of
> stickers in their file cabinet ready for when you order more.
> So send them as many as you expect to use in the 3 years your permit lasts.
> 7. Get an account with UPS or FedEx. I use UPS.
> 8. Paper mail some stickers, a copy of your permit, and your UPS account
> number to the place you wish to order from.
> 9. They will follow very specific steps in preparing your order, such as a
> list of all the species and each seed packet labeled with the species.
> If it is someone doing this for the first time, send them the instructions.
> 10. They mail the package directly to the USDA Inspection Station printed
> on your yellow/green stickers.
> 11. The inspection station then forwards the package on to you using your
> UPS account.
> Later if you need more permits just email or phone them and they'll mail
> them to you in about a week.
> *I had some trouble filling out the form.
> You do not have to guess all the countries you will order from. Just list
> a few you expect. Your permit will cover any country.
> I dont know why, but it was hard for me to choose my Inspection Station
> city. I chose San Diego and they've worked great so far.
> Others have mentioned that if you will be ordering recalcitrant Amaryllid
> seeds, the kind that like to sprout precociously, ask the exporter to put a
> note in the package explaining that those really are seeds and that this is
> normal. Otherwise a plant inspection station might mistake them for plants,
> not sees.
> - Gastil
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