US seed import permits

Karl Church
Fri, 22 Feb 2013 22:17:36 PST
Thanks Lee,
I appreciate the info & if I decide to apply for a permit I'll be sure to
get both. I'll need to locate the nearest office before I decide.
Karl Church
Dinuba, CA
Zone 9a
On Feb 22, 2013 9:52 PM, "Lee Poulsen" <> wrote:

> Mike is absolutely correct. I've considered several times now, going to
> the effort of driving to the closest USDA extension office (30 miles away),
> but to get there on a business day between 8 am and 4:30 pm, I would
> definitely have to take at least a half day off from work. (Apparently the
> USDA thinks the only people who need to do business with them in the
> greater Los Angeles metropolitan area don't live within the area; all their
> offices are on the periphery.)
> Every time I've had to renew, I've done it using the paper forms.
> Although, I've discovered the way to speed the process by a few days is to
> use old-fashioned technology and fax the forms in. It works every time!  ;-)
> (And faxes are about as fast as email or the Internet…)
> Also, Karl, I agree with those who suggest getting the plant import permit
> while you're at it. Both the seed and plant permits are free, the seed
> permits are good for 3 years and the plant permits are good for 5 years,
> are good for plant material from any place in the world, and you never know
> when you might actually have the opportunity to import something you really
> want fairly easily, and you'll already be prepared with the proper permits!
> You can even use the permits when bringing back material in your luggage
> that you may have purchased while traveling abroad. The seed permit can be
> used by anyone sending you seeds from abroad. The plant permit really only
> has one catch that makes its use a lot more difficult: You have to get a
> phytosanitary certificate in the country of origination of shipment that
> must accompany the plant(s). In some cases (like Japan), this is easy and
> in other cases (like Brazil), it's nearly impossible. Plus, some places
> (like Australia) charge outrageous amounts for the phyto inspection. In
> many countries, it is so much trouble to get this one step done, that no
> one even bothers to try. (Except for large commercial entities.)
> How I wish the USDA would amend their procedure so that a U.S. importer
> could have them do the phyto inspection immediately upon arrival. I would
> even pay for this!  ;-)
> --Lee Poulsen
> Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
> Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m
> On Feb 22, 2013, at 5:33 PM, Michael Mace wrote:
> > Jane wrote:
> >
> >>> 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
> >
> > If you use the option of ordering the permits by mail, you don't have to
> go
> > identify yourself to a USDA office.  You just send in the form and they
> mail
> > you the permits.  It's not a huge hassle.
> >
> > For some reason I don't understand, the website encourages you to use
> online
> > registration for the permit, even though it's a lot more complicated for
> > everyone involved.
> >
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