APHIS import renewal versus actual Seed import

clayton3120 clayton3120 clayton3120@cablespeed.com
Thu, 07 Nov 2013 14:48:06 PST
I'm sorry to hear about these mishaps(het hem) with seed importation. I
thought my case was a fluke, but now  I hear that it wasn't just me.    I
have a small seed lot import permit as well as a plant import permit  from
the countries I specified on the application. I use the mailing labels ,
and always send a copy of my permit to the seed vendor.    Recently I
ordered seed from someone in England, and received a call from the APHIS
office in Seattle, stating that my seed was being held  because the permit
had expired , and was the wrong permit.   After going online to check, I
saw that my permit expired in 2015.   I called USDA in Washington DC to try
to iron things out, and about 2 hours  of waiting on the phone, being
transferred to this office, that office, I was instructed to re-apply for
the permits.   OK, I went online, with much rigamurrow, I completed the
application.   The next day, the government was shut down.    I supposed
had 10 days to re-apply before the seed would be destroyed.    Today I get
an email from APHIS saying their is nothing they can do.     Sadly, I
learned that trying to do the Right thing, is the Wrong thing to do, when
you're dealing with government agencies.    I hope the best for the rest of
you who import seed, and/ or plants.

On Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 2:17 PM, James Waddick <jwaddick@kc.rr.com> wrote:

> Dear Diane,
> On Nov 7, 2013, at 2:14 PM, Diane Whitehead <voltaire@islandnet.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > In September I sent seeds to a club based in the U.S.  I have just
> received the seeds back.  They passed inspection in Seattle,
> > but it looks as though the mailing label to send the seeds onward was
> lost.
>         Renewing the permit is one thing, actual import is yet another.
> USDA works in mysterious ways. As co-chair of an international seed
> exchange we get seed from over a dozen different countries and the
> specifics are unreal. For a long while, seeds were inspected only at the
> APHIS station in Jamaica NY near JFK Int. Airport. The import labels
> clearly said Jamaica NY. Trouble is many seeds went to Jamaica - the
> country, first. The Jamaican Postal Service made up rubber stamps that read
> soothing like ‘Sent to Jamaica by Mistake’. Needless to say this caused
> delays.
>         And at one time they must have piled up seed imports until they
> got around to them. Seeds would take 2 days to get to NY from almost
> anywhere in the world and sit in the Inspection station for months. The
> worst one I recall sat in NY for 5 months, passed inspection and was
> promptly shipped back to the sender in France.  3 days later the original
> sender readdressed the packet to me and it was received without further
> inspection.
>         We had many delays not always the fault of the sender or
> recipient. I have had a few phone calls from USDA asking about seeds. My
> favorite was in regard to Iris seeds sent from Hungary. There were 20
> packets all labelled and fairly common seed exchange materials, but one was
> simply labelled "Iris sp.”. The inspector was concerned that this might
> seeds of a wild collected, endangered species prohibited from import such
> as Iris lacustris ( native to the northern Great Lakes).  I was able to
> convince the inspector that this particular donor often sent Spuria Irises
> and this was simply an abbreviation for Iris spuria. The seed passed.  It
> seems highly unlikely that a grower in Hungary would be sending wild
> collected Iris lactrustris.
>         Of course there are even more problems with donors (Dell must have
> some stories) I won’t go into. Mostly a thankless job.
>                 Best wishes and Diane I hope your returned seeds were not
> headed to SIGNA. If so let me know and I’ll work with you.            Best
>  Jim
> James Waddick
> 8871 NW Brostrom Rd
> Kansas City, MO 64152-2711
> Phone     816-746-1949
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