Hi, 1. I filled out PPQ form 587. This form is for plants and plant parts that come without soil. So, it is mostly about seeds and bare root plants. The Web page is: http://aphis.usda.gov/ppq/permits/… . You can click on the link for "PPQ Form 587," which is right under "1. How to Apply." There is no fee; my permit was issued in 2-3 weeks. 2. There is an FAQ, as well as other types of info links. For instance, if you click on "Importation of Bulbs," you will find that you don't need a permit for bulbs (generally speaking). However, bulbs must arrive free of soil and not looking diseased, etc. Oddly, I think you need an Import Permit for bulb seeds. 3. There is a list of prohibited items that you can read about. Mostly, such items are hosts for diseases of great agricultural importance, and you can't import such plants from certain locations known to have the disease. Thus, my current list says I can't import junipers from Europe, but that leaves me free to import them from Japan or Canada, etc. Other prohibited items are considered noxious weeds, things that kill waterways, or that invade farmlands aggressively, etc. Don't even bother trying to import something on the noxious weed list-exceptions are very few and you'll never get an exception for a home garden. 4. You can send an email to USDA for help in filling out the form. But, my opinion is that the less you have to do with them the better. Just fill the form out as best you can. I put down the types of things that I thought I would import, a list of families, species, and garden names. I just put them down line by line and filled in about 6-8 lines. I put several lines like: A. bulb species from several families including Amaryllidaceae, Alliaceae) B. palm seeds of multiple species C. seeds of permitted shrubs and ornamentals, including properly exported African succulents D. hobby type bulbs, garden grown (I guess this was not needed) E. permitted grasses and sedges for garden purposes For the ports, I something like the following: NY, NY and Linden NJ, Orlando FL Houston Other appropriate ports Most deliveries will be small items of a few seeds delivered via the mail 5. As I understand the situation, the USDA is not really enforcing the Import Permit and Phytosanitary Certificate requirements right now. This seems to be due to the several reasons: 1) not too many people pay attention to current rules, 2) import volumes are too large to police, and 3) gardeners have political clout (I wonder how many rich people and political donors complained they had trouble getting palm seeds, etc.). So, the new approach (the proposed approach) seems to be designed to increase compliance (encourage people to get an Import Permit) because: A. You won't need a Phytosanitary Certificate from the seed supplier (for small amounts), and B. The Import Permit is easy enough to get. Thus, by dispensing with the Phytosanitary Certificate the USDA is hoping to get better compliance (from hobbyists). The rationale seems to be that the USDA wants to know who is importing, so that if a problem ever does happen (massive new disease problem in Tulips), they can contact hobbyists and talk to them. It is all Big Brother to me, and I really don't think they need to know that much about me. Yet, what can you do, if you flout the Import Permit requirement some suppliers may not send to you, or you might run a very small chance of getting a big fine someday. Of course, I'm not really sure about the "what and why" of USDA thinking; my musings are guesses. Cordially, C.J.