CITES II and Galanthus - Currently with APHIS

Tim Harvey
Sun, 23 Dec 2007 10:21:10 PST
Well maybe that's what is supposed to happen, but is absolutely not what has happened, as recently as the last three months. 
Has anyone ever been offered even the opportunity to obtain appropriate documents? I know of plants destroyed because of a simple typo the genus on the contents list, and "Nothing could be done".
I even know of shipments that were supposedly returned but then all paperwork pertaining to the return was 'lost' along with the plants.
It is hardly a system that inspires confidence.
 T> So what really happens?> When the plants are presented or discovered at the ports of entry in > the USA. Certain documents are necessary to allow those plants to > enter. As mentioned the Phyto is the most important document. For rare > plants, a CITES document. Because the US is currently busy funding a > freedom operation to the folks in the middle east, government > resources are limited and now importers myst pay a small fee for an > CITES import permit $70 which is every two years (don't be too > concerned- because in the very near future, the price will triple to > about $350 for all import permits- Thanks be to George).> If you don't have the documents- the government has to follow some > specific guidelines to process the plant material.> 1. the importer is provided 21 days to obtain the necessary documents > from the exporting country. The plants sit in a not so nice place > (usually depending of the plant inspection station it's as good as > they have) at least it's not anything like where the plants were > growing prior to being transported to the USA.> After this period of time, the importer should be contacted to verify > that they have produced the documents or the plants will be sent to > the country of export or to a rescue center.> Usually 15 days is the grace period for this.> If the importer fails to obtain the documents. USA will contact the > country of export and offer the material back to that country. The > exporting country must pay for freight costs only. 99% of the time > this is rejected. Then the plants are referred to Fish and Wildlife > who looks art the address of the importer and follows a list of > available rescue centers. They try to make the the rescue center NOT > the same as the address or State of the importer. Too many folks at > botanical gardens pulled fast ones and eventually the government > figured it out.> Then, now almost 60 days after the initial import into the USA, the > plants are off to a rescue center. They arrive often very tired and in > bad shape. Definitely not happy plants.> 

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