Importing seeds and bulbs and extension to related broader topic.

Adam Fikso
Tue, 24 Feb 2009 11:54:57 PST
Lee.  You're absolutely right!.  And before the previous administration 
started to change all the rules and regs-- the original postage from 
whatever country on the package  guarantered delivery to the to the 
addressee   assigned  to the green-and-yellow label. But now, since the USPS 
hs been privatized, (and is sort of on loan to private industry)   Somebody 
,somewhere believed the USPS has to make a profit, justified the change 
(established for forwarding the mail without addtional postage having to be 
affixed)  and thereby violated the provision of the Treaty that governed the 
actual application of the treaty.  Since it's not uniform across the board, 
and was apparently done locally, whoever justified the changes apparently 
violated the law as it was utilized  in the actual language and which has 
not been tested in court . The black-letter  law allowed for the ambiguity 
in practice,because it was just vague enough.  But these days with the 
degradation of language, it's not clear what anything means any more., and 
there are too few scholars to clarify some matters.

From my point of view there was no reason (other than profit) to change the 
ongoing practice of  forwarding the package to the holder of the green and 
yellow sticker and it should not have been changed, any more than a sergeant 
should change the orders of a commanding general. Except under really 
extraordinary circumstances.

 But a need for profit is not an extraordinary circumstance. Nor does it 
confer a right to gain, to cheat, to steal, or to profit by false 
advertising, even during wartime, and not because of lack of congressional 
authority on a measure affecting a national service.  Not everything is 
licit that isn't specifically disallowed or illegal, and certainly not when 
done by a department of government that is circumventing a previously 
established practice  I don't think ithe matter falls under states' rights 
or Reagan's New Federalism. Who, incidentally was a lousy communicator, with 
somof his Alzheimer's problems and difficulties  probably showing quite 
early in his term of office and given a pass because it suited others in the 
administration.  Granada was not an example of particularly good 
statemanship, even at the time.

  . There's probably grounds for a class-action lawsuit here.  But I'm not 
sure that this would be the most efficient way of correcting the problem..

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lee Poulsen" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Importing seeds and bulbs

> I'm pretty sure this is due to the USDA wanting to guarantee that all
> plant-material-containing mail gets routed to an inspection station as
> soon as it enters the country. The proper way for this to be done (and I
> believe the way it is done in all other countries that manage to divert
> all mail requiring some kind of inspection--such as Australia), is for
> some government agent (Customs?, Postal Service?, USDA?) to pull out all
> mail containing plant material as it comes into the country and divert
> it to an inspection station. This would be all the easier in the U.S.
> case because they could immediately pull out all mail with the green and
> yellow sticker on it before having to find any unlabeled plant mail.
> Since this is not happening in the U.S. (most likely due to both a very
> high volume of incoming international mail and not having the budget to
> pay for the manpower that would be required to go through all of it
> properly), the easier solution--from the APHIS/PPQ perspective--is to
> simply require all plant mail to be sent directly to the inspection
> station (i.e., require that it be addressed on the outside of the
> package to the inspection station and NOT to the final destination).
> And this is where the problem comes in. In the Treaty of Berne which
> created the Universal Postal Union back in the late 1800s, (and which
> the U.S. and virtually every other country and territory is a signatory
> of,) one of the very problems that it was intended to solve was the
> problem with how to pay the postage all along the way that a piece of
> mail travels in getting from the sender to the recipient. Apparently
> prior to the treaty, it was often necessary to affix postage for every
> country through which that piece of mail passed onto the mail
> beforehand. Under the treaty, every country agrees to deliver
> international mail to the final destination addressed on the outside of
> the package or envelope, and the *only* postage required is the initial
> amount paid by the sender.
> What does this mean? If the address of the final destination (the
> recipient) is placed on the outside of the package along with the green
> and yellow sticker, regardless of what the USDA/APHIS/PPQ wants, the
> U.S. is obligated to deliver the package to that address with no
> additional postage required. If the recipient's final destination
> address is not on the outside, then the final destination according to
> the treaty becomes the inspection station address on the green and
> yellow label, and the Postal Service has completed its obligation based
> on the original postage that was paid. To deliver it beyond the
> inspection station is now a new delivery. Hence the postal service is
> within its rights to demand additional postage since its treaty
> obligations have been satisfied.
> I wish the two agencies would just sign a Memorandum of Understanding
> where the Postal Service would agree that when using the green and
> yellow stickers, the "final destination" would be considered to be the
> recipient and not the inspection station.
> --Lee
> Ruth Bierhoff wrote:
>> "As far as I know the only USDA inspection office that requires the
>> additional postage as you mentioned, is at Hawthorne, California.
>> This is not because of the USDA policy, but because the postmaster at
>> Hawthorne is not allowing the shipments to be forwarded without extra 
>> funds"
>> Unfortunately, Miami post office interpreted the rules the same way. I 
>> had to pay for extra postage from FL to NC and no amount of argument 
>> changed their position. This has led me to re-think getting seeds from 
>> SRGC and AGS in future years.
>> Ruth
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