Plant exchange options

Jim McKenney
Mon, 19 Jan 2009 11:38:47 PST
Bill Aley wrote: “Like it or not, DHS keeps records of infractions and they
will investigate and follow up on individuals with a history of plant
"smuggling" which is a term 

 used when someone ships without the appropriate documents. Recently they
have been accessing fines and penalties to the importer for the actions of
the exporter. Under the current legal system the government has been winning
cases of the importer not preparing the exporter sufficiently or ensuring
that the appropriate documents are in the shipment and the rewarding the
importer with stiff financial penalties. “


Yikes! Maybe I’m on their list. I’ve received seeds from foreign sources
which were sent through the mail without any documentation. But it sure
wasn’t my fault: I spent about $5 in postage to mail the proper
documentation to the sender (my small lots seed import and the associated
documentation). Because of potential language problems, I filled everything
out and all that would have been necessary on the part of the sender was to
remove the documentation from my envelope and transfer them to the envelope
to be sent. But the sender, a private individual and not a business,
unilaterally decided that they did not want to generate a paper trail which
authorities on their end might be able to trace.  


No doubt there are cases where the importer and exported are in collusion,
and those cases should be pursued. But probably much more frequent are those
cases where our friends overseas think they are doing us a favor when they
take shortcuts. 


Bill, I hope we can count on you to keep before the rule makers the complete
lack of control we as individual prospective importers have over the actions
of the senders. 



Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

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