the small lots of seed permits do not require a phytosanitary certificate. The seeds are inspected at 100% at the USDA Plant Inspection Station. The limits to the small lots of seed permit are 50 lots not to exceed 50 grams or 50 seeds, each, which ever is greater. Its an arbitrary number and amount~ ie: 50 grams of larkspur seed verses 50 palm seed. Larger lots of seed (often up to several hundreds of Kilos) imported under the standard Q37 permit are often sampled by a Department of Homeland Security Customs Border Protection (DHS CBP) inspector at the first port of US entry, usually in a Customs Bonded warehouse. The inspectors could not easily inspect 100 Kilos of seed at 100% and get all of the other inspections accomplished in a day. The authorization as stated on the permit requires a phytosanitary certificate for the general permit and except for woody tree seed, a DHS CBP inspector can inspect the seed at the first port of entry. Under the small lots of seed the shipment must go to a Plant Inspection Station for inspection. Thus it is not a convenient as far as how fast or when the shipment is inspected. Also not all seed requires a permit for import into the USA, again know the rules of importation as stated in the CFR. Restrictions are based upon disease status of seed borne pathogens and insect pests and the country of origin. The pros and cons: obtain a PC and a CBP inspector can inspect and release at any port of entry OR use a small lots of seed permit, limited by weight, size and number and it must go to a plant inspection station, but no PC is required. This permit is a concession to individuals who tend to trade as a collector or for breeding purposes since the import regulations were put in place for commercial imports. Again, 100 years ago most people were not importing small amounts of seed into the USA. This change is less than 10 years old as a result of the way trade has evolved. Hope that helps.On Jan 23, 2011, at 1:40 PM, Adam Fikso wrote: > Re Ellen's good questionwhich I never asked... Was the thinking > ever explicated? > > > > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ellen Hornig" <email@example.com > > > To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2011 8:36 AM > Subject: Re: [pbs] More info than you probably need about importing > into theUSA > > >> Bill A - I'm curious (and I'm not being accusatory - it's not like >> you're responsible for this system) - what was the thinking behind >> requiring separate permits for small seed lots and general plant >> (or large seed lot) imports, when they are, at least as I >> understand it, the same type of permit. just differently >> designated? Why couldn't those of us who own general permits be >> allowed to use them for small seed lots too?