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Author Topic: Seeds shipped into US  (Read 1274 times)

sotasty8

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Seeds shipped into US
« on: June 18, 2018, 08:03:52 PM »
Has anyone been successful with importing seed into the US and getting through customs?
I placed an order from SE Asia and US customs seized the package. The package was delivered empty with a document stating they were confiscated due to lack of Phyto Sanitation Certificate...
Was this just poor judgement on my part, or just bad luck?
Thanks for any insight.

cmichael258

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Re: Seeds shipped into US
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 08:37:08 PM »
It's hit or miss.
Michael

Domnik

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Re: Seeds shipped into US
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 07:53:57 AM »
sotasty8, I am not 100% sure when it comes to seeds (because many large seed sellers have different information, consciously or unconsciously breaking the law, etc.) but from what I know sending seeds and plants to the USA (regardless of quantity) without the consent of USDA is illegal and fined. This applies in particular to the species listed on the list which you will find in USDA (the list is very long). The phytosanitary certificate will not help here. What can only fool customs officers, and sometimes the pack will pass without destroying the contents, however, the import of seeds into the US without USDA approval (and certainly imports of plants) may be illegal on the basis of 7 CFR part 319 act. Call USDA and ask for details and think about obtaining official approval for a specific import (you must fill in the appropriate form PPQ587). It may save you nerves and money.

Here you have the information that the dispatch of plants and seeds requires consent:

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/permits/plants-and-plant-products-permits/ct_plantproducts

Good luck.
Dominik
Patience is a gardener's virtue

Daintree

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Re: Seeds shipped into US
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 09:04:39 AM »
Both replies are correct - to be legal, you must have a USDA permit, and a copy of the permit must be enclosed in the package, along with a list of the seeds and where they were collected.  Additionally, there is a little green and yellow sticker that goes on the front of the package, and that sends the package to the USDA.  Then they forward it on to you after they make sure there are no "nasty beasties" inside. The permit is free.  When I order seeds, I email a copy of my permit, seed list for them to fill out, and a color copy of the green package label, and ask the seller to fill out the list (sometimes I do it ahead of time, to make sure botanical names are correct and readable, since that can hold up a delivery) enclose the list and permit in the package, and print a COLOR copy of the label and attach it to the package.  The only thing that ever goes wrong is that they don't have access to a color printer... 

On the other hand, it is pretty common to just order seeds and have them shipped over.  I would guess the odds of the package not getting seized is maybe 50-50, or maybe even better.  So I guess it depends on how much the seeds cost and how big the fine is, if there is one, as to whether you want to risk it.

Carolyn

JandJPalms

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Re: Seeds shipped into US
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 03:51:01 PM »
Both replies are correct - to be legal, you must have a USDA permit, and a copy of the permit must be enclosed in the package, along with a list of the seeds and where they were collected.  Additionally, there is a little green and yellow sticker that goes on the front of the package, and that sends the package to the USDA.  Then they forward it on to you after they make sure there are no "nasty beasties" inside. The permit is free.  When I order seeds, I email a copy of my permit, seed list for them to fill out, and a color copy of the green package label, and ask the seller to fill out the list (sometimes I do it ahead of time, to make sure botanical names are correct and readable, since that can hold up a delivery) enclose the list and permit in the package, and print a COLOR copy of the label and attach it to the package.  The only thing that ever goes wrong is that they don't have access to a color printer... 

On the other hand, it is pretty common to just order seeds and have them shipped over.  I would guess the odds of the package not getting seized is maybe 50-50, or maybe even better.  So I guess it depends on how much the seeds cost and how big the fine is, if there is one, as to whether you want to risk it.

Carolyn

Carolyn, thanks for the summary.  I am a little unclear about the permit form - I fill out my name, address, etc.  Then do I sign the form and (e)mail it to USDA, and then they send ME the permit, which I then email (does it come from USDA in an emailable format?) to the international seed seller? 

Daintree

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Re: Seeds shipped into US
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 08:52:48 AM »
Hi,
Yes, you complete the permit process, then they email you the permit and green/yellow labels, which you then can email to the seller (don't email them the whole sheet of stickers - just one!).  Process takes several weeks, and I believe they use e-verify, or some other form of ID and background check.  It is all done online (used to be I had to take a copy of my ID into the local USDA office). If you look at the answer from Dominik, he provided a link to the USDA website. Click on that link, then scroll down to PPQ 587 and click on the "plants for planting" link. Gives you all the info, plus another link to apply for the permit.  Here is a tip (and there are previous strings detailing this also) - when you apply, you HAVE to say what seeds you will be importing, where they are coming from, and what designated ports they will arrive to the US at. I marked all the ports, although my stickers are for the SeaTac Washington location. The USDA folks are awesome there! For countries of origin, I said "various approved countries" and for the type of seeds I stated "eligible taxa".  What that means is that you DO have to do a bit of research and not order anything that is restricted or from an ineligible country (Cuba, for example).
It is a pretty easy permit to get, and it is good for 3 years.  You can have things mailed to you.  You can carry them in your luggage ONLY if you enter the country in Seattle during working hours.  SeaTac is the only entry point where the USDA inspection station is IN the airport...
Have fun!
Carolyn

sotasty8

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Re: Seeds shipped into US
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2018, 05:51:21 PM »
Thanks Carolyn.
It's a bit of a process to get it started, but seems straightforward enough. Hope it works.

achetadomestica

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Re: Seeds shipped into US
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 08:38:45 PM »
Carolyn
If you get the seed permit don't the seeds need to be shipped without dirt of any
kind? If the seeds take 1-2 months to leave their country like Brazil how would they
stay moist and not desiccate? So many seeds would not make the trip without moist substrate???

Thanks

 

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