please pay particular attention to the following statement issued by The
International Horticultural Seed Exchange Advocacy (IHSEA), of which our Society
is a member;
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has published the new rule
regarding requirements for importing “Small Lots of Seed” into the USA. This
new rule supersedes the previous need for a Phytosanitary certificate by
establishing a new permit for importing Small Lots of Seed.
This rule comes into effect on May 15, 2006, when these new permits will be available at no charge, and will be good for three years, and multiple uses.
Applications for this new Permit (Form 587) will be online, along with instructions for obtaining permits, and other relevant information at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/permits/plantproducts/nursery.html Click on the "Small Lots of Seed Program" to view the requirements for this new permit. To apply for the permit, click on "PPQ Form 587," which will contain the special instructions for filling out the application to obtain the permit for Small Lots of Seed.
site will refer to the Nursery Stock Manual, which will have updated lists of
plant taxa that are restricted or prohibited, or simply not eligible to be
imported under this new Permit.
Lots of Seed" are now defined as:
A maximum of 50 seeds, or 10 grams of seed (whichever is greater) per packet; and
A maximum of 50 packets of seed per shipment.
Imported seeds and seed shipments must meet some other criteria, most of which are already observed by our seed exchanges, private seed houses, and knowledgeable individuals.
Once a permit is obtained, it can be updated from this same site in the future
A new ePermit
system has also gone into effect, and the people at APHIS are hoping that US
residents will use this new electronic method, which they say will save a
substantial amount of time in receiving the permit. A special, one-time
eAuthentication process is necessary, and all information can be found at:
information and for those without internet access, the person currently handling
plant permits is:
USDA-APHIS-PPQ Permit Unit
4700 River Road
Riverdale, MD 20737-1236
Tel; 1-877-770-5990 (toll free), Fax; 301-734-5786, Email; Permits@aphis.usda.gov
Once a permit is
obtained, the USDA will make available to the member a quantity of mailing
labels bearing the address of the member’s nearest USDA inspection centre. US
members must send me a copy of the permit and one of these USDA labels with each
order so that I can direct their order to their nearest US Inspection Station, I
in turn will supply the necessary mailing label for onward shipment to the
members home address
A number of you will
be only too painfully aware we have had problems in the last couple of years
with US members’ orders having been confiscated for lack of the correct
documentation. I have also been
informed by certain members that they have been threatened by the authorities
with prosecution should they have continued to order in the way that they had
In view of this
development it will now be the responsibility of US members to obtain a permit,
and I hope that members will understand that in future the Society will only
accept orders from US members accompanied by a copy of their permit and
an appropriate USDA label. It will also be the member’s responsibility
to ensure that items ordered are eligible for importation.
In order that US
members do not miss out on the choicer items whilst obtaining their permits, in
the interim I will continue to accept member’s orders by either regular or
email, but no payment will be taken, nor will any order be despatched, until I
have received written confirmation accompanied by the above-mentioned permit
copy and USDA label.
Top Return to 'What's New'
Back in 2003 the Society received correspondence from the Australian Authorities regarding the importation of seed, and I published the following guide for Australian members. As far as I am aware this still holds good to the present day.
the attention of our Australian Members -
regarding Customs and Quarantine issues
the mailing of orders from List One back in January, I received correspondence
from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), informing me that
mail that I had sent had been seized as it failed to meet Australian Quarantine
Laws. Although it made no mention
of the recipients involved, the letter also detailed the severe penalties,
including large fines or imprisonment, which could result in the case of
would seem that regulations have changed, and I know that Rosalie Sutton in
Western Australia had her mail intercepted, even though she had followed the
regulations correctly. To any other
member who has not received their order I can but apologise, for it seems that
unwittingly we have upset someone in authority.
and her son Dane have kindly made some enquiries for me and I have been in touch
with AQIS directly – an email from Tony Brennan of the International Mail
Program follows in its entirety.
would appear that different states within Australia have different data bases of
allowed / banned species, but I am sure that with a bit of effort, between us we
should be able to get around any problems.
Whilst for my part I can ensure that all the packets I send to Australia
meet the stated requirements, especially that they are correctly labelled rather
than just having the code number as previously used, as I suspect that this is
the major stumbling block; however I must ask all members to check with their
respective States’ AQIS office regarding the status of all the seeds which they
intend to order. For example for Western Australia the
plants must also appear on the list found at this site;
Now I fully understand that government departments around the world are notoriously slow when we need information from them and I am sure that AQIS will be no different, and bearing in mind my comments regarding availability on Page 1 of the current list, I have no wish to put Australian members at a disadvantage when it comes to ordering the choicer species or those that are in short supply. I therefore propose to use the method that Rosalie successfully used when ordering from list one. Rosalie sent me her order, which I filled straight away and then held whilst she checked with the Western Australian AQIS Office. Having got clearance she then let me know and I posted her order.
I therefore ask Australian members not to knowingly order seeds of banned
plants, and to mark their orders either;
“State AQIS Clearance Obtained” - These orders will be sent straight away
State AQIS Clearance” -
These orders will be filled straight away but held here before posting
until confirmation is received.
NB As it is the not the Society’s intention to knowingly break any country’s customs and quarantine laws, I regret that I will have to return any orders from Australian members which do not bear one or other of the above statements.
your guidance here follows a list of addresses of each of the Australian State’s
AQIS Offices, and whilst apologising for the inconvenience caused I trust that I
may rely on members co-operation in order that I can continue to supply you with
AQIS International Mail Centres
Mail Program, PO Box 657,
Mascot, NSW 1460
Centre Ph: 02 9897 2108
Fax: 02 9897 7728
Mail Handling Unit. Sydney Airport Ph: 02 8338 0081 Fax: 02 8338 1349
AQIS International Mail Program,
Brisbane Airport Logistic Centre, 25-27 Qantas Drive, Brisbane Airport, QLD 4007
Ph: 07 3860 5494 Fax: 07 3860 4704
AQIS International Mail Program, PO Box 1491, Tullamarine, VIC 3043
Ph: 03 9310 3155 Fax: 03 9920 1718
AQIS International Mail Program, Attn: Perth International Mail Centre, PO Box 1410, Canningvale, WA 6970
Ph: 08 9311 5333 Fax: 08 9277 6889
AQIS International Mail Program, PO Box 63, Port Adelaide SA 5015
Ph: 08 8410 6590 Fax: 08 8410 6590
AQIS International Mail Program, DPIF AQIS Operations, PO Box 1970, Berrimah, NT 0828
Ph: 08 8981 9000 Fax: 08 8981 6555
Australian Capital Territory
AQIS International Mail Program, GPO Box 858, Canberra, ACT 2601
Ph: 02 6272 3933 Fax: 02 6272 3468
email: firstname.lastname@example.org 1800 020 504 (free call within Australia)
Members in New Zealand should consult the relative page of the Biosecurity New Zealand web site http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/commercial-imports/plant-imports/relevant-import-health-standards-and-application/seeds-for-sowing