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can i mail seeds to usa

Can i mail seeds to usa

Importing Seeds into the US

Small Lots of Seed Program

For some years, it has been necessary to send a Phytosanitary Certificate with all seeds imported into the USA. This regulation was put in place because of fears that species of plants not native to the United States might spread and displace native species.

This has meant that it has been almost impossible for people in the United States to obtain seeds from other countries legally, which has been a serious difficulty for small seedhouses and specialist nurseries, as well as an inconvenience for ordinary gardeners who wished to exchange seeds with gardeners in other countries.

APHIS (the US Department responsible for Plant Health) have now relaxed these rules for the importation of small quantities of seed. It is no longer necessary to have such seed inspected and to obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate from the exporting country. Instead, the person in the US who wishes to import seeds on a small scale may now apply for an Import Permit which will allow them to bring seeds into the United States, subject to certain conditions. Details of how to obtain a Permit are on the APHIS website: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/Q37/smalllotsseed.html .

The Permit is free, and is valid for three years. During that time, a resident in the US may import any number of lots of up to 50 packets of seed (each packet containing not more than 50 seeds), provided they are packed and labelled in accordance with the rules. Obviously, seeds of species which are normally prohibited are not allowed into the US under the new Small Lots of Seed Program. Seeds must be completely cleaned of soil, chaff, husks, etc., and complete fruits and berries are not allowed in under the new rules. More details are on the APHIS website.

The new procedure will therefore be as follows:

  • (a) The importer (in the US) will obtain a Small Lots of Seed Permit;
  • (b) The importer will send a copy of the Permit, plus a special label addressed to an Inspection Station in the US, plus a self-addressed label, to the exporter (outside the US), whether it is a company, a society or an individual;
  • (c) The exporter (outside the US) will send the seeds, packed and labelled as required, to the Inspection Station, using the label supplied, together with the copy of the Permit, a list of the seeds enclosed, and the label addressed to the importer (in the US);
  • (d) The seeds will be checked at the Inspection Station and forwarded to the intended recipient.

Many international gardening societies are already aware of the procedure they need to follow to get seeds from their Distributions to their members in the US (the new system was worked out in conjunction with NARGS). As the Small Lots of Seed Program has only just been put into effect, it is likely that people in the US who wish to import seeds by buying from a foreign seedhouse or by exchanging seed with someone in another country will need to provide details of the new scheme to the exporter.

The following seem the questions most likely to arise about the new Small Lots of Seed Program. Click on a question to go to the answer, or click here to go to the FAQ page.

Remember that the new Program only applies to the import of small quantities of eligible seed. If you want to import large quantities of seed, or types which are subject to special requirements, you will still need to get a Phytosanitary Certificate. All the rules about importing seed and other parts of plants into the US are on the APHIS website .

There is a checklist of the requirements for packing, labelling and sending seed which it might be useful for the importer (in the US) to send to the exporter (outside the US) here, and a suitable form to list seeds being sent into the US here.

Can i mail seeds to usa Importing Seeds into the US Small Lots of Seed Program For some years, it has been necessary to send a Phytosanitary Certificate with all seeds imported into the

Can i mail seeds to usa

You’re in Arizona and interested in sending a cactus to a friend in New York. Or you’re in Minnesota and want to send a Japanese maple to your mother in Oregon. Can you do this?

You can mail certain plants within the United States. However, keep in mind that when mailing plants, flowers, roots, seeds, and trees, there are rules governing how and if they can travel through the mailstream. It’s important to note that you, as the mailer, have the responsibility to ensure your mailing activity does not violate any law. USPS Publication 14 is a great place to start.

Threatened and Endangered Plants

One reasons regulations are in place is to protect threatened and endangered species. Not sure if what you want to mail is protected? Take a look at this database of endangered plants maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some threatened and endangered plants of California, for example, include the Baja rose (Rosa minutifolia), Santa Inez goldenbanner (Thermopsis macrophylla), and the Yreka phlox (Phlox hirsuta).

Pests and Diseases

Rules are also in place to ensure that plant pests and diseases do not spread and wreak havoc to industries and ecosystems. Therefore, for domestic mail, some plants that may be infested by insects or sickened by plant diseases may be subject to quarantine. Further information can be found at this USPS resource.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) maintains a useful database of information on plant pests and diseases here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth

It’s important to stay current to avoid penalties. Read up on pests. The coconut rhinoceros beetle, for example, detected in Hawaii, can do serious damage to coconut trees, and also feeds on commercial crops such as bananas, sugarcane, papayas, and pineapples. Citrus diseases like Citrus Black Spot and Sweet Orange Scab can also do damage to commercially important crops and production.

Other Domestic Guidelines

Individual states may have restrictions as well, so it’s always good practice to check with local plant health divisions before you mail any plant. For example, citrus plants are prohibited from entering California from other U.S. states. Fresh flowers of jade vine and Mauna Loa from Hawaii cannot be imported into the U.S. mainland and Alaska.

International Mail

For international mail, plants (along with seeds, plant materials, fruits and vegetables), are subject to the USPS prohibitions and restrictions as well as the quarantine regulations of the destination country. For example, you need a plant health certificate if you’re mailing plants, seeds, or bulbs to France, and the United Kingdom also requires an import permit issued for plant shipments. Individual country listings and restrictions can be reviewed here.

Preparing your shipment

When packing plants, the USPS requires the use of strong waterproof material, such as waxed Kraft paper, to maintain the moisture in the plant roots, but also to secure your mailpiece against leakage and damage during transit. Thorny plants should be wrapped in puncture-proof paper, and the tops of plant bundles should also be wrapped and covered.

Can i mail seeds to usa You’re in Arizona and interested in sending a cactus to a friend in New York. Or you’re in Minnesota and want to send a Japanese maple to your mother in Oregon. Can you do ]]>