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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Sending/Receiving seeds from outside US

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  • From: Michael Nave <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Sending/Receiving seeds from outside US
  • Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 07:18:52 -0700 (PDT)

APHIS now has a small seed lot import program. Here
are the details:

--- wrote:

> In a message dated 8/30/2007 11:10:38 PM Eastern
> Daylight Time,
> writes:
> >
> > My question is, is it legal for United States
> citizens to receive seeds from
> > outside the U.S., through the mail? I remember
> somebody posting an article
> > sometime back about a man who brought in some
> citrus scionwood from the
> > Orient in a suitcase and it was illegal (It turned
> out the wood had some
> > terrible disease and the guy was in big trouble).
> Do seeds have to go
> > through customs? Is there some agency that has to
> check them for diseases?
> > I know they are generally safer than scionwood,
> but still as I understand,
> > some diseases like plum pox can be communicated
> through seeds.
> >
> > Also can I legally send some of my seeds outside
> the U.S. via the postal
> > service?
> Hi Mark,
> Yes, all incoming seeds must be inspected by the US
> Animal Plant Health
> Inspection Service (APHIS). There are some few
> exceptions. First you must obtain an
> import permit from APHIS. Then the seeds go directly
> to APHIS with their
> Green and Yellow shipping label. If the material
> passes if is forwarded to you for
> two years of quarantine growing, meaning you can't
> share the material with
> others for two years. You state inspector as the
> option to inspect the plants if
> they desire. Some material such as Prunus bud wood
> must be grown in
> quarantine by the USDA in screened rooms at
> Beltsville, MD. I've had material there for
> as long as 4 years before it was passed out clean.
> Infected material is
> incinerated.
> One exception is pre inspected material that is
> packaged for importation into
> the US. Usually by large seed companies. Private
> individuals overseas and
> Canada usually aren't pre inspected.
> Can you legally send material overseas?
> Generally no, as I understand it. That all depends
> on agreements between the
> countries. If you ship a package out of the country
> the post office and other
> shippers will have you fill out a declarations form.
> If certain material and
> to particular countries, the carriers refuse to
> accept it. FedEx, UPS and USPS
> sticks strictly to the rules. But a foreign country
> can't prosecute you for
> trying, I don't think.
> There are some exceptions to what I've written, If
> you really want to import
> seeds contact me off line and I'll put you in
> contact with the proper APHIS
> person to apply for an import permit. You also will
> need a letter from your
> local state entomologist approving the importation
> and they counter sign your
> application. APHIS will work with you, they are
> wonderful understanding folks but
> you have to jump through hoops. They are paid with
> tax $$$ and are our
> servants.
> Jerry

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