Re: [gardeners] Smuggling plants (
Mon, 2 Feb 1998 15:44:06 -0500 (EST)

SKID's .02 worth:

We recently applied for, and received our plant import permit--this is the
free one, for home gardeners.  We downloaded it from the APHIS (US Govt.)
website, printed it out, and sent it in.

The only (very minor) problem we had was that we did not list the plants we
planned on importing from China (how could we know?)--as it turned out,
APHIS only needed a 'general idea' of the genus in order to approve the
permit for us.  That having been done by phone, the permit arrived a week
later with a rather extensive information package.

should be relatively easy to bring plants back to the States providing you
play by their rules:
Get the permit
Declare everything
List genus/species for every plant
Plants must be absolutely soiless
Do not attempt to import prohibited plants/seeds (APHIS provides a list of
these items)

Generally speaking, seeds do not carry as many restrictions as plant
material,  but again, it's wise to abide by the US Govt. rules, as they can
make your life a living Hell when you arrive at the airport and don't
declare something you otherwise should.

As I sit here and write this, Harvey is now in China, accompanying his
sister who is adopting a child there.  I know he has been to one nursery,
and has met with somebody from a seed company--we'll report on his
success/failure in getting any plant/seed material back into the USA (in
about 2 weeks).

SKID Plants Zone 6 CT USA

>Cheryl & Erich Schaefer <> wrote:
>> It is true enough. I declared plant material coming back from Italy
>> and the inspector told me that my cuttings and bare root plants were
>> fine. The problem was soil. You can also apply for a permit to
>> import plants with you if you know in advance what it is you want to
>> bring back. Cheryl
>It must depend on the country of origin.  My sister tried to bring in
>one of the roots from which wasabe is made when she came from Japan
>last summer.  No dice.  She told me in advance that she couldn't find
>a place to get one with a phyto-sanitary certificate but that she was
>going to give it a try anyway.  There is some enormous fine if you
>get caught smuggling so she declared it.  They told her no.