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APHIS to phase in the use of electronic barcoded shipping labels

Anyone else get this notice? When up and running you can get labels (to print out) in minutes. Could be a welcome change. Now if they would just ashcan the fees for phyto certs, or eliminate them altogether. They are going to inspect anyway. I do not understand the purpose of costly paperwork to say - there is no soil here, it was it was packed (or theoretically) grown a certain way. So, here is paperwork to show (you fill in the blank) and an inspector to ensure the rules are followed. If you take out the first part, what changes? Save a lot of expense...unless the purpose of the fees is to run the program or - who's on first. Is it not in the interest of international purveyors to follow the rules? I have never hand anyone able to explain it to me in a rational fashion. Other than thems the rules.
Of course, you can get the phyto exempt permit for seeds. Ironically most of them won't sprout anyway. Which is probably an answer in itself.
Phytosanitary certificates help to keep plants collected from the wild (and possibly illegally obtained aka "poached") being sold. No phytosanitary requirements would mean the plants would have to be much more thoroughly inspected, treated and quarantined for a period before being released. This would mean more inspectors, more treatment facilities, more materials for treatment and facilities to store the plants while in quarantine. This would mean additional costs and the permits would no longer likely to be free as well as the importer probably having to cover the costs for treatment and storage.
Definitely an organization with its head in a dark smelly place on some issues. Why on earth does one need a phytosanitary to import orchids grown in sterile flasks? I'd love to hear a rational answer to that one!
I am still uncertain of the nuts and bolts of how that prevents poaching, unless a PS is a chain of custody thing, stating this plant(s) were grown here, and were followed all the way to an IS. Perhaps that is so. What would stop someone from digging up a plant washing it off, treating for pests, saying I grew it, and then applying for a phyto? Surely it would not be in the interest of an established nursery to do so. Maybe something better aimed at private sellers/traders? I don't know. What I do know is ask folks at the USDA how to get one, or how does someone in another country get one. Then ask what does it cost in other countries. Or is there a "clearing house" sort of list that would list those rates in other countries, or the US for that matter. How, theoretically would I get one to ship something to a country where it is required? I have asked. I have not gotten anything besides referrals to customs, etc. Surely somewhere, somehow, someone has all of this information together so that someone might at least have a vague understanding of it all. I don't mean at the commercial level. I think they get billed by the hour. Or something. If nothing else, knowing what the things cost from various lands at their point of issue would let you know if there is an upsell. I have read one from Thailand is $5. CR is 29E, if I remember correctly. I have heard one from AU is about $250 and one vendor from there charges almost double that. Maybe it is a big hassle to obtain. So you are back to how do you do that?
I meant to say the CR vendors charge 29E. Dunno what they get charged.
In case anyone is wondering, this system is up and running. You go to the usual place and fill out like before, and pdq they send you a pdf.:)
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I was pretty happy when I received that email the other day. The mailing process always seemed a little unnecessary to me.
I just printed them out, they look fine. The only hiccup I can foresee is to accidentally print them out more than once, as each label has a unique number and barcode and they say not to reuse. Also, not printing in color is a big no no.