Getting import permits

dionae

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I finally decided to get my import permits so I can go all international with my obsession and thought i'd share what I had to do and exactly what permits you need. First you need to go here and make an account-

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/home/

After getting your account opened(waiting 10 and 20 minutes and confirming through email) you need to apply for level 2 access to the site. After applying for level 2 you will have to fax or visit the closest usda service center(you can google for a list) to show them your ID and they will verify your level 2 access.

Next you will need to login to your usda account and apply for forms PPQ587(free) and PPQ621($70). I'll apply for both next week and tell you about the forms and process after filing the forms, etc.

If you need help call the APHIS main office in Maryland. They are very nice and very helpful and very thorough in their explanations.

Update soon!

I know there are other threads but I plan on updating from getting permits to getting plants in my hands.
 

Not a Number

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Get this document also Plant Importers Responsibilities. This is an excellent summary as to what is required and how to expedite your shipment. It is recommended that this be sent to the exporter. It is available in several languages (contact APHIS for these).

Note the PPQ621 is required only for CITES species. If you have no intention of importing CITES (Endangered Species) then you do not need this. However it might be a good idea have this after what happened to Dean Cook.

Be aware also that there are import restrictions at the State level for Endangered/Concerned and Invasive Species and you may need additional permits from the your State government.
 
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dionae

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Be prepared for a lot of networking if you want to import plants. Now I'm trying to find someone at the state level that knows if I need anything. I guess not many people from ky import plants because everyone keeps directing me to USDA. Guess I'll be calling MD again...ive called so much we'll be on a first name basis soon.
 
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Everyone is directing you to USDA because the permits are issued through them under the APHIS program. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. As for the question about importing plants or seeds, it depends upon the permit. I believe you can import plants using a PPQ 587 (without the phytosanitary certificate exemption....because there isn't one.) You can import seeds with the PPQ587 with a phytosanitary certificate exemption. So called small seed lot(s). If and when you attempt to do this, be prepared for some frustration and difficulty. Do not think you can go to your local USDA office and get information about APHIS. If you have trouble with the online system don't think just any USDA office will be able to help you. There is only one office/phone # for tech support/help with the online access portal. If you go to the wrong link to enter the portal, it won't work. It will still say APHIS, though. And ask you for some fiddle/faddle ID number. And it won't say why it won't let you in. Keep your frustration/anxiety to a minimum by understanding there will be hiccups.
 

dionae

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You have to call the main office in MD. Theyre actually quite pleasant to deal with.
 
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When you get the right office, you are gold. If all else fails, you can email the office (or call) of Carolyn Fitzgerald. She is the one most likely to sign your permit. I would not do it on skippy, though. Only if you have a real problem.
 

dionae

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Applied for the 621. Send out my app and payment in the morning. Now I just have to wait.
 

dionae

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Just to clarify a few things about importing the plants after you get your permit/s. You should contact the place youre ordering before placing an order to tell them you have permits and need a phytosanitary cert. After placing your order you have to ship the seller your permit(whichis just a sticker to be placed on the package they ship iinm) before they shipyour plants. The seller should ship the package to your nearest inspection station with a label with your address in with the plants so aphis can forward them to you.

Now this is only if you order 13 plants or more. 12 or less require a phytosanitary cert only if theyre not on CITES.

I'm so anxious.
 

dionae

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PPQ621 was issued on the 14th. Still waiting on the PPQ587 as they had follow up questions that I didnt notice until today so check your aphis e account often.

 

dionae

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Was approved for the PPQ587. Just waiting on paperwork and stickers to arrive now. Really simple process if you have the patience.
 

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About 3-4 years back we timed a few at around 10-12 working days from start to getting your labels and paperwork in the mail. This was with the online ez-permits. It may take longer now with all the sequestration budget cutbacks.
 

dionae

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The reason my 587 took so long is they needed more detailed info in the species area and I didnt notice it in my inbox on the e site for a week so totally my fault for the delay on that one.

Check your epermit account daily to avoid this.
 

mato

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That's strange. My permits and amendments have all taken a week on average to process. You will see a notification online much sooner than anything you receive in the mail, but you're still approved.
 

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Does it cost anything to get the permit (PPQ587 I'm assuming) necessary for importing non-CITES plants?

Only the CITES permit has a fee. $70 I believe, down from $90. Fees for Phytosanitary Certificates are determined by the issuing country of origin. These run from $20 to $200 USD. Some countries require a certificate for each taxon being shipped.
 
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Sorry, I have another question. Can you go to a country and try to import plants from there into the US with a phytosanitary certificate if you have the right import permit, or does a permit only work for having plants shipped to you?
 

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You can bring in up to 12 plants in your baggage without a permit provided you have phytosanitary certificates issued from the country of origin. The plants will be inspected by Customs agents at the port of entry. If there are any CITES plants you will need a CITES permit. More than 12 plants require permits and phytosanitary certificates. The plants have to be shipped and inspected at the nearest Plant Plant Quarantine inspection station or you can try to make arrangements to have an inspector available when you arrive and the shipment arrive. You are responsible for arranging and paying for shipment to and from the Inspection center. If the inspectors determine the plants need treatment for pests or diseases before leaving quarantine you are responsible for the cost of any treatment. The inspectors could also destroy or have the plants returned to the country of origin. Customs will destroy any plants without phytosanitary certificates.

If you are shipping (importing) the plants from overseas all the same permits are required.

See this post for more information and download the two circulars linked at the bottom.
http://www.terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php/129001-importing?p=1097395&#post1097395
 
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