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Importing seeds into the US

 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 294
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Does anyone have any experience with importing seeds?  I'm wanting to get some plum seeds from Finland, but I'd also like to know about importing experience in general.
 
Dan Boone
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I have ordered many seeds via eBay and Amazon that arrived from overseas without any obvious customs formalities or difficulties.  But these were mostly small seeds, not stone fruit pits.
 
John Weiland
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Probably more than you wanted to know:  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/ct_plant_import_information
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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My seed swapping network has had some problems with governments confiscating seeds, either in the mail, or up to years after. But government functionaries are underpaid, and overworked, and it's usually easier to look the other way than to do their jobs.  Governments everywhere are flat out bankrupt, so they really can't devote the staff time to enforcing import bans. So most seeds sail through the mail system without  issue most of the time.

The most at risk swaps were done in public. Facebook and eBay are the worst places to source seeds. Making posts in public places that you received seeds from foreign countries is not advisable. Do people post on-line that they are using heroine? No. In like manner, they shouldn't be posting that they are smuggling seeds.

I don't import seeds from foreign countries, because I managed to get myself added to a bio-terrorism watch list, but if you do: Seeds glued to a piece of paper become "art"; seeds intended to be eaten become "food"; seeds hot-glued to fabric become "clothing"; seeds inside a hacky sack become "toys"; seeds inside a rattle become "musical instrument". Flat envelopes less than 3/4" thick are "flats" and don't require customs declarations. Seeds that cause less than 1/8" variation in thickness of a mail-piece are "first class letter". Etc, etc, etc...



 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 294
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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That government site is going to take a while to figure out, but I guess I better.


I'm trying to keep in legal. I don't want to import something that will decimate a species. I know there isn't much risk.


Thanks guys!
 
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