Enthusiast Group (AEG)

Importing seeds into the U.S.A.

Hello everyone -

While it is not now - nor ever again will be - as simple as it once was to mail seeds to the United States, the new permit for Small Lots of Seed established rules and procedures that are less costly than the phytosanitary certificates. It remains now for those US organizations who import donations, as well as US members of other organizations, to obtain the new permit. Non-US organizations will probably have to decide whether to make the permit mandatory (either now, or by some future date), or continue their current practices, and use the permits if/when they are sent.

Information and an application for the permit can be found at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/permits and click on PPQ Form 587, in the boxes at the bottom of the page, or use this:

Be sure to read the directions on page 2, for filling out the application specifically for the new Small Lots of Seed permit, as this form is used in many types of permits.

Information for exporting organizations regarding new packaging and shipping requirements for sending seeds to the US under the new permit can be found at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/permits and click on Small Lots of Seed Program (note especially #5).

I'll be glad to answer any questions, or search out further information.

On the international front:
A new international Standard for the movement of plants for planting is currently being written by a working panel of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). This Standard will exclude seed from its stipulations because it is expected that there will be a separate Standard specific to seed health and the international movement of seed. IPPC Standards do not, in themselves, act as international law, but the 157 signatory countries agree to bring their own country regulations into compliance with IPPC Standards. So this will eventually affect any organization based in (or dealing with members in) any of those countries (see list: http://www.fao.org/Legal/TREATIES/004s-e.htm)

When they are ready to begin work on a Standard for seeds, the specifications for the proposed standard will appear on this website. Check "Specifications" under "Standards (ISPMs)" on the portal page (the specs for the standard on plants is No. 34): https://www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.jsp

Stay tuned.....

All best regards,

Joyce Fingerut
Government Liaison,
North American Rock Garden Society

Updated by Eric Gouda, March 2007