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  #1  
Old 11-13-2019, 12:21 AM
Chemtiger Chemtiger is offline
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Import permit for orchids from Thailand (shipping to USA) Female
Default Import permit for orchids from Thailand (shipping to USA)

Disclaimer: I am sorry if this is the wrong place for this particular query, and feel free to move it if it’s not.

I am desperately seeking help with getting the paperwork squared away for an import permit so I can buy some orchids from Thailand. The seller will provide a phytosanitary certificate and the paperwork for CITES, so it’s up to me to get an import permit, fill it out properly, and hopefully actually have my order go through customs without being seized. I would really appreciate it if anyone is able to help me with this red tape. I’m not importing anything to sell, it’s all going to be for my personal collection, and it seems that buying from Thailand is the only way to get my coveted Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica and Dendrobium devonanium. I live in New Orleans, Louisiana, and I don’t know if we have an agricultural inspector at the port of entry here, so I’ll probably have to as the seller to ship it to a port on the west coast where there’s an agricultural inspector onsite, so it can go through customs.

I apologize for the wall of words above, thank you so, so much for reading this, and I appreciate any help that anybody can give me.
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2019, 02:31 AM
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I have not done this myself, but I don't think it is too difficult since I know a few hobbyists who have done it. I did a quick Web search, ended up on the Customs and Border Protection site, and it looks like the New Orleans Port of Entry has contact phone numbers both for Fish and Wildlife and USDA (not sure which applies) - one or both of them might be able to advise you, worth trying.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:49 AM
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USDA APHIS | Plants and Plant Products Permits
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemtiger View Post
I am desperately seeking help with getting the paperwork squared away for an import permit so I can buy some orchids from Thailand.
I had been thinking of going down this path many times, but never went ahead with it - simply due to sheer luck that I managed to find the orchids that I had always been searching for.

There were very nearly times when I was about to go ahead with it. In Australia, there is a form that can be filled out by anybody in general. And it appears that in U.S., a similar procedure - links provided by Subrosa.

When in any doubt, the U.S. govt websites will certainly provide the path to follow. The only fiddly things is to properly fill out the paperwork, and the rest will be how much money we have to pay. The permit will probably be relatively inexpensive.

Flasks will probably be relatively inexpensive. It's the big plants - unflasked that can be relatively expensive, and maybe risky - since it's possible to pay for everything, and the plant(s) don't survive the trip - eg. quarantine/fumigation etc.

As for Dendrobium devonianum, I'm thinking surely somebody in the U.S. or a nursery could sell you a devonianum. A devonianum isn't too difficult to acquire within your own country, right?

Last edited by SouthPark; 11-13-2019 at 06:30 AM..
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:26 AM
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When filling out the application, you don't really know which way the package, shipped via EMS, will be routed, so for Thailand, list all west coast ports of entry - the three in CA and Seattle.

"Knowing" the POE is really intended for folks doing larger-volume imports, who will have a broker clear the plants.

Don't stop there. Go ahead and add other Asian countries through those same ports and South American and European countries (Germany) through Gulf- and east coast POE. You never know...

Once the vendor has your import labeled and their paperwork together, the package will be routed to one of those stations, they will inspect the plants, and if all is well, they will be overnighted to you from there at no extra charge.
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Last edited by Ray; 11-13-2019 at 08:28 AM..
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:17 PM
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Default Thank you…

Thank you for your help, everyone, I really appreciate it. I’m hoping that I got everything done correctly. I’m not taking chances like that for a $90 (+$25 shipping) for a blooming-size Phal. hieroglyphica that’s coming from Thailand, I can’t find one anywhere else, so I’m going to try this method—you know, the legal way—for something that will cost more than $100 per plant. I’m kind of poor, which isn’t helped by my kind of expensive hobby here.

P.S.: Thank you SouthPark. Good advice.
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Last edited by Chemtiger; 12-02-2019 at 06:57 PM.. Reason: Deletion of one potentially incriminating sentence.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Chemtiger View Post
Thank you for your help, everyone, I really appreciate it. I’m hoping that I got everything done correctly. I was able to get some Phals from Bulgaria that she very cleverly sent two per box, declared them as “Household Decorations” and bam, at my doorstep in 5 business days (shockingly fast, and as healthy as stuff that gets here from California!)
I don't know what the rules are in U.S. But I know that misleading customs officers etc is asking for trouble in Australia.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:54 PM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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i have purchased several ebay orchids from overseas-

i have not gotten any permits and they are delivered right to my house.

once, when i lived on south beach (adjacent to the port) i had to go to the port itself and pic up the box but they said that was due to the box being damaged and it was not opened or inspected...

perhaps it is more rigorous based on the country of origin? i know there are different rules in a lot of the states too so it would not surprise me if this is all over the place on both the laws and enforcement.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:10 PM
Chemtiger Chemtiger is offline
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Default DirtyCoconuts…

Yes, same thing, I’ve had everything make it (I think) too. See my above confession to breaking/bending? the law.

Also, I think it has to do with the number and type of plants in question and whether they have soil/other organic material in a pot which may hide possible seeds/spores from invasive species—which may be why my orchids are shipped to me bare-root in most situations, and if the seller is from a foreign country, their phytosanitary and CITES certificates ensure that they’re using accepted cultivation/culture practices within their nursery, and they’re not attempting to sell wild-collected plants, especially not scheduled CITES species. I’ve really read up on what is required for importing plants, such as having the different-colored labels to alert customs to the fact that I have a package in need of USDA inspection, and once they finish with their inspection, they can repackage the plants after they’re inspected, then repackage them and use the new color-coded label pre-made with my home address, to facilitate the shipment from the inspection’s port to my home. It’s all pretty confusing, I don’t know how I got through engineering school but struggle to figure out what is needed to legally import a few (okay, a few dozen, total) orchids.

All of this being said, I’m surprised that there’s no port with a USDA inspector in south Louisiana, since we’re such a large port area (New Orleans and Baton Rouge; the Mississippi River has huge container ships that I can see from my front porch if the river is especially high). I’d love to live near enough to Miami to be able to do what you did; I also would love to live near Miami because I have major “zone envy”! I lived in USDA zone 3 for the first 35 years of my life, now I’m in 9b and I want to be in 10! [end whining, sorry y’all!]
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Last edited by Chemtiger; 12-02-2019 at 07:26 PM.. Reason: Lern two spel, can i even grammer?
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
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...I have major “zone envy”! I lived in USDA zone 3 for the first 35 years of my life, now I’m in 9b and I want to be in 10! [end whining, sorry y’all!]
I've lived in zone 5 my entire life. Got changed to zone 6a courtesy of the government a few years back. (No move involved of course.)

You're in 9b after 35 years of life in zone 3... and want 10?!?

Agreed. Enough whining Chemtiger.
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