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Old 07-10-2019, 09:18 AM
Swimmingorchids Swimmingorchids is offline

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UK rules and regulations Male
Default UK rules and regulations

So this year I have been expanding my collection a bit which seems to be a good thing as I ordered another orchid from thailand but the seller has gotten in touch saying the UK has changed its import regulations and I would need proper documentation now.

I know nothing has changed till we actually leave the EU but if we do I've already been told I can't take my dog abroad without putting him in quarantine for 3 months and it seems buying orchids from abroad will be reserved to those with licenses and whatnot.

Not great. He doesn't want to send me my orchid
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:50 PM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline

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Location: middle of the Netherlands
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I'm not an expert on regulatory matters but normally whether the UK is in or out of the EU, or now versus sometime before, doesn't make a difference in terms of plant imports. Right now you can still order from the EU without paperwork, but from everywhere else, paperwork of some sort has always been needed, and maybe the authorities simply became more stringent about it. A quick online search indicated that at minimum (and this is from 2011), the UK required that you arrange an import permit, a CITES export permit if applicable, and a phytosanitary certificate. (see first post here: Importing orchids to the UK - how to help prevent extinction, and you can find countless other sources saying the same). Flasked orchids are a bit different, and I believe that less is needed, but at minimum you need an import permit. If you have ordered plants from Thailand before without doing this, it was completely illegal. The seller in this case is correct in saying he can't ship to you.

Importing from abroad has always involved arranging a varying number of permits, and it's actually a good thing. These permits help ensure that plants are coming from cultivated sources rather than wild collected (CITES), which is a huge, huge problem for countless orchids. Controling what is imported also helps prevent the spread of pests and diseases.

Quite honestly, as a new-ish orchid grower (if I recall correctly from one of your previous posts) you can find a huge variety of orchids to buy from growers within Europe, and the plants will generally arrive in far better health that plants that have traveled around the world. What orchid were you looking to buy? Perhaps I or others here can help you find a local, legal source.

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Last edited by camille1585; 07-10-2019 at 03:44 PM..
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:51 PM
claypot claypot is offline

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UK rules and regulations

I am in the UK and under existing regulations the only orchid plants which can cross our shores must be between UK and other EU countries. Strictly speaking, plants from any other countries must be supported by appropriate CITES documentation. You can read about those draconian rules on the DEFRA website - including the costs of £79 per genus PLUS extra per species PLUS extra for phytosanitary checks. I understand that sealed flasks do not need such documents being seedlings so cannot have been wild collected.
I tried to import from Colombia a few months ago using the full CITES process, but abandoned my attempt eventually because DEFRA was not just unhelpful but downright obstructive. Whether that was because I was an individual, or whether they were afraid I might slip some undesirable other plants being Colombia I do not know. Basically, DEFRA require sight of export/phyto documents from the source before entertaining issue of import permits. Those documents must list all plants transiting. Then plants can enter the UK through only nominated “ports of entry” which are equipped to check matching documentation and examine the shipment.
When we leave the EU, the shutters will come down for free CITES plant movement for the EU too so all incoming plants will need documentation. Daft really when CITES by its nature protects SPECIES whereas most plants coming in are HYBRIDS. I fear for the furtherance of our hobby when that happens especially as DEFRA shows no signs of lessening its stance.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:18 PM
Swimmingorchids Swimmingorchids is offline

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thx camille and claypot, that is very helpful.
Answers one of my next questions on how much it would cost to import it.

I am looking for a Aerides Houlettiana and Phalaenopsis Dragon Tree Eagle.

I know I can get them both for £45 delivered to my door but that is 3 times more than what it would have cost and I can't justify that cost this year anymore so maybe next year.
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