They took my plants! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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They took my plants!

No, I don't live in Texas.
So I was ordering some aquarium stuff from an ebay seller in Malaysia. I impulsed a couple of cryptocoryne balansae from them too, just on the off chance they would make it here alive and well.
Much to my suprise, my wife called me up (I am out of town on business) and informed me that the plants had been confiscated and destroyed by Customs for not having the right documentation. This happen to anyone else? Was I an idiot for trying? It is the aquatic magic guys, seems like they have a good rep and a lot of stuff.
Oh well, couple of bucks down the drain. My wife was a little concerned about the letter from Customs though. Said I could be held liable for fines and such. Yikes.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 09:57 PM
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It is not unusual for plants to be confiscated and destroyed. You are breaking federal laws by importing plants without the proper paperwork.

They probably will take a closer look at all the packages you will be importing from now on.

Anthony


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 10:07 PM
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Another one!?!?!
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 11:28 PM
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Oh no! You made the list! Youch!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 11:43 PM
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i wonder how they destroy the plants? do you think they have a huge fire every night, drink some beer and listen to led zeplin?
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 11:52 PM
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Wish you had checked out the SnS a few days ago. I had a VERY large crypt balansae for 5 bucks...20+ leaves and 7 baby rhizomes. flowered twice.

Doesn't surprise me that you got confiscated. Why order from over seas anyways? Shipping is insane...


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-15-2011, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by timwag2001 View Post
i wonder how they destroy the plants? do you think they have a huge fire every night, drink some beer and listen to led zeplin?
They have a HUGE planted tank in the center of there building! JOKE

Jeff - Joking aside I might be trimming or re-scaping this weekend holiday. If i have spare balansae i can mail it to you for shipping price.

-Brian


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-15-2011, 12:14 AM
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i wonder how they destroy the plants? do you think they have a huge fire every night, drink some beer and listen to led zeplin?
Probably some chemical treatment and/or autoclave it.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-15-2011, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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I think the shipping was really minimal, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered for $1.41 in plants. I bet they do have a huge planted tank in the center of the room, but they probably have a lot of really cool confiscated stuff all over!

Thanks Brian! Let me know what else your trimming out....I'd be happy to kick in some money for plants!! Looking for Blyxa Japonica too, if you have it!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-15-2011, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bgssamson View Post
They have a HUGE planted tank in the center of there building! JOKE
Actually, the Fish and Wildlife guys in my port DO have a huge tank for some confiscated specimens of some kind of rare fish they had to keep for a smuggling case . . .

I work for Customs (I'm a trade consultant for textiles in the Port of San Francisco). Yes, it is illegal to import plants without filing paperwork and going through fish and wildlife/ag. Yes, people still do it all the time. Yes, your name and address now have a record and future shipments are also likely to be stopped (esp if sent by a carrier like FedEx). And yes, you could be fined, but it's highly unlikely that anyone is really going to bother coming after you (and if they do, you say you had no idea the ebay auction was from overseas and you had NOTHING to do with the importation).

If anyone EVER has Customs questions, feel free to PM me.


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-15-2011, 03:43 AM
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Actually, the Fish and Wildlife guys in my port DO have a huge tank for some confiscated specimens of some kind of rare fish they had to keep for a smuggling case . . .

I work for Customs (I'm a trade consultant for textiles in the Port of San Francisco). Yes, it is illegal to import plants without filing paperwork and going through fish and wildlife/ag. Yes, people still do it all the time. Yes, your name and address now have a record and future shipments are also likely to be stopped (esp if sent by a carrier like FedEx). And yes, you could be fined, but it's highly unlikely that anyone is really going to bother coming after you (and if they do, you say you had no idea the ebay auction was from overseas and you had NOTHING to do with the importation).

If anyone EVER has Customs questions, feel free to PM me.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-15-2011, 03:56 AM
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So what do i need to import some plants? If the source ships plants with certificate is that good enough?


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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-15-2011, 04:36 AM
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So what do i need to import some plants? If the source ships plants with certificate is that good enough?
The short and ugly answer is you can't, and no.

There is no method of "casually" importing flora or fauna. This is why all the fish on Aquabid come through professional transshipers who are licensed and bonded. There are specific F&W/AG clearance procedures and docs that you will have problems handling as a non-commercial importer, and the cost of filing the required formal entry will be prohibitive ($25 minimum filing fee, cost of posting a bond, plus the cost of paying for a broker to clear the shipment, which runs about $100 minimum).

Sorry.


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-15-2011, 06:37 AM
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It's not up to the importer to provide phytosanitary certification, therefore you will not be fined. If questioned by ICE, your excuse for attempting to import is, "I was under the assumption all paperwork would be taken care of". After all, if things were exported correctly (being sanitized, free of soil and pathogens, and properly certified), there would be no problem. I have imported several medium sized trees and other plants just fine. I've dealt with ICE on several occasions,

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Last edited by sewingalot; 01-16-2011 at 12:30 AM. Reason: You may want to refresh yourself on the rules a bit.
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