I have an import license from U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. Getting fish in the country is a lot easier than plants. I had to talk to at least a half dozen agencies to figure out what I needed to get the license and then if I needed permits for certain species along with collecting permits in the countries I would be collecting in. You might also need entry visa to those countries too. It can be quite interesting trying to figure all this out and getting the proper permits. Almost not worth it (not). I would start with the us fish and wildlife services. Plants you need to have them inspected by us agriculture and have the right permits in place too. If you are serious about collecting, I would find a good college to study either Ichthyology or botany with an emphasis on the tropics or aquatic plants. You can then get permits to collect in certain contries alot easier along with getting them back through customs. Almost makes me want to go back to school and get my masters!
Great info, Maybe if you are still doing this stuff down the road I'll have to see if you will come
. But I do think I will have one wackey degree field probably computers, botany, and medicine maybe But its all up in the air still I've got some time to decide
It looks like the fish would deffinatly be the easy part, hence they said no special paperwork required. But I would still get the permit to make it that much easier.
best way to get plants in is to simply smuggle them, end of story.
trick is to return to the US from Europe, since they don't have dogs
that smell your luggage looking for live fruit and vegetables on flights
arriving from western Europe. i buy Cuban cigars in England and bring
them back every time to NYC without a care in the world. if I was
returning from Venezuela with cigars, they'd get confiscated every time.
The whole point of this topic is to get the plants and fish that could be collected back into the USA LEGALLY!
SO please Leave all thoughts of smuggling out of this topic. Thanks.
ahhh yes... I am going to keep my mouth shut on this one.
He even admits he smuggles cigars... oh well
US wildlife has nothing to do with the importation of plants. NOTHING. Its all the USDA. How they regulate it on baggage, I am not sure. You do have to have collecting permits in the countries you are collecting from. All you may need when leaving the country is a phytosanitary certificate from the country you are collecting from. Present it to customs when you re enter this country. They may tell you it has to be released by the USDA before you can take the plants with you. It would probably be better to have it sent by courier with the phyto to someone here in the USA while you are still there. Fed X or whoever you use will get it thru customs/USDA.
Remember if you are collecting wild plants, in order to pass the phytosanitary certificate the plants have to be completely washed and sterilized with no trace of dirt, soil, or any insects. When you get your permits over there, you can find out where the facility is in that country for the certificate and how much it will cost you. You can also get a fumigation certificate which certifies the plants were fumigated for insects and parasites.
You will need to identify each plant and have the name listed. USDA/customs will verify if the species are prohibited or not. Make sure the plant names are on the shipping manifest.
The only people I know who have brought back collected plants are Erik Olson and other AGA members who went on a trip to the Amazon. They can tell you more about what is involved, although Erik told me years ago that the regulations have stiffened up quite a bit since their trip. It may be easier to get permits if you do it on the grounds of scientific research and study.
From legal importers like me, or they become importers themselves. Getting a permit to import plants is easy and its free. Actually getting the plants thru customs is trickier. An importer like me buys from a reputable exporter in the other country. The exporter has the permits on his end, gets the certificates, and does what is needed on that end to send the plants here. For you to go there and collect plants and bring them here, you have to do all the work on both ends. Much more complicated.
For the Smuggling I don't want to hear any more about it.... as most of us wouldn't anyways
For collecting permits, I figured you would have to have them. But how strict are they usually do you know off hand? I figure it varies from country to country right?
I saw that on one of the websites I was searching, no surprise really. USDA is sooo strict!
As for each plant named and listed, What if it is say a new crypt? would you label it just generally as a crypt? Or would you just put all the crypts in one package and label them all crypts say? OR would that be summgling?
I wouldn't be suprised if the regulations would have become much stiffer. I'm not sure if Erik Olson has an account here, I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Maybe if he had some extra time he could post some info on what they had to do so everyone could see it, since I wouldn't be doing this for probably quite a few years.
As for permits Along the lines of "scientific study" it probably would be much easier, especially if say you go with some people from a local well known University or Collage. That is a great tip I would have to say!
So its pretty easy permit wise being an importer I would just have a hard time with customs? Thats cool, maybe it could help me get through Collage. But time will tell.
Lots of great Info here! Sorry for the long winded post
Thanks for all the info!