Re: Importing Aquarium Plants

Neil Frank  (Susan Irwin) wrote:

> To import plants into the U.S., a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) ...
> An Import Permit (IP) is also required for shipments .......
> Some countries are more sensible :-).  In Denmark, France
> and Germany, aquatic plants for aquarium use are unrestricted
> and in Great Britain, aquarium plants from EEC are also
> unrestricted.

It is true that we in Denmark are more sensible, but we are not
unrestricted. All producers that wishes to export products from one
EEC-member to another in EEC is under strict control. As an
example I can mention how the company where I work, Tropica
Aquarium Plants in Denmark, operates in this matter:

The Danish Ministry and The Agriculture Plant Directorate will
come several times a month on an unexpected visit (2-4 persons).
The entire nursery 10.000 m2 (100 600 US ft2) will be thoroughly
searched for pests (insects, bacteria, virus etc.) and plant diseases.
If they find any pests it will be compulsory to get rid of them, and
any export or sale of the plants concerned will be prohibited until
the pests have been exterminated.

Regarding export across the borders of the EEC the individual
shipments will be checked and provided with a Phytosanitary
Certificate. This certificate will ensure that no plant species will be
shipped to countries where they are regarded as a danger for the
nature. Any professionals and aquarists should in principle be
pleased to have a set of rules like these. It ensures healthy plants
and the use of correct scientific names. With these arrangements
Tropica is sending plants all over the world (app. 30 countries
including New Zealand, Japan and Canada) -  except the USA that
has certain claims about import of aquarium plants.

The USA demands that any aquarium plant shall be free of any
growing media, which unfortunately means that plants collected in
the nature in for example Africa, South America, Sri Lanka etc. or
plants grown in Singapore are free to be imported. I have experi
enced through several journeys that these plants quite often are
infected by diseases and pests.

On the other hand aquarium plants grown hydropinical in sterile
growingmedia (rockwool) can not be send to the USA. This is why
American aquarists cannot buy aquarium plants from Tropica or
from other producers in Europe that use the same methods. For the
nature and the planthealth in general this seems a bit odd.

If there should be any receivers on this list that have more knowl
edge or information on this subject, it could be interesting to hear
about it - maybe there has been some recent changes?

Claus Christensen          (Tropica Aquarium Plants - Denmark)