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Re: Import Laws


>> What about plants?   Does anyone know where I can find import
restrictions/laws about bringing plants back? <<

Call the USDA office at the airport nearest you.  You cannot bring back
anything on the banned list of either the United States or the state you
are in.  They must go through customs and will most likely be kept 24-48
hours before they will be shipped to you.  Helps if you have a UPS or Fedex
account and a prefilled out shipping blank.

All plants must be bare root, no rockwool and no soil.  They will be
inspected for various parasites and if clean will then be shipped to you. 
You must fill out various forms and list in latin each species you plan on
bringing back, plus they will request each species be packed and identified
separately.  Takes several weeks to get all the paperwork done.

I will give you fair warning.  Do not call customs and let them tell you
that you can bring them in labeled only.  I made that mistake and ended up
with two large boxes of plants, one for me and one for Karen, from Tropica
that were confiscated.  About six months before that I had 5 boxes of Cuban
cigars confiscated so I keep picturing some customs guy hanging around
looking at my plants in his tanks as he contentedly puffs away on my
cigars.  They are picky so be careful to do it right.

Oh just for grins, in addition to bettas and discus (the latter are also in
Vietnam) you can also get some very rare catfish that are not listed on the
CITES list but are nonetheless very rare and valuable.

Hope that helps.

Doug Valverde