Ask a Question forum: Mailing seeds to other countries

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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Feb 11, 2018 12:40 AM CST
Hi everyone,

I have a friend in the Peace Corp. She's stationed in Madagascar. They would love to have some seeds, especially lavender but can't find any there. I'd love to send her some but I don't know if there are restrictions for seeds sent from the US.

Does anyone know anything about that? Or does anyone know where I can check to find out if they would make it through customs?
AKA Joey.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Feb 11, 2018 3:56 AM CST

Moderator

Usually the best way to find out is to look at the customs/quarantine website of the country you are sending to. Unfortunately I can't seem to find one for them, so perhaps US quarantine services or customs may be able to advise you.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 11, 2018 7:16 AM CST
Here is one page; I don't see seeds listed.
https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/m...

And not exactly related to your question but important to know, the people of Magadascar receive huge boxes of seeds through this program:
http://seedprograms.org/donate...
I am thinking that yes, you most likely can send the lavender seeds but may want to toss in some seeds for food plants as well.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Feb 11, 2018 7:21 AM CST
Here is one page; I don't see seeds listed.
https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/m...

And not exactly related to your question but important to know, the people of Magadascar receive huge boxes of seeds through this program:
http://seedprograms.org/donate...
I am thinking that yes, you most likely can send the lavender seeds but may want to toss in some seeds for food plants as well.

I see zero NGA members on Madagascar. The closest is CallyC. We might ask her if she knows of any regulations/prohibitions?

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Feb 11, 2018 7:26 AM CST
There is some contact information for Madagascar here:

https://www.ippc.int/en/countr...

You may have more problems if you include certain vegetable seeds, but most countries do allow entry of small lots of non-restricted seeds. You would need to find out if they require an import permit and/or phytosanitary certificate, which seeds are restricted and what constitutes a small lot (if that's something that gets you around some of the restrictions).
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Feb 11, 2018 7:30 AM CST
I mailed seeds to my friend in Canada and they are really strict on these things, my friend told me not to say what was in the package I sent, she said if they insist tell them its candy, sneaky us nodding all my packages have gone through customs with no problem Thumbs up
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Feb 11, 2018 8:01 AM CST
Small amounts of seeds into Canada are exempted from much of the hassle, as long as they aren't prohibited plant seeds. From the Canadian government page on importing seeds:

"Small lots" of seed, i.e., quantities of less than 5 kg of large seeded kinds such as peas, beans and corn or quantities of less than 500 g of small seeded kinds such as carrot or alfalfa, are exempted from providing an import declaration or a seed analysis certificate and do not require an ICA. Most seed imported by Canadian gardeners would fall under the "small lot" category. However, seed imported for commercial purposes will often require an ICA as the combined weight of commercial imports often exceeds the "small lot" size. The importer is responsible for ensuring that all requirements are met, including freedom from prohibited noxious weed seeds regardless of the exemptions that apply."
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
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Leftwood
Feb 11, 2018 9:22 AM CST
The government there has been in quite a turmoil for a long time. I doubt they have any real priority about environment degradation or invasive species. I think it is going to be up to both of you, the sender and receiver, as responsible citizens.
Name: Beverly
Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico (Zone 11a)
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vitrsna
Feb 11, 2018 9:45 AM CST
I think it would be prudent if i send you a tree mail re your question. Smiling
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Feb 11, 2018 10:52 AM CST
Thank you everyone! I have checked the USPS website, and the Madagascar customs website, and there is not one mention of seeds. I had heard that about the padded envelopes, so that's how they'll go.

My friend will be so, so happy to receive them! And I'll be so happy to send them. She's a remarkable young woman and this will enable her to leave something of herself behind when she eventually leaves.

Thank you again everyone!
AKA Joey.
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
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Mutisia
Feb 15, 2018 10:45 PM CST
@joannakat, I recommend you use aluminum foil to pack the seeds before placing them in their individual bag. This allows you to evenly distribute the seeds and gently press the foil against them. This will avoid any ´rattling´ noises while the mailer is being handled and go throug inspections without being noticed. *Blush* nodding *Blush* nodding
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
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Australis
Feb 15, 2018 11:43 PM CST

Moderator

Generally customs prefers seed in transparent envelopes or zip-lock bags (currently a necessity for Australia, who have tightened their regulations recently). If you get the right type and size of zip-lock bag, then most seeds will not make much noise.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Feb 16, 2018 9:27 AM CST
Good tips, thanks! Now I just need to find something that's fragrant and will grow there. Evidently, lavender doesn't do well in Madagascar. Sad
AKA Joey.
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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fwmosher
Feb 20, 2018 12:05 PM CST
Australia is the absolute worst Country for mailing anything "Agriculture" in to. Madagascar will be a piece of cake. Just mail them. PS. I would not do the "wrap in aluminium" thing. Just begging to be opened, no matter how lax their custom/import regs are. I receive seeds from Thailand, and they are enclosed in a tiny plastic baggy and labelled. Invariably they are opened by our CBA, and resealed with scotch tape. Do it! LOL.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Feb 20, 2018 12:49 PM CST
fwmosher said:Australia is the absolute worst Country for mailing anything "Agriculture" in to. Madagascar will be a piece of cake. Just mail them. PS. I would not do the "wrap in aluminium" thing. Just begging to be opened, no matter how lax their custom/import regs are. I receive seeds from Thailand, and they are enclosed in a tiny plastic baggy and labelled. Invariably they are opened by our CBA, and resealed with scotch tape. Do it! LOL.


Thanks so much Frank! Any suggestions for something that will grow well there?
AKA Joey.
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
Feb 20, 2018 5:56 PM CST
You can certainly send your Bud lavender seeds, but the country is really a train wreck! I would check with your Peace Corp friend, and ask him/ her, what plants they are missing there? Almost anything will grow in that climate, except the "cold" plants that we grow here, i.e. broccoli, lettuce, kale, etc. Hey, perhaps flower seeds, the plants for cut flower resale which they may not have there? Tons of same available! A very admirable cause - keep at it!!! Cheers!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Feb 20, 2018 7:51 PM CST
fwmosher said:You can certainly send your Bud lavender seeds, but the country is really a train wreck! I would check with your Peace Corp friend, and ask him/ her, what plants they are missing there? Almost anything will grow in that climate, except the "cold" plants that we grow here, i.e. broccoli, lettuce, kale, etc. Hey, perhaps flower seeds, the plants for cut flower resale which they may not have there? Tons of same available! A very admirable cause - keep at it!!! Cheers!


That's strange, I checked with a few sources and all said that lavender will not survive there. Do you have a specific type in mind? She's not looking to make money, she's just looking for something to enjoy.

AKA Joey.

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