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Importing and exporting orchids

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DukeBoxer

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Ok, I have 2 questions. First, if I buy plants from an overseas vendor, say Ecuagenera for example :) do I need an import permit and where would I get one of those.

Second, I was telling my wife, who is leaving from the WOC and going to Costa Rica (so lucky, I'll be staying stateside and working, gotta build that hosue!), that we can buy plants there and she can take them with her when she goes down because I read that all vendors will have CITES export permits. Now does anyone know if we need an import permit to get the plants into Costa Rica? My brother in law is a lawyer down there and he might know something but I haven't been able to talk to him yet, so I figured I'd ask you guys.

-Josh
 
G

gore42

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First of all, importing orchids can be a tricky and dangerous business. Make sure that you're working with someone you know you can trust... Ecuagenera has a good reputation, but there are many other orchid "exporters" out there who are willing to swindle you without batting an eye.

That said, you'll need to apply for an import permit from the USDA/APHIS . It's free, but it takes several weeks to process. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of getting the permits yourself, there are orchid brokers in the US who will import for you, for a fee.

To be able to take plants bought in Florida into Costa Rica, you'll need a re-export permit, which will be tricky to get unless they have officials on hand at the WOC specifically to help foreigners take plants home. It will be especially hard with Appendix I plants.

Good luck!

- Matt
 

Candace

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Josh, have your wife ship the plants to you from Miami, before she goes into Costa Rica. Too much paperwork and hassle. As Matt said, do your research. Google under importing orchids and you'll have plenty of reading material.
 

Kyle

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Ecuagenera comes to the states so often that there isn't a need to do the importing yourself. They bring the plants in for a show, then ship them to you. Check thier website for the next show and find out if they will be able to mail you a box.

Kyle
 

Ron-NY

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With Ecuagenera, I always like to look at the plants first. I usually have them bring them to a show for me and I inspect them before accepting them. I tried the other way and had too many dessicated plants that didn't make it.
 

DukeBoxer

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OK, good thing to know about importing plants, I really wasn't planning on it, but looking at Ecuagenera's site, it's tempting! The real reason for the post was because I wanted to know about importing the plants into Costa Rica and if anyone has ever done that before. Maybe a vendor that has gone to another country to talk and taken plants with him. What kind of papers would I need for that? I'm sure no one really knows for sure but hey, it's worth a try right! I am going to try and call my brother in law today and see if he knows anyhting.

Matt - I read on the WOC site that all vendors need to have permits to export the plants, I'm guessing it's because it's the WOC and a lot of foreigners will be there
 
I

Inverness

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I've attended several international orchids events and I can say the planned facillitation of plants purchased at the show for those taking them out of the country seldom went as planned. In the current IPA Journal there are a group of stories about folks and their purchases at the Taiwan Show, and many don't have happy endings.

Ken Brewer
 

littlefrog

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If you are looking for something specific from Ecuagenera's list, let me know. I have almost a whole bench of their plants. We often buy the leftovers when Ivan or Pepe come up to a local show, they can't take them home so they give us a pretty good price.

My experience with their plants (and any of the Ecuadorian, Peruvian, or Columbian growers that I've dealt with) is that small pleurothallids (any small plants, actually) are not a 100% survival proposition. It is a long way to travel, and they are often delicate. If you get them quickly and rehydrate them fast, you can hit 90% success or higher. If you get the show leftovers and it takes a while to get around to repotting them... well, success rate is lower, but that is probably for the best since my conditions aren't optimal for a lot of these. I think some particularly touchy plants are going to die regardless, you might get 10% or lower for some species and that is just how it is. The bigger plants, cattleyas and the like, aren't very difficult at all.
 

DukeBoxer

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Rob, do you have any restrepias from them?
 

littlefrog

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I don't think so. If there are any restrepias, I usually keep them for my own nefarious purposes... *grin*

Rob
 

DukeBoxer

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I tried to get my wife to go to prakside last weekend, but we ended up going to the Sun instead (Mohegan Sun) and instead of coming home with plants I came home with a few extra bills in the pocket! Gotta love the payout on the roulette table...
 

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