If I buy a hangianum from a vendor 'inside' the USA is it then legal!
That couldn't be further from the truth, and while F&WL has said they are not out to go after hobbiests, expressing that sort of attitude could get you targeted. There is a bit of a disconnect between the Management Authority and the the folks in enforcement also.
The problem with the Vietnamese Paphs in particular, and why they are targeted, is as one F&WL Agent said to me they are "a slam dunk" to prosecute. Unless they can be traced back to a legal propagation effort, and the only ones I am aware of are through the Rescue Stations, the individual plants are not legal. The idea that the US is stricter in enforcement is true, but that they are stricter in interpretation is not. The interpretation that they use is directly confirmed by the CITES Secretariat in Switzerland. The problems that make most of the flasked material, both species and hybrids, is not US "Fruit of the Poison Tree" interpretation, although that could apply, but the definition of artificial propagation in the CITES Treaty itself. You will notice if you read that the flask exemption states that artificially propagated material in flask is exempt. Sounds redundant, to use both "artficially propagated" and flask, doesn't it? That's because If you read the CITES Treaty art prop is clearly defined, there are several components, and one of them is that the parent stock was legally obtained. As a result just being in flask or from flask doesn't satisfy the CITES definition of art prop. I am not endorsing these concepts, simply trying to explain what is going on, and hoping that at least a few folks stop non fact based statements. I had a good primer on this as we wanted to be way beyond sure before we flasked the first that were made available to us, Paph. vietnamense and Paph. helenae. Others, including Paph. hangianum have bloomed in US Plant Rescue Stations and should be available eventually. In hindsight, though, I have to say I would never have made the effort it took to work with those plants had I realized the nonsense that developed from it.