Taking Plants and Seeds Back to the U.S.
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Ellen Samyn
Posted on: March 29, 2003

I would love to come visit and purchase my herbs at that time, but wondering about border crossing and all of the USDAgriculture rules. The big question is can I get the stuff across the border?

My only experinece with this is Colasanti’s in Ruthaven, but the plants were for indoors and outdoor plants were prohibited.

Our plants are pre-approved for export to the U.S. We are inspected regularly under a government program. This enables us to provide U.S. visitors a special USDA-approved phytosanitary sticker that is affixed to the sales invoice. This invoice with the sticker is shown to the border officials.

There are only a few herbs that cannot be taken back to the U.S.; these are indicated in our printed catalogue as "Not to U.S.". Typically, these include members of the Rutaceae (e.g. rue), hops, and some wetland plants. But the vast majority can go to the U.S. without any problem.

For seeds, the situation is similar. We supply a USDA-approved sticker for seeds pre-approved to go to the U.S. We are working to get our seeds qualified for this program. Many of the most popular varieties are already approved and we are adding more all the time. If there are any seeds you want that are not yet approved at the time of your visit, we will ship those from our U.S. warehouse free of charge.

Like the case for plants, there are a handful of seeds that cannot go to the U.S. even under the USDA phytosanitary program. These include, again, members of the Rutaceae, plus a few others. These are indicated in our printed catalogue as "Not to U.S."

As far as I known there are no other Canadian companies that have gone to such lengths to accommodate U.S. visitors and make their plant and seed buying trips as pleasurable as Richters does. I am sure that you will find the experience entirely satisfying.

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