Wading through shipping permits

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Wading through shipping permits

Postby pbgroupie on Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:54 pm

I got a call today from the USDA about the snail permit. They were very nice and very helpful explaining how to fill out the permit forms. As I wrote before, I had filed an e-permit which was supposed to be approved faster than mailing one in. This is what Dr. Swallow told me.

1.You need to file for each state you wish to ship to seperately. Do not include your own state or Hawaii. You don't need a permit to ship in your own state, and you'll never get a permit for Hawaii, so don't even bother.

2. Apply for a bridgesii permit first if that is what you are primarily shipping. (You will not get permits to ship the cannas unless they are going to be used for research--don't even try to apply for them).

3. On the application where it says destination you may choose one state (of course they couldn't make it easy and have an "all states" button). They have to send and receive a response from every state you wish to send to which is why the process takes so long.

4. To make it easier to apply, there is a button to copy a permit that has already been submitted. After you copy the permit, you must go forward page by page just to change the state. If you do not, then it will not change the state and you'll reapply for the same state over again (trust me on this one, I made that mistake!)

5. Once your permit is pending, you may begin shipping. You do not have to wait for the actual permit number, just use your pending permit number.

6. Permits for all other snail types may be lumped together on one permit application. There has been a regulation handed down just this week that still needs to be interpreted (and the person that needs to approve it is traveling all this week) as to whether permits for other types of snails besides the pomacea species are necessary. They will determine whether they can classify the threats of other species "unfounded" when the top person returns.

That's as up to date as I can give you. I'll do my best to keep you posted as I learn more.
Last edited by pbgroupie on Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wyofish on Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:29 pm

A different application for EACH STATE? That's insane! Haven't they ever heard of e-commerce? Ok ok, there's my mini-outburst....and my USDA headache just got a whole lot worse; maybe we need a thread for every US member on here to post their state so we have a better idea which ones to worry about first. Please let us know what you find out about the other species, and thanks for keeping us updated :D
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Postby Melody on Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:08 pm

Since the laws can be State-specific, it makes sense that you need more than one permit, but yeah, what a pain.

I'm finding this very interesting, even though I don't live there. Could happen here next week after all. Thanks for taking the time to post the info!
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Postby Rog on Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:54 pm

Well, anohter guy from the USDA came to my door today. He wanted a SAMPLE of my apple snails. HELLO a sample. I just slice and dice around here dude. I informed that I only had two canas left and they are not reproducing, which again is the truth. He asked where I got my orginally and I said on the internet about four years ago. He asked me if I was still selling them and I told him NO, cause they are reproducing, which again is the truth. He said he would tell Justine that and see what he see says. Shannon
P.S. I got woken up from a nap for this.
No really hon, that isn't another box of snails. REALLY LOL
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Postby Melody on Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:10 pm

A sample?! I think they're going a bit too far now. I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to consult a lawyer? I don't mean to fight anything, just to know what your rights are? I mean, if you got them before the laws were passed, and you aren't selling them, aren't they bordering on harassment without just cause?

I'm not exactly familiar with US laws, but they'd be pushing the limits here if they kept bugging people.
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Postby Dimitra on Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:45 am

A real bummer this has happened. Especially for those of us that like our canas. Brigs are pretty but canas are loaded with personality.

What I think is funny is that I didn't purchase the 2 cana that I had. I bought water lettuce from a pond supply store and they were hitch hikers. I did go looking for neat snails at the same store recently as they have a huge variety including large vivs and nerites when pond season starts but they have none this year and I had been looking forward to the nerites for months. :cry:
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Postby badflash on Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:41 am

As far as I can tell, it is still legal to own Canas, but that may change. You can't transport them across state lines.
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Postby pbgroupie on Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:51 pm

I received another phone call from the USDA (aphis) today about my permits. Seems that the first 10 states I applied for are going to be granted soon. She suggested that I submit the other applications for the balance of the states I will be shipping to. At the moment, she has 700 permits in her box to review and give pending approval to. And that's just from this week!

She did give me some further information that I thought was important enough to share. Canas may no longer be sold or kept in the US. Marisas are next on the list--especially in rice growing states. If you try to "smuggle" these snails across state/country lines, and are caught, they will confiscate every banned snail and they will be destroyed. In addition, your name will be placed on a national database as someone who dealt in contraband. Every time you try to travel by airplane or cross over a border, you will be pulled aside, questioned, and possibly searched--for the rest of your life.

Also, there are USDA employees that are monitoring sites such as AquaBid, applesnail.net, and others for people who are offering the banned snails for sale. They may pose as customers to get your shipping information and show up at your door. There was such a case that she mentioned that happened in Texas. Oh, and a "sample" of your stock will be sent to Philadelphia to confirm that they are bridgs and not cannas.

At this time spixis, MTS, ramshorns and the like are not considered pests. However, they may start looking into whether or not spixis should be banned as well (since they are known plant-eaters).
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Postby plecoperson on Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:23 pm

So, is a permit required for "non-pest" snails such as MTS and spixis?
Thank you so much for all this great info-I know we all appreciate it.
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Postby wyofish on Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:33 pm

So do they ask for a sample from every person who applies? Also, is the sample only one snail, and must it be alive? I've got plenty of empty shells they'd be welcome to examine, but something tells me they want a live one :o .

I hope they don't try to ban spixis...I guess that all depends on how responsible spixi owners are about not letting them get loose, there are plenty of pets with the POTENTIAL to harm the environment, but it seems that that is alright as long as they aren't given the chance to do so.

One of my customers the other day told me her son let a snail loose that got too big for its tank (a brig); luckily they can't live through the winters here but she got an earful about how that's a federal offense and the potential for environmental damage, as well as the reasons several types of snails aren't allowed to be kept as pets anymore, and that if people aren't responsible with their pets it could get to where the USDA will just decide to ban ALL snails. I was polite about my little lecture, though of course she still huffed off....I can just hope something hit home so it doesn't happen again.
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Postby badflash on Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:24 am

This is the same USDA that doesn't have the funds to properly inspect the beef and poultry industry to protect the food supply, and allows the use of low levels of antibiotics to fatten up the critters which has diirectly led to "super germs" that can't be treated with antibiotics, right?

I sure hope there is someone who will actually study the life cycle of these snails to realize they pose no threat to the crops. The Spixi adult could not live in a rice field to reproduce, and the babies can only do limited damage.

What's next? Banning brigs due to the threat to the duckweed crop?


I'm writing my congressman and pointing out this waste of funds. They could re-direct this money to homeland security rather than have governement employees surfing the web looking for snails.

In addition, your name will be placed on a national database as someone who dealt in contraband. Every time you try to travel by airplane or cross over a border, you will be pulled aside, questioned, and possibly searched--for the rest of your life.


They can't protect us from child molesters with a nation registry, but they can put you on a national registry of snail offenders and give you a cavity search every time you get on an airplane?
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Postby pbgroupie on Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:48 am

If you apply for a permit for planorbids, physia, mts, and spixi, you will get a letter saying that a permit isn't necessary because the threat is "unfounded". It's still best to apply for one, just so you get the letter to back you up. You need one for any pomecea species.

They have not asked me for a "sample", but I don't have any cannas or marisas because of my planted tanks. Having spixis is bad enough! LOL A sample would be a live snail, but it may not be required from all states--probably just the ones where there are rice crops.

The funds that the USDA has for this "project" is very limited. They don't even have the resources to edit the stupid permit forms to make them user-friendly. Because of the dumping of cannas and such (and their rate of producing offspring) many millions of dollars have been lost from crop damage. Aphis not only monitors snails, but they monitor butterflies, insects, plants, etc. All to protect the food we eat, the trees, and our ecosystems. I think it hits us so hard because these are animals that we have raised and fallen in love with and don't want to see destroyed. If you put things in prospective, it's going to end up being no worse than having to have your cat or dog get a rabies shot, and have to be licensed. Common sense to protect the public and the animals. Right now, it just seems like there are a lot of hoops to jump through.
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Postby plecoperson on Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:06 am

All to protect the food we eat, the trees, and our ecosystems.


Yes, I don't mind filling out some forms, and I understand the crackdown on snails that do cause damage. I imagine they restrict snails like Canas, even in states with hard winters, to cut down on the total numbers in the country that could be illegally transported to states where they do pose a threat.

Thank you again-

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Postby wyofish on Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:42 am

At least for a cat or dog you just walk in, show the shot records, give the police $2 and walk out with a license tag and registration sheet. For dogs I don't walk in with papers on four dogs and have them say "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid we can't give you licenses for these animals unless you give us one as a sample". Yeah anyhoo...I haven't been shipping lately, but my babies will be ready to go in the next couple months so I better get cracking on the paperwork :toomuch:
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Postby mr_mesutt on Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:06 am

Hmmmm I guess the USDA should update thier website if canas are banned in the US. In US government agencies, as I see it the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Right now it's a issue of appling for permits to transport state to state. Yet clutches wasn't a permit issue since this went into effect with obtaining permits. I see nothing on transport of clutches or banning of canas period. So why rush the ban when it hasn't happen yet. One agent isn't the whole USDA agency. Yet I have no doubt that the ban will happen in due time, but according to USDA website nothing offically is mentioned on the ban of canas as far I see. Unless I'm missing something.

If anything they're probably using this website to figure out what a cana snail looks like. Let alone monitoring it.

I don't know of one rice paddy in my area getting damaged from canas, Do you badflash??? The rabbits,woodchucks and deer do the big dollar damage around here to the crops. But the USDA can't ban them because the State makes big bucks in hunting Licsenses, so the farmers have to deal with the losses and have to plant a few extra row of crops to feed the pests on. Lime disease is at a high increase as pesticides that did control deer ticks was banned by the USDA. :roll: I've never been impressed in the way the USDA deals with past issues. If it's too much work in finding a solution to the problem, Ban it. So why would they handle this issue any different.

Personally I think we all should put our canas in high breeding mode and ship a few million canas to the Washington DC office with a letter saying back off or else. :angry:

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