Originally Posted by chong
What kind of restrictions are there for the importation of plants, specifically, banana plants from the US into Italy? Is it the shipping costs that's too high?
Sorry not to wait for Calabrian, but I already know the answer. The hell there are restrictions. One of them is the customs in the USA (which require phytocertificates sometimes), the other is EU customs (which should be checking every package and in case of "dagerous uncertiphied content" immediately send it back). Needless to say, that the certipicates cost more, than the plants themselves.
I ordered Musa 'Pahari Kela' from Dr Parmar from India and they are already on their way. If it goes well, I will tell you the way, how to go by European lines, so that they don't check your cargo. However I don't know, what restrictions will there be from USA (Cali Gold, Texas Star...).
Other thing is, that the shops tend not to even answer on European e-mails, knowing that they won't be able to deliver. The prices for shipping are enormous (if the plant costs 20$, the shipping might even be up to 40$). The worst part is, that you never know ahead, how many days the shipping will take. There's usually quite a small chance of surviving the trip for the plants (even rhizomes).
And lastly... I have not heard of someone, who would like to ship Texas Star and California Gold to us. Not only, that these cultivars are quite rare all over the world and I said from my personal experience >> Nurseries don't communicate very much and for our (EU) requests there aren't any answers from the members, so we are forced to work with what we have...
Some problems for starters