CITES documents and APHIS permit

CITES Documents

Some endangered species are protected internationally because of the illegal trade. Our plants do have legal permits because seeds or other plant material were collected from documented legal plants. Our company only ships plants grown in officially licensed CITES nurseries. In our catalog, all aloes, euphorbias and cycads are protected by CITES II (Lesser level), and a few cycads (Encephalartos, Ceratozamias) are protected by CITES I (Higher level of protection).

  • If you are in the European Union: According to CITES regulations, the Canary Islands are in the European Union. Our invoice will specify all our CITES licence data and will list the species as artificially reproduced. You will just need to keep our invoice in your files. Nothing else. Keeping invoices is especially important if you wish to re-sell the specimen in the future or if you are in a country were these plants are stolen and people get inspections. A few countries may require you to advise your authorities that you own a CITES specimen.
  • If you are not in the European Union: We will give a special CITES Export Document with this plant. In many countries you will need to advise your local CITES authorities before we ship and get a CITES Import Permit. The cost for obtaining our export document is 80 € for the first 1-8 species and 8 € more for each additional species.
Ceratozamia leaf
A leaf of Ceratozamia hildae, a cycad protected by CITES

Customers in the USA

We are able to ship to the United States and we will ask you to cooperate and obtain an USDA-APHIS import permit so you can legally import our plants into the USA.

We will prepare all the necessary documents to fulfill the requirements of your country. We offer free packing and a free phytosanitary certificate, but the US authorities might need more specific documents. At times they require an official nematode analysis from the Spanish authorities to certify the health of tree roots. We can obtain this document in 1-3 months and the cost of the service is 250 €. 75 € more are charged for the official translation to English of the original Spanish document.

Some of the plants that we offer in our website are not allowed to be imported in the United States. This list is often changed by the United States, so please contact us if you have any doubt:

  • Saccharum (Sugar Canes)
  • Morus (Mulberry trees)
  • Citrus (All citrus fruit trees)
  • Some Palms (currently in our catalog: Livistona spp.)
  • Ipomoea batatas (Sweet potato, including black-leaved sweet potato)
  • Gossypium (Cotton)
  • Theobroma spp. (cacao)

What is the APHIS permit?

"APHIS" is the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. To legally import plant material into the US, you should have an USDA-APHIS permit. If you have one, please let us know your permit number. If not, you will need to apply for one with the APHIS and let us know your permit number when you receive it. Applications are free and PPQ Form 587 can be downloaded here.  Please fill out your download on your computer, print, sign and mail to:

Permit Unit  - 4700 River Road, Unit 133 - Riverdale, MD 20737-1236

Click on "Import Authorization System." Or, call 1-877-770-5990 for more information. It takes approximately 2 weeks for processing your permits. We can hold your paid order and we will ship it when you tell us your permit number.

Since 2002, the USDA-APHIS is enforcing a phytosanitary certificate requirement when importing any plant products into the USA. All our shipments to the United States will include a free phytosanitary certificate, whether you request it or not. Most companies will charge you 20-75 US$ for a phytosanitary inspection, and even up to up to $125!

About bare-rooting all plants

We will need to bare-root all plants, both to reduce the cost of shipping and to meet the requirements of the USDA. You can see pictures of what we exactly ship to your home. Some plants are shown potted, in a soil-free mix of peat and other materials, but all plants can be bare-rooted, removing the mix prior to packing. The roots are then wrapped in a bit of moist perlite or sphagnum moss, in order to give the plants a bit of moisture during transit. Succulents will be wrapped in dry paper.

All succulent plants do very well bare rooted, all cycads. mango trees and others. Some plants, in turn, do not like being bare-rooted: half of the palms, papayas, lychees, and others. Please contact us for any questions.

What are your responsibilities?

You will need to follow a procedure and many plants will need a post-entry quarantine. In some cases you can do it at home, while in some other cases you might need the help of a nurseryman. Give a look to the Circular PPQ Q.37-2 - 3/2012, issued by the USDA. In some cases, after requesting your permit you will receive a letter from the USDA with the so called "green and yellow" labels . You will need to forward this labels to us, so we can stick them on the box before we mail it to you.

Is all this easy?

It is not really easy. It is also a bit lengthy, but it can be done and it can be cheap too. The passion for plants can move people to do this and much more! In the next months and years we will offer more and more plants, including new releases. We are able to do the phytos and meet the cleanliness required by the rules of your country.

This page was started in February 2013. More details and information will follow as soon as possible. Please contact us if you need any further assistance.

This information is merely intended to be of a general nature and is provided solely for the interest of the reader. It should not be used as a substitute for the general terms and conditions of this website.

Important Notice-Due to our long experience as exporters and importers, we inform you that all orders arriving after 16 November 2023 will be shipped after the second week of January 2024, to avoid any possible loss or delay in delivery due to excessive Christmas parcel traffic