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I would expect imports from overseas to become more and more difficult. The US is not going to relax about importing live plants and animals. For one, there could have certainly been a pest on the plants. If you have ever gotten plants with eggs of snails, planaria, limpets, or the like you can see what I mean. Sure, the plants may be legal, but what is the seller keeping with those plants? A critter accidently introduced to his tank from his water supply? Who knows.

I'm just saying that overseas orders will likely be checked- and there will only be more and more complaints. Put yourself in AquaSpot's position. He wants to sell plants to those who want them (us) and is having major issues. Now I am sure he's dealing with way more than just one visit from customs agents and possibly masses of emails from buyers as well. Sure, maybe being patient won't fix the problem, but this is how ordering overseas can go.

I'd suggest ordering from fellow hobbyists if you want to get good service and plants.
+1.

Whenever I order from overseas now, I fill out a US import permit as well as request the company to issue a photosanitary certificate. Having customs hold your package is no fun at all. I'm lucky to be living so close to a designated port so I pick up the package pretty much as soon as the plane lands...otherwise, buying without a permit is risky since there's a chance of having the shipment held at customs. :(

Hope your issue gets resolved, either by ASW or PayPal. ASW wasn't very accommodating to me, however.
 

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Oh, and phytosanitary certificates cost upwards of $30, usually around $35-45, so if any overseas vendor isn't passing it along to you, then you know they probably didn't get one issued.

And yes, overseas plant companies commonly will write "Toys" or "Gift", etc, on their boxes to avoid APHIS inspections. Sometimes they get caught, sometimes they don't.

Most likely, PayPal will rule in your favor, especially with the Notice of Destruction. Also, it would probably help your case if you added to your claim that ASW did NOT deliver a phytosanitary certificate which their site alleges they do for every shipment. It'll help PayPal decide that you did not receive what you paid for and hopefully rule in your favor.
 
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