U.S.F.W.S. proposed regulations

Eric Metzler metzler at NRULT1.DNR.OHIO.GOV
Wed Oct 12 13:41:52 CDT 1994

I post this to BIODICEN-L, TAXACOM, ENTOMO-L, ENTLIST, and LEPS.  Please
cross post to other lists of interested scientists.

On 11 October 1994, I had an excellent conversation with Frank Shoemaker,
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Special Agent in Charge, and a principle
author of the proposed U.S.F.W.S. regulations.  Shoemaker stated again that
it is illegal to use the U.S. Mail for import/export.  The reasoning goes
like this:

The U.S. Mail is unlawful for import/export by omission.  The U.S. Post
Office is not on the list of ports of entry, even as an acceptable
exemption for scientific specimens, therefore, it is illegal to use the
U.S. Mail.  Frank said it is the responsibility of recipients in the U.S.
to inform persons outside the U.S. that they cannot legally use the Mail.

Frank knows my concern. He sincerely invited comments on this issue.  He
wants us to respond.  Failure to write comments will keep the status quo.

FRANK RAISED ANOTHER PROBLEM.  Definition (a) in paragraph 14.4 in the
proposed rule means that any package with "eight or more similar unused
items" presumes commercial use.  Frank reads this phrase very loosely, and
according to Frank, eight beetles, regardless of the number of species or
the intent of the shipment is commercial.  He and I discussed my concerns,
but  the U.S.F.W.S. must now hear from you that shipments of scientific
specimens regularly include more than eight "similar items," and an
exception to the rule of eight must be made for scientific specimens.

As I read the exchange of ideas on the internet I can quickly see that we
often ask different questions of the U.S.F.W.S., therefore we get different
answers.  Unfortunately, the answers are not transferable to different
questions.  As Ken Philip said, the laws were written for different
circumstances, and as scientists, we've long been outside the system.
Often, the enforcement people do not understand our concerns, and they only
answer a direct question without nuance.  We must explain our needs to the
U.S.F.W.S. now.

Eric H. Metzler
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Columbus  Ohio  43224  USA
metzler at nrult1.dnr.ohio.gov
(614) 265-6774

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