We are now closed no thanks to DEFRA who do nothing about illegally imported plants through the post - we can not compete with Malaysia, Thailand, China etc who can send plants including post to the UK cheaper than it is for us to send an empty small box from Pontefract to Doncaster never mind the plant!

UK border agency (and the postal hub) do not check ANY parcels that come through the post with live plants in them so long as it says the value is less than $18 and is marked as 'gift' despite what they say.

DEFRA are a waste of time That's another specialist UK small business gone for good.

Don't worry about getting anything through the post (via Ebay) if you want to purchase plants from overseas as you have more chance of winning the lottery than getting in to trouble - just do it and stuff them all.

As far as I'm concerned Ebay are breaking the law by facilitating the sale of plants without the REQUIRED BY LAW Phytosanitary certificate and CITES certificate for plants arriving in to the UK from outside Europe. They will not do anything to make it a requirement to purchase the Phytosanitary certificate or CITES certificate BEFORE SHIPMENT because they get commission on the illegal sale - smacks of proceeds of crime act to me but when I brought this to DEFRA and Lord de Mauley (in charge of that department) I never even got a reply despite my letter going register - tossers the lot

SNIPPET FROM A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LETTER TO ME. Try to imagine how many parcels are received in a year from overseas and then with that in mind just look at how many parcels were 'intercepted' in the post and thats for a YEAR - essentially if it don't fall on the floor and burst open revealing plants it gets through

"The Postal Hub has a dedicated team of staff who are trained to identify post which may be of interest to various regulatory authorities. Any parcels which they suspect may be of interest to the Plant Health and Seeds Inspectors are extracted and placed separately for the attention of a Plant Health Inspector. One of our staff visits the hub, on average, once a week to undertake the inspection of these parcels. During the period from 1 May 2012- 30 April 2013, of the hundreds of items extracted, 58 PARCELS were subject to statutory action (specific actions included re-export, destruction, holding for lab analysis.) Clearly Home Office staff/postal staff at the hub would not have the required expertise or represent the competent authority to take such action."

Happy growing

Les Pickin