Who are the legal Importers in the US?

yenling83

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Who can legally import trees from Japan into the US? I know there is still the whole quarantine period, but I was told there are only a handful of people who legally import. I was also told there is someone in Sacramento that legally imports Bonsai from Japan, is this true?

Thank you,
 

irene_b

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I only know 3 who do. Don Blackmond, Michael Hanson, Brussel Martin.
 

bwaynef

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Its my undestanding that only certain species are under (severe) import restrictions.
 

Tachigi

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Who can legally import trees from Japan into the US? I know there is still the whole quarantine period, but I was told there are only a handful of people who legally import. I was also told there is someone in Sacramento that legally imports Bonsai from Japan, is this true?

Thank you,
You where told wrong about only a handful. There are many importers through out the lower 48. In fact you could be come an importer if you chose..............However the bureaucratic nightmare at federal, state, and local might turn you off a bit. It is a three ring circus. Yes there are import restrictions on several species that come from Japan.

Now my question would be...how do you import illegally. Last I heard that was called smuggling and it would have to be in very small quantities at that...the reward is hardly worth the risk. :rolleyes:
 

Redwing

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Tom,

Don't underestimate the number of smuggled trees in the high-end collections in the US.

I don't have any in my garden, but that makes me a minority in some circles. As for risks and rewards, I don't know what the punishment is. All I know is that they searched my luggage when I came back from Japan last month and so I'm darn glad I wasn't tempted to take the risk.

-rw
 

Tachigi

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Tom,

Don't underestimate the number of smuggled trees in the high-end collections in the US.

I don't have any in my garden, but that makes me a minority in some circles. As for risks and rewards, I don't know what the punishment is. All I know is that they searched my luggage when I came back from Japan last month and so I'm darn glad I wasn't tempted to take the risk.

-rw
RW,
I'm well aware of trees that are brought in to the country on the cheap...........In fact I know of a couple of people that attended one Ginkgo festival some years ago that brought some prizes through customs. All I can say its a good thing they didn't do a cavity search.

There will always be people that do a tree here or there and are flying under the radar. However were talking Importing as per yenling's original post. I once again pose the question how do you IMPORT illegally?

I'm in the process of doing the import thing for my bonsai business. Started the process almost 16 months ago and will get my inspection this spring so I can order, though a New England nursery that does import extended me a courtesy and has had my initial order quarantined for me a while ago. Anyway, I looked up the fines for smuggling agricultural products in my telephone book like application for your edification. The USDA says the following:

USDA Civil Penalties for Undeclared or Smuggled Agricultural Products: Any person, business or organization that violates the laws can now be fined up to $250,000 per violation and no more than $500,000 per adjudication.
Good think you weren't tempted;)
 

JasonG

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From what I understand, some years ago the UDSA granted 6 licenses for quarantine greenhouses in the US, which basically means 6 people have the right to legally import from Japan. I THINK Brussels has one, Iseli Nursery I know has one although they haven't imported in a while that I know of, and the other 3 escape me right now..... From what I also understand this is a program that is likely to go away in the near future meaning there won't be a legal way to get them in anymore.

Jason
 

ml_work

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I don't know about the others mentioned, but I do know about Brussels. They have an area separate from the rest of the trees with some beautiful trees! First couple of times I was there I did not know what it was, just that the trees were well over my budget. When I was in line paying for my trees I heard the man in front of me tell them he had purchased 2 of the trees that were in quarantine. As I did the math for 2 tress at the prices I had seen and 2 years before he could take them home..must be nice! I have some pictures of the trees but not sure of the legal aspects or if Brussel would mind me uploading and they maybe too high res to upload. Anyway not sure were he imports them from but they are nice.
Keep LOOkin Up!
Michael
 

yenling83

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From what I understand, some years ago the UDSA granted 6 licenses for quarantine greenhouses in the US, which basically means 6 people have the right to legally import from Japan. I THINK Brussels has one, Iseli Nursery I know has one although they haven't imported in a while that I know of, and the other 3 escape me right now..... From what I also understand this is a program that is likely to go away in the near future meaning there won't be a legal way to get them in anymore.

Jason
This is pretty much exactly what I heard. I'd still really like to find out if anyone know's the names or contact info for the other people. Especially any located on the West Coast.

Thanks for the replys
 

JasonG

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I think there may have only been 2 on the West Coast at the most. I know a few of them in the midwest/east that haven't imported in years. To bad you couldn't transfer or buy the rights to the permit and greenhouse on one of the 6 originals...... that would be awesome!! The pines, tridents and other species that are being sold in the US from Japan aren't expensive in Japan.....HUGE markup here in the states!!!
 

grouper52

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I know Brussels and Bonsai Northwest used to, but for all practical purposes BNW no longer does. I'm out of touch with Brussels these days, so I don't know if they still do.
 
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New England Bonsai Gardens here in Massachusetts was one of the first. I encouraged them to do it. The USDA is very demanding but we've gone through 5 imports already (each w/2 yr quarantine) to good success.
john romano
 

cquinn

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I think there may have only been 2 on the West Coast at the most. I know a few of them in the midwest/east that haven't imported in years. To bad you couldn't transfer or buy the rights to the permit and greenhouse on one of the 6 originals...... that would be awesome!! The pines, tridents and other species that are being sold in the US from Japan aren't expensive in Japan.....HUGE markup here in the states!!!
You're telling me! If you're under 50 I would suggest growing your own, especially deciduous as they can mature a little quicker. I had Brussels send some pics of Japanese Maples in Quarantine and I did not think the price was worth the material. I can get way better homegrown in my local area from folks who have been doing bonsai for awhile for half the price. It's almost as if the Japanese are giving us seconds.
 

rockm

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"It's almost as if the Japanese are giving us seconds."

They ARE giving us seconds, thirds and alot of the dregs. The export market is not a priority and is a bit of a dumping ground for unwanted or unsellable material. From what I can make of the obtuse USDA regulations, you can do "one off" importation, IF you have a place where the plant can be taken, either at the port of entry or one of the licensed importation facilities in the US--Brussels is one, I think.

If you want "the good stuff," you have to hand pick it in person, from what I've heard. Bill Valavanis, for instance, used to go on buying trips where he would basically buy and facilitate importation of a given tree for customers. I don't know if he still does that.

A link that might (??) help--don't know how old it is--use the "APHIS artificially dwarfed plant tree from Japan" form:
http://www.usa-federal-forms.com/fbf-by-form/193.html
 
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Yamadori

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jason,
Are you looking to become an importer or are you going to Japan to select trees and need a legal facilitator?
 

greerhw

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You where told wrong about only a handful. There are many importers through out the lower 48. In fact you could be come an importer if you chose..............However the bureaucratic nightmare at federal, state, and local might turn you off a bit. It is a three ring circus. Yes there are import restrictions on several species that come from Japan.

Now my question would be...how do you import illegally. Last I heard that was called smuggling and it would have to be in very small quantities at that...the reward is hardly worth the risk. :rolleyes:
Tom don't get cynical now, all the shohin and chuhin JBP's for sale have been here for years.

keep it green,
Harry
 
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