The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small
island country that is an archipelago near the western
shores of the Persian Gulf. The largest Bahrain Island
is 34 miles long by 11 miles wide. In 2010 population
was 1,234,571 including 666,172 non-nationals (including
a US military presence). Public domain map and
information from Wikipedia (Commons).
Burton sent this postcard of
Bahrain's famous Tree of Life in the midst of a dessert
with no visible source of water that appeared in the
Mailbag section of the May 2013 issue of the Journal of
Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai.
Bridge to International Friendship & Peace!"
This was the theme of the milestone 1980 International Bonsai
Congress in Hawaii hosted by the Hawaii Bonsai Association and
co-sponsored by Bonsai Clubs International, American Bonsai Society,
and included the first international participation by Japan's Nippon
Bonsai Association. It was a major event that started the
international bonsai movement and included the first major
introduction of Chinese penjing, and the introduction of the
Hawaiian bonsai community. Fuku-Bonsai played a major role and
continues bonsai efforts to promote, preserve and educate in
partnership with the 501(3)(c) Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation.
Recently we found an opening that may help us to introduce bonsai to
Bahrain, a small independent country strategically located in
the Persian Gulf where there is a US military presence to help
insure the continued opening of international waters through which a
large part of the world's oil is transported. Burton contacted us
from his deployment in Bahrain, visited us, and is back in Bahrain
where he is exploring whether or not it is possible to teach those
in his command, as well as the residents of Bahrain bonsai!
He's leading the challenge and Fuku-Bonsai will support and assist
in any way possible. This portal page will provide detail and
UPDATE AND STATUS REPORTS
Burton redeployed to Bahrain and we got our first set-back.
He timed the shipment of his three trees created at
Fuku-Bonsai to arrive on a specific date as he knew the
deployment date and had the necessary agricultural
documentation. FedEx delivered to the command address, but
parcels delivered a day later while enroute to Bahrain! So
his three trees are in the care of his friends at the
July 27, 2013: Burton reports his goal to create a
Bahrain Bonsai Club that would work with both military and
Bahrain residents. He will be getting more information from
the MWR (Moral, Welfare, and Recreation) Coordinators within
August 1, 2013: Obtained approval to have the command
co-sponsor the workshop for those interested. Will be making
promotional flyers, reserve the base's multi-purpose room
and thinking of the first Saturday in September. Bahrain
customs didn't have much information and will check with the
FedEx office as to regulations and costs. Haven't been able
to discuss with the MWR Director yet. Haven't made progress
with the locals yet. In the Ramadan season and after that
things will get back to normal.
August 12, 2013: His command will co-sponsor the
Introductory Workshops and cover half of the costs of the
plants (but not shipping) and 34 people in the command has
signed up to date. We are trying to get accurate information
as to the import requirements and the costs to get the IWP
August 19, 2013: Burton obtained an application for
an Import Permit. We are still not yet in contact with FedEx
Bahrain to figure out the cost differential between US and
Bahrain shipments. Burton reports additional sign-ups. With
such a large group, I've recommended that he first teach
those that have some experience first, and that they become
"assistant instructors" for a second workshop with the
larger group. It's also recommended that we promote the
theme: "BONSAI; BRIDGE TO INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP AND
PEACE!" We hope to expand beyond the US command and
introduce True Indoor Bonsai to Bahrain residents too!
(ABOVE IN AUGUST 2013 ISSUE OF
JOURNAL OF TROPICAL & TRUE INDOOR BONSAI)
August 22, 2013: Burton reports contact with a
Bahrain agriculture official who reviews the information,
invites formal submittal of the import permit application,
but request addition of three more units for him to
participate. The quantity quote was $12.50 per unit
plus shipping differential. The command will pick up
$6.25 each, participants will contribute $6.25, and Burton
will pick up the shipping differential! Fuku-Bonsai will
contributed in other ways including covering other export
August 24, 2013: Burton reports no contact with
FedEx Bahrain but reports some plan to leave their workshop
trees for future deployment individuals to carry on and that
those on deployment will continue if interested once they
return to the United States.
August 28, 2013: Import permission received
from Bahrain and forwarded to USDA officials in Hilo,
Hawaii. Bahrain agricultural officials assure Burton there
will be no problems. No FedEx news.
September 7, 2013: I reported to Burton:
1) That Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
(USDA-APHIS) will be requiring pre-shipment treatment and
requested that the import permission be amended. 2)
That FedEx will not accept plants for shipment to Bahrain
even with a phytosanitary certificate. 3) That I
am in contact with an established air freight company and
have started to address the formal requirements to become a
"known air freight shipper" to address terrorist security
September 8-12, 2013: Amended Bahrain import
permission received and forwarded to USDA and Hawaii
Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine (HDOA Pesticide)
requesting specification of pre-shipment treatment.
Extensive email correspondence involved the USDA
Agricultural Research Station in Hilo, the University of
Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Relations
(UH-CTAHR) Cooperative Extension Service, agricultural
chemical distributors, and the treatment manufacturer provides
assurances and information to complete a consensus for
optimum treatment to be applied as a drench.
An initial pre-shipment treatment and sealed packing trial
will determine if there will be any plant damage and/or
whether the treatment was effective. Fuku-Bonsai meets
all requirements and executes a contract with Commodity
Forwarders Inc. (CFI) who transport perishable products
worldwide to start the 7-day security delay waiting period.
Routing will go from Hilo to Kona (via truck) to Los Angeles
for consolidation to Bahrain via Dubia. Fuku-Bonsai
also completes registration with USDA's Phytosanitary
Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT).
September 19, 2013: The pre-treatment will be ready for
pick-up at the distributor's Hilo branch on Tuesday,
September 24 and we'll make a sample trial to assure it will
not harm the plants. If successful the shipment will
be scheduled for early October and an update report will
likely be in the next Journal issue.
(ABOVE IN SEPTEMBER
2013 ISSUE OF JOURNAL OF TROPICAL & TRUE INDOOR BONSAI)
September 24-30, 2013: The pre-treatment trial
seemed to be successful and plants did not exhibit any
phototoxic effects. The shipment was scheduled and the
USDA-APHIS phytosanitary certificate application was made
on-line. A commercial invoice and letter of origin was
provided to aid in clearing customs and for Burton to submit
for partial reimbursement.
October 1, 2013 (Tuesday): The plants had been cleaned,
the components of the Introductory Workshop Package
individually assembled and packed on the bottom of the
carton and a USDA-APHIS officer appeared at the nursery on
scheduled to confirm that the pre-treatment was mixed and
applied in accordance to the label directions. The
officer noted a discrepancy and required that another import
permission be amended before the shipment could be cleared.
An urgent email was sent to Bahrain. Based upon label
information and import permission requirements the shipment
was to be packed within 48 hours after treatment and we
planned to start packing the next day, picking up the
USDA phytosanitary certificate in Hilo, and to get the
carton to the air freight station before noon to be able to
meet the pre-scheduled first leg which was trucking to Kona
October 2, 2013 (Wednesday): Fortunately, the second
amended import permission had arrived from Bahrain and the
packing began. The larger gift and sample plants had all
information and Nutrient Granules in a small ziplock sleeve
attached to a specific plant which sat on the matching
saucer and gravel so each unit was packed together onto a
wood pallet that just fitted inside the carton.
Michael had marked the height of the wood pallet and gun
stapled all around the carton to hold the kits packed below
in place. Each of the workshop 48 plants were rolled
in newspaper, six inserted into a polybag and two
bundles strapped to each of 4 cardboard fillers that were
stapled to the tops of each side of the carton. So all
the foliage sections of the plants were in the center of the
At USDA-APHIS Hilo, the work was mostly done. Inspection
confirmed the number of plants that had been treated,
the certificate issued, paid for and a receipt received.
The original of the phyto and invoice was placed in an
envelop, taped down, and a simple rubber stamp:
"Phytosanitary Certificate Enclosed" on the envelop,
on the outside of the carton, and we were off to the
air freight station of Commodities Forwarders Inc. (CFI )
"Transporting Perishable Products Worldwide." Noi
handle the paperwork like the professional that she is.
By the time we got back to Fuku-Bonsai, their was a
confirmation email that the carton was on a truck heading
for Kona. A few hours later, a second confirmation
told of being loaded aboard a plane leaving for Los Angeles.
And in the morning, confirmation of arrival and later a
pick-up by the airlines that would be taking it to Bahrain!
I emailed to Burton and checked my email daily.
6, 2013 (Sunday).
Good news David! The trees have arrived, a day earlier
than expected as well. The trees look awesome!
I got a call from customs and clearings today about the
package and I went to pick it up.
It was a bit of an ordeal getting them through customs; they
looked at me like I was crazy. They kept asking me for my
C.R. (importer) number but I kept telling them it was for
personal use. With 56 trees in the package I can understand
why they didn't believe me. I explained to each officer I
talked to that they were for a workshop me and other people
were having. I spent a good 3 hours throughout the day there
because I had to leave to go to work, come back, talk to a
few more people, go back to work because they close during
the middle of the day, then come back when the evening shift
I was very worried as I kept talking to various people and
they kept asking me questions; but since I had the proper
paperwork and the permit, they seemed to start to cooperate
with me. Ahmed helped some I think as well because I gave
him a call. The first time I saw the package it was out in
the middle of the warehouse floor strewn upon, I could see
leaves. Oh man that had me worried. I had to pay a 35 BD
clearing and handling fee but I got the trees and we brought
them back to a flat that one of the people who has helped a
lot lives in. My friend in the photo has helped
a lot to make this possible.
I cut the
corners of the box like you said and started to pull the
packages out one by one, as I removed the trees I noticed
the big one in the center. I saved that one for last because
I was very excited and curious what was in there. Oh man I
am impressed! Thank you so much! All of these trees are
really going to help people see what they're able to do with
a tropical banyan tree. I
look fine, they're healthy. The only damage incurred from
the trip was a couple leaves falling off and on, not Ahmed's
tree but the other one, what was it, 8LS8? That one had two
aerial roots near the edge snap. Other than that the trees
as you can see in the pictures, are green and healthy, a
little bent up but they'll settle I'm sure.
for the workshop, I've got it scheduled for this Saturday
with a pre workshop for the people helping out during it.
Until then the trees will be in the flat. Thank you again,
I'm so excited! - - - Burton
NOTE FROM DAVID. It's been quite a few years
since we've shipped internationally but since the September
11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center,
security has greatly increased and international shipping is
now much more difficult!
Now it is necessary to have various clearances and becoming
a known air freight shipper as the air freight company is
responsible to assure parcels are as specified with very
close attention to assure all documentation is totally
accurate. USDA was extremely thorough in following the
requirements of the Kingdom of Bahrain's import requirement
and would not move until all requirements were clear and the
pre-treatments met all of their requirements.
Years ago the average transit time was a week to ten days!
Mahalo to the many who made this possible: USDA-APHIS,
Hawaii Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine and
Pesticide sections, UH College of Tropical Agriculture
and Human Resources, USDA Agriculture Research
Station, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and most of all
Commodity Forwarders, Inc. Burton's enthusiasm and energy
made it a nice challenge and I'm delighted that total
transit time was only five days.
A total of 48 of the new Premium Introductory Workshop
Packages were sent and the workshop was held on Saturday,
October 12, 2013. Burton's report and photos will be
formatted and included in the November 2013 issue of the
Journal of Tropical and True Indoor Bonsai. GREAT WORK!