Terms of Sale and Use

Updated June 1, 2016

We value your business and want our customers to be fully informed about our products, services, policies and shipping requirements before making purchasing decisions. We also endeavor to meet and often exceed the many regulatory requirements applicable to food, drugs, dietary supplements, control of plant pests and diseases, protection of endangered and threatened plants, and preventing the introduction of invasive species.  Many of these regulations change frequently and vary significantly among the states and various countries where our customers are located.


1.   We do not have on-site sales or order pick up areas.   Research activities are in progress at our facilities and we have to comply with pest exclusion procedures, license conditions and other requirements that prevent us from routinely accepting visitors.   Please contact us in advance if you would like to visit.

2.   Plants, seeds and other products offered by Sustainable Bioresources, LLC are not offered for consumption as human or animal food.

3.   No statements on this website and none of our products are intended for use in diagnosing, treating, curing or preventing any diseases of humans, animals or plants.  None of these products or statements have been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

4.   Some of the plants and seeds offered on this website are toxic and/or have sharp thorns that may cause injury.  In obtaining, receiving, using or disposing of our products it is the sole responsibility of the purchaser to comply with applicable regulations and take all measures necessary to protect health, safety, property and the environment.

5.   We reserve the right to refuse any and all orders.

6. Some of our nursery stock includes endangered species, plants rare in cultivation or available in very limited quantities.  If there are more orders for these items than can be met from available inventory we will give priority to filling orders from institutions using the plants for scientific research, education or conservation activities.

7.   All nursery stock will be inspected, shipped live and in good condition. There is no warranty, expressed or implied.  We want our customers to be completely satisfied with our products and service and will consider requests for adjustments or returns on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us at orders@sustainablebioresources.com .



It is our intent to comply fully with all regulations applicable to shipment of plants, control of pests and diseases, exclusion of invasive species and protection of threatened or endangered plants.  These regulations are complex, may be highly variable among jurisdictions and species, and subject to frequent change.

Inspection Agencies.  The Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s (HDOA) Plant Quarantine Branch regulates the export of nursery products (propagative plants and seeds) between the islands of Hawaii, to the mainland U.S. and certain foreign countries by certifying that the shipment meets the requirements of the state or country of destination.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the export of non-propagative plants such as cut flowers, foliage and fruits from Hawaii to the mainland U.S. and propagative plants to foreign countries.  Plants, seeds and plant products exported for research and development purposes that do not involve propagation are inspected by the USDA.

Quarantines.  Federal and state domestic quarantine orders have been established to ensure that nursery stock in interstate movement in shipments from Hawaii is inspected and found free of pests including but not limited to Burrowing and Reniform Nematodes (BRN) and the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana.  Control measures include requirements for inspections of shipments and certification of nematode-free nurseries by the HDOA.  States with quarantines requiring incoming shipments to be from HDOA certified nurseries include California, Arizona, Louisiana and Texas.   Our facility at Naalehu, Hawaii includes certified and non-certified nursery areas.

Agricultural Inspection of Certified Nursery Plants (CNP).  We inspect certified plants grown in the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Certified Nematode-Free area of our nursery prior to shipment.  Packages containing these certified plants will be affixed with stamps confirming compliance with the Federal Domestic Quarantine Order for Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Plant Quarantine Branch Nematode Certificate.

Certified nursery plants in our website store listings are indicated by Model Codes beginning with the prefix letters “CNP-”.  Certified plants that can be shipped directly from our facility are also listed on the HDOA’s certified nursery website listing for Sustainable Bioresources, LLC .  Certified nursery plants can generally be shipped to both quarantine and non-quarantine states.

Agricultural Inspection of Non-Certified Plants (NCP) and Seeds.  All non-certified plants and all seeds shipped outside Hawaii Island, including inter-island shipments within the State of Hawaii must be inspected and cleared immediately before shipment by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Plant Quarantine Branch or the USDA.  Non-certified plants for propagation cannot be shipped to the quarantine states of California, Arizona, Louisiana and Texas.  Seeds may be shipped to these states after inspection.

Inspections of Non-certified Plants and Seeds,  and Issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates May Delay Shipments.  Our business is located in a remote area near the south point of the Big Island of Hawaii and about 65 miles from the nearest HDOA and USDA inspection facilities at Hilo and Kailua-Kona.  Round trip transportation, inspections, issuance of certificates, packaging and mailing of a plant shipment may consume several hours of time so it is often impractical for us to obtain inspections for individual shipments.  Shipments requiring HDOA or USDA inspection are consolidated, held and scheduled for transportation, inspection and mailing in batches, typically every two weeks, or until there is a sufficient volume of items to justify inspection trips.  We will notify customers if extended shipping delays are anticipated.




1.   We usually ship via U.S. Postal Service, Priority Mail.  The shipping costs and delivery times displayed on ordering pages are estimates.  If the combined packaging and shipping costs are significantly less than estimated we will refund the excess payment. Arrangements for shipment by other means must be made in advance.  We may deliver large orders for nursery stock directly to customers located on Hawaii Island.

2.   Special shipping arrangements and packaging may be required for large, heavy or unusually bulky specimens.  Customers will be notified of extra costs for these services prior to shipment.

3.   Most of the plants we offer are native to tropical areas and sensitive to cold. It may not be advisable to order these plants during the winter months as temperatures in transit from Hawaii and/or at their arrival destinations may damage or kill the plants. These conditions are beyond our control.

4.   Some plants may require treatment with pesticides prior to shipment.  If this is required we will indicate the pesticide used on a package insert or the shipping documents.  We use only pesticides compatible with organic certification where possible.

5.   All plants to be exported to the mainland of the United States and internationally from our nursery in Hawaii will be shipped bare root (with no soil) or in approved artificial growing media.  All seeds and all non-certified nursery stock will be submitted for inspection by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) immediately prior to shipment. Certified nursery stock may be shipped directly from our facility.  Plants to be exported to the neighbor islands of Hawaii are similarly inspected but may be shipped in soil if approval is obtained from the HDOA.  Refer to the additional information below about plant quarantine, inspection and certification requirements for Domestic and International shipments.



General Restrictions

We cannot ship non-certified nursery stock to some states, currently California, Arizona, Texas and Louisiana because these states have established quarantines against the burrowing nematode, Radopholus similis, the reniform nematode, Rotylenchulus reniformis, and others that may be present in Hawaii.

Some states may require Phytosanitary Certificates for incoming shipments of certain plants from Hawaii.  If these are required we can obtain certificates for our domestic customers at no additional charge.


Shipments to Florida

It is our understanding that shipments of non-certified plants to Florida are permissible but since these plants are not certified as free of burrowing nematodes they cannot be moved to locations in Florida within 100 feet of restricted areas, which include commercial citrus groves, citrus nurseries, or other approved nurseries. We do not offer for sale any non-certified plants for movement to these restricted areas. It is the buyer’s responsibility to ensure compliance with requirements pertaining to movement of plants after they are received.

Nursery stock consisting of other species of plants from our certified nursery can be moved to restricted areas if accompanied with a special burrowing nematode inspection tag or stamp.  We apply this stamp to outer packages containing our certified plants before shipment.


Prohibited Items

Some species of plants cannot be shipped to the U.S. mainland.  Examples include all true cacti (in the plant family Cactaceae) such as dragon fruit seedlings.  When available these are offered for shipment to Hawaii destinations only.




Shipments to international destinations may be problematic and require issuance of import permits by the receiving country and export permits and documents issued by U.S. and/or Hawaii agencies. We attempt to inform buyers of the shipping requirements for international shipments that we are aware of but these are subject to frequent change and sometimes obscure. It is incumbent on the buyer to obtain any required import permits and comply with all requirements of the receiving country.  Buyers should be aware that some countries may prohibit all importation of live plant materials.

Please feel free to contact us before placing international orders so we can investigate requirements for the items you may be ordering.

Import Permits – Any import permits required by the receiving country must be obtained by the customer and provided to us before shipment.

Inspections – All international shipments must be inspected by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and/or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).


Phytosanitary Certificates – Phytosanitary Certificates issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are usually required and must accompany international shipments.  Multiple plants in a single shipment can be listed on one certificate.  We will apply for these certificates for our international customers for a fee of $100 each, which is typically at or below our cost. This fee must be paid when the order is placed and is nonrefundable.  We cannot provide assurance that a phytosanitary certificate can be issued; this will be determined by the specific requirements of the issuing agency and receiving country and the inspection results. Issuance of certificates for non-certified nursery stock originating from Hawaii may be particularly problematic.  If a certificate cannot be issued for all items in an order and they cannot be shipped we will refund the cost of the affected item(s) to the customer.

CITES Listed Plants – The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a multilateral treaty intended to protect endangered wild plants and animals from over-exploitation by subjecting selected species to controls on their international trade.   Species regulated in trade by CITES are listed in Appendices to the Convention.  Currently, we cannot ship CITES listed plants, seeds or materials derived these plants outside the U.S.  Examples of CITES listed plants that we grow include all species of Hoodia, and all species of Euphorbia such as Euphorbia resinifera that are endemic to Africa. These are offered for domestic sale only.

Please let us know if you would like to import CITES protected plants or plant products from us.  If there is sufficient demand we may apply for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits and other clearances needed for shipments to destinations outside the United States.  We will consider requests for such shipments but purchasers should be aware that obtaining the necessary permits and export clearances is likely to be a costly, difficult and slow process.  It may take several months or longer to complete and we cannot provide assurance that such permits and clearances will be issued.



1.   We ship our plants and seeds via U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Flat Rate Priority Mail or Global Priority Mail unless other shipping arrangements are specifically requested by the customer.  Our order entry system estimates fees and applies them to orders based on this assumed shipping method.

2.   It is our policy to insure all shipments containing merchandise valued over $100.00.  Insurance will be added to shipping costs and paid by the customer.

3.   Larger specimens such as Socotra desert roses require oblong packaging and will not fit in flat rate Priority Mail boxes.  Because the USPS calculates mailing costs for non-flat rate boxes bases on weight, dimensions and destination we cannot accurately calculate the shipping cost in advance, particularly for orders of multiple plants that may or may not be shipped in a single package.  We will not know the actual cost of shipping until the item(s) are transported to the inspection station and cleared, the package is sealed and delivered to the post office.  At check out estimated shipping costs will be added to the order and must be prepaid by the customer.  If the actual cost of packaging and shipping is significantly less than the amount charged we will refund the excess charge to the customer via a PayPal transaction.

4.   We cannot commingle certified plants and seeds in the same shipping container if the designation is one of the quarantine states:  Arizona, California, Louisiana and Texas.  For customers receiving shipments in these states ordering includes both certified plants and seeds these must be inspected, packaged, and shipped separately from the certified nursery stock.  Additional packaging and shipping costs may be incurred.  Customers should consider placing separate orders for certified plants and seeds to provide better estimation of shipping costs and expedite shipping of certified plants that do not require HDOA or USDA inspections.  For customers receiving shipments in non-quarantine states we may commingle certified and non-certified items in the same package for inspection and shipment.


Sales and Excise Taxes
Shipments to Maryland destinations are subject to sales tax at the current rate of 6.0%.  This will be applied to orders when they are placed.

Hawaii does not have a sales tax but imposes a General Excise Tax (GET) at every level of transactions on all goods and services. The GET rate paid by businesses located in Hawaii County (Hawaii Island) on retail sales is 4%, wholesale is 0.5%.   Hawaii allows businesses to charge a maximum of 4.166% to recoup their GET on retail sales.  It is our policy to recoup 4.166% percent on retail transactions and 0.5% on wholesale transactions at the time of sale.  These GET recoupment charges may be applied to all orders for delivery to customers in Hawaii.  Wholesale customers must provide documentation confirming that they hold a valid General Excise Tax License before we recoup GET at the lower wholesale rate of 0.5%.

We will not recoup GET tax on transactions exempt from the GET if the buyer provides documentation acceptable to us confirming that the transaction(s) qualify for exemption under Hawaii’s General Excise Tax Law.  This documentation should be provided before the transaction is made.  The following are examples of sales that may be exempt from the Hawaii GET:

1.   Purchases by any agency, instrumentality, or federal credit union of the United States but not including national banks

2.   Purchases by state-chartered credit union.  Sales to or from federal cost-plus contractors are not exempt.

3.   All of the gross proceeds from the performance of any scientific work and sale of tangible property under a contract or subcontract entered into with the United States (including any agency or instrumentality thereof but not including national banks).

4.   Contracting or services exported out-of-state.

Order Payment Terms
1.   All purchases must be paid in advance through the PayPal feature of this website, which also allows use of all major credit cards.

2.   Arrangements for acceptance of purchase orders, and alternate forms payment such as checks or money orders must be made in advance.  We may hold checks for clearance before shipments are made.

Thank you for visiting our website and shopping with us!