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Thread: cites rules on older instruments

  1. #1

    Default cites rules on older instruments

    does anyone know the rules for shipping indian rosewood instruments from europe to canada? made in the eighties. do you need cites documentation? and what kind? and how difficult is this?

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    I'm not sure you may have to message a big dealer like Elderly, Gruhn's, Carters or I'm sure one of the cafe's many great builders can help? Is there a website for this kind of stuff? I personally think its a bit crazy for people/countries to worry about this stuff with any old/vintage instrument but I guess one better be up as say certain Martin guitars used, Brazilian up on loads up to the embargo in 69-but some 1970 28's/35's still used what they had left over, also real ivory binding and nuts and saddles! One doesn't want to sell something and have it confiscated! It may be as easy as filling out some paperwork for a "small" fee of course? I do know that some dealers/builders here is America refuse to ship out of our country-I guess I don't blame them! I once wanted an old Gibson mandolin from Trevor at "? the shop there in England-the name of his shop is escaping me at the moment?" but anyway he couldn't do the transaction, this was a few years ago so maybe he does now? I know I've received and sent Gibson mandolins to Canada and never had a problem or had to fill anything special out-this was maybe 8 or so years ago though!
    This is a good ? you have, and depending on what your instrument is it may not be worth the hassle on sending to a different country-I know I won't send nothing anymore to Canada or say buy an instrument off evilbay that's in Japan etc...

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    CITES website

    The best strict answer is check with the countries that your instrument is going to; as yet there is no worldwide form or documentation standard. If you are traveling and returning to your country of origin with the instrument, also arrange forms and documentation for the return into that country. Keep in mind there are fees involved for the documentation.

    Many vendors have "officially" stopped shipping instruments internationally. In practice, you may or may not encounter any serious questions about a personal instrument, but each CITES compliant country has their own rule details and they differ from country to country. And then, there are non-CITES compliant countries.

    Personally, I won't travel internationally with my best instruments. Aside from CITES there are also other concerns.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    I don't think Indian Rosewood is restricted but the real issue is that you're pretty much at the mercy of the customs people in both the sending and receiving country. You may know what a vintage instrument looks like and you might be able to tell the difference between Indian and Brazilian rosewood but that doesn't mean they can.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User rockies's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    As of the last I heard Canada does not have a ban on Rosewoods other than the CITES on Brazilian rosewood. Canada does not have the Lacey act so rosewoods other than Brazilian can be brought though the border with no restriction. However it is always wise to check with Canada Customs before hand if you are shipping to Canada. If you are bringing an instrument in hand as a personal possession (not for sale) there are no issues, the same as when we take out rosewood D-28 to a festival in the USA. IMHO
    Dave
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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I don't think Indian Rosewood is restricted but the real issue is that you're pretty much at the mercy of the customs people in both the sending and receiving country. You may know what a vintage instrument looks like and you might be able to tell the difference between Indian and Brazilian rosewood but that doesn't mean they can.
    That used to be the case, but currently ALL rosewood species are listed as of Jan 2017.

    Officially you would need proof that the instrument pre-dates the ban, plus special shipping via a designated port.

    Personally I wouldn't ship anything too valuable if there is any rosewood in it at all these days - the paperwork is possible, but likely to take a day or two of your time especially if you don't know what you're doing. As most of us don't, we don't ship unless they're rosewood (and MOP for the US) free. For a low value instrument, you could ship and hope, and 99+% will currently slip through unnoticed.

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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    That used to be the case, but currently ALL rosewood species are listed as of Jan 2017.
    Correct, Indian Rosewood is listed together with all Dalbergia species in Apppendix II of CITES. There is one exception in that if it is your own personal instrument accompanied by you across an international border then there is no problem (unless it is Brazilian Rosewood). There is a proposal to expand that to all finished musical instruments, but that awaits the next CITES meeting. The last one was supposed to be in Sri Lanka but it was cancelled. So, all international shipments of any species of Rosewood is currently subject to CITES rules.
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    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    I read that in Sept 2019 it may all change again. But for now No dealers and most sellers will not ship unless the item in question has all documentation . Kind of like a oneway passpost. If you try to get one accross borders. That may cost you what you bought.

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    It doesn't have to be called Rosewood to be affected by CITES. Any wood of the Dalbergia genus is a Rosewood. This includes Cocobolo,Tulipwood (not Tulip Poplar) and African Blackwood.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
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    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    it seems i'll have to get the shipper to get the cites papers in their own country. it might be easier to fly to europe. i bet he will balk.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    All I have to say all that's going on in our world all this wood stuff is NUTS!

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    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    it seems i'll have to get the shipper to get the cites papers in their own country. it might be easier to fly to europe. i bet he will balk.
    if its in the U.K all I can say is , good luck... They took a very tough stance on The Musical instruments.. thats why you see so many not wanting to Ship out side that area..

  14. #13

    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    OP:

    Sounds like you're the buyer, not the seller.

    Are you trying to buy from a private seller, or a commercial enterprise?

    My not-so-fearless prediction:
    Once the seller sees the hoops that must be jumped through to ship a CITES-protected instrument internationally, he may decide to cancel the sale.

    If you really have your hopes up for this instrument, you may have to face the reality of "looking elsewhere".

    Looking into the future, I predict the time will come when the international sales of "vintage instruments" containing CITES materials all-but dries up to nothing...

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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Remember the op is looking into sending or bringing the vintage instrument to Canada. We do NOT have a ban on all rosewoods as does the USA. Our only ban is on the Brazilian rosewood as per CITES.
    Dave
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    CITES has also restricted all non-Brazillian rosewood species since 2017.

    While Canada doesn't have the Lacey act, it is CITES compliant. Without proper documentation, agents of any CITES compliant country may correctly or incorrectly determine an instrument containing any type of rosewood to be in violation of CITES and confiscate it.

    I haven't traveled through Canadian/US borders with an instrument so maybe you have frequent real experiences to draw from, but given the risks involved to the OP's instrument, I would encourage either getting the proper documentation or not shipping or traveling with the instrument.
    -- Don

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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    To repeat what has already been said, all rosewoods are now under CITES regulation.

    Information for exportation or travel from the US is easily available on the net by googling "CITES rosewood questions." A pdf from the fws.gov website [US Fish and Wildlife Services, which administers the permits in the US], will come up. This pdf contains all the information you need to carry or ship an instrument out of the US. If you are exporting from another country, you will have to look up the procedure for that country.

    Items containing rosewood that are shipped or carried across any international borders without the correct permits are subject to seizure.

    Indian rosewood is regulated under Appendix II and requires a simpler permit than Brazilian rosewood, which is regulated under Appendix I.

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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    The document that @rcc56 refers to in his note above is EXTREMELY HELPFUL...

    For convenience, I'm including a link to this specific US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Q&A document here. Please note that my comments below are my personal interpretations from reading this document and others provided by CITES and by various agencies of the USA government. YMMV.

    It is important to realize that Brazilian rosewood is treated differently than other species of rosewood by CITES.

    Brazilian rosewood is addressed in CITES Appendix I, which addresses the most seriously threatened species. Another Appendix I listed species example is the elephant (ivory). Appendix I listed species are addressed with the most aggressive trade and travel restrictions and they require CITES documentation for shipping and travel.

    All other rosewood species (and many other plant and animal species) are addressed in CITES Appendix II, which addresses species that may soon become threatened. There are specific exemptions for non-commercial-use items that contain less than 10kg (22 pounds) total of these Appendix II listed species in the item. Non-commercial-use is usually considered not-for-sale among other things; personal not-for-sale musical instruments are commonly considered to be this kind of item and most frequently do not require CITES documentation for travel.

    In contrast, Appendix II commercial (for sale) items do require CITES documentation for shipping and travel.

    The requirements for successfully acquiring CITES documentation include providing documentation of when the particular CITES species in question was harvested. This also includes a determination of if the CITES species harvest date is pre-Appendix I or pre-Appendix II depending on the CITES listing involved. CITES shipping, travel and trade Permits may be denied based on that date determination.

    Note that this completely depends on how different countries involved implement the CITES rules, and there are significant variations between countries, which does cause confusion... These differences are being addressed at various levels by CITES.

    An interesting example of an implementation difference is that if you travel to the USA from another country and purchase a guitar that contains less than 10kg (22 pounds) of non-Brazilian rosewood (CITES Appendix II listed) and if you do not intend to sell the instrument, you can leave the USA with it. But whether you can enter another CITES compliant country with it depends on how that other country implements the CITES rules.

    Also, as mentioned by @MikeEdgerton, whether a country's examining agent possesses the ability to accurately distinguish between Brazilian rosewood and non-Brazilian rosewood is a very serious concern.
    Last edited by dhergert; Jul-05-2019 at 2:27pm.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
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    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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    Registered User rockies's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Well that shows how out of date I am on the CITES thing, I stand humbly corrected in the corner with dunce cap on!! So far myself and others in the area still travel to Montana, Idaho and Washington state (and Arizona) with our instruments. Myself only once this year into Idaho in April, (5 last year) my friend has been down 3 times so far in 2019 and is heading to Darrington WA for the festival there in the near future. So far in all the years going I have never been asked to even show an instrument to a US border guard. I have been asked coming back to Canada but only for my instruments green cards for customs .
    Dave
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Actually hearing you and your friends' border/instrument experiences is valuable too. We can read the official rules all day long, but how they are being implemented where the rubber meets the road is helpful too. If I were the OP, I'd want to hear both sides of this. Thank you for your shared experiences!
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
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    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
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    Registered User rockies's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    I just phoned my 2 friends who I usually get to the States with or they go on their own. Doug was down to Utah in Feb/Mar and Bud was to 3 places in WA. We've been doing festivals etc for at least 20 years. Doug said he has never been questioned about any of his instruments, Noble / Martin rosewood Guitars. Bud says the same , in all the years he has never been asked about his , Martin D-28HD also rosewood. The usual question at the USA customs is "Are you leaving anything in the USA" and the usual on citrus, chicken etc.
    Dave
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Well as I said earlier, there is an exemption for personal instruments. If you accompany your rosewood guitar across the border there is no need for any CITES documentation. The exception to that is if it is Brazilian rosewood. Indian rosewood, or any other Dalbergia species, no problem. CITES rules only apply to commercial transactions (except for Brazilian rosewood), and you can have fun determining what "commercial" means in every country because each country interprets that diifferently. You can take your Indian rosewood guitar across borders as much you like so long as it goes with you.

    There has been far too much panic about CITES in the guitar world. Travelling musicians are not affected unless you want to transport a Brazilian rosewood guitar, and most don't. The CITES listing mostly affects businesses trading in guitars and Luthiers. It is a PITA for luthiers, but not really an issue for travelling musicians.
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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by peter.coombe View Post
    There has been far too much panic about CITES in the guitar world. Travelling musicians are not affected unless you want to transport a Brazilian rosewood guitar, and most don't. The CITES listing mostly affects businesses trading in guitars and Luthiers. It is a PITA for luthiers, but not really an issue for travelling musicians.
    Right, hand-carry of Appendix II wood across borders is not a problem, but it does affect more than just businesses. It affects every musician who sells on Ebay or other outlets, where the shipping regs kick in.

    I just put an "Irish" flute up for sale (I have a better one now), and I decided to take the heavier consignment hit at the Irish Flute Store instead of selling it under my Ebay account, because it's blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) and comes under the current regs. That outlet can handle the paperwork for international sales if needed, which broadens the buyer market. Any musician selling a guitar or mandolin with Indian rosewood will have the same hassles shipping internationally.

    The CITES conference that was supposed to address this got delayed until October (I think?), and there is some hope that the CITES regs can be relaxed for musical instruments at that time. Stay tuned for more info if this conference manages to do something.

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by peter.coombe View Post
    There has been far too much panic about CITES in the guitar world. Travelling musicians are not affected unless you want to transport a Brazilian rosewood guitar, and most don't. The CITES listing mostly affects businesses trading in guitars and Luthiers. It is a PITA for luthiers, but not really an issue for travelling musicians.
    That's sort of true: but I believe there is a restriction on a single item for personal possessions, so a single guitar is fine, but if you have a second, or some other item with rosewood in it (fiddle bow say), then at least technically, you're in trouble.

    That said, I built an indian-rosewood backed guitar for someone who travels almost constantly and he's had no issues at all - in fact he was spending several months in Australia when the ban took us all by surprise, and had no problems getting back to the UK.

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  31. #24

    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Questions and answers on changes of Rosewood regulations from the FWS:
    https://www.fws.gov/international/pd...ember-2016.pdf

    Here’s the actual pdf in the black box. On page 22 there are a couple of questions (and answers) for musicians.
    Enjoy!


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: cites rules on older instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    ... so a single guitar is fine, but if you have a second, or some other item with rosewood in it (fiddle bow say), then at least technically, you're in trouble.
    In the USA the 10kg (22 pound) restriction is per non-commercial-use item and I have found no documented limit to the number of items per-person -- in fact the issue of traveling orchestras has been addressed with specific provisions.

    I'm no CITES expert, but my reading of all of the CITES and USA agency documents I could get my hands on over the last week has left me feeling like the people in charge of CITES and the USA agencies involved are trying to make living with the restrictions easier on the musical instrument playing and owning community. That isn't to say there aren't still deep pitfalls, but they are trying to improve things. Their main goal remains to preserve threatened species by restricting trade in those items though, and they have definately not lost sight of that.

    [Edit] P.S. It is worth mentioning that ebony (Diospyros spp., populations of Madagascar only) is also included as a CITES Appendix II restricted-trade species. Not much is said about it, but it's there. I have no idea how a country's agent would be able to tell by looking at an instrument if it has ebony from Madagascar or not.
    Last edited by dhergert; Jul-06-2019 at 11:12am.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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