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Thread: Interesting article from a few days ago on CITES regulations

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    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    Interesting article from a few days ago on CITES regulations

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    "I think in closing that loophole, it might have been closed a little bit too tight, so we might have gone from one side to the other, and we need to get the balance right."

    Amen!
    MLBob

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    Bob Taylor said almost exactly the same thing in a recent Fretboard Journal podcast. The CITES regulations are appropriate for harvesters and businesses that make stuff with the regulated wood…but not for retail buyers & owners of that stuff. With any luck they’ll get it straightened out.

    -Dave-
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    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    This sounds like the Peter Principle and Murphy's Law all rolled into one.
    "The air's as still as the throttle on a funeral train." John Prine

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    Ahh, yes. The Peter Murphy Principle!
    Neal

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    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    I actually laughed when I saw Craig Hoover's final sentence: "So, I don't think we have come to the conclusion that we got it exactly right." How about owning up to the problems you caused, man?!

    Anyway, not to make light of this. Preservation/conservation is very important stuff, I will say that it is heartening to at least read that people are questioning how to regulate this in a sustainable way. That's the whole point, isn't it?! Sadly, the US guitar companies and luthiers are only a tiny piece in the battle for this lumber but they are perhaps the best educated on the subject.
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    Senior Member Zelja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Strummer View Post
    Bob Taylor said almost exactly the same thing in a recent Fretboard Journal podcast. The CITES regulations are appropriate for harvesters and businesses that make stuff with the regulated wood…but not for retail buyers & owners of that stuff. With any luck they’ll get it straightened out.

    -Dave-
    Yeah but next chance to get it right is 2019! I still can't believe they were so short sighted with all this when they made the rule up. Also why aren't all used instruments exempt from this (same with use of abalone etc.)? I can't see how they are doing anything to conserve the particulars items with that ruling. They are just causing more bureaucratic paperwork & feathering their nests with the import/export fees.

    To think that a customs officer can confiscate a 200 year old violin in the name of "conservation" just does my head in.
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    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelja View Post
    Yeah but next chance to get it right is 2019! I still can't believe they were so short sighted with all this when they made the rule up. Also why aren't all used instruments exempt from this (same with use of abalone etc.)?
    They are, with the exception of any substance that's on "Schedule1", which is the strictest form of regulation like Brazilian rosewood and walrus tusk.
    Even then, you can get a personal instrument "passport" for your on instrument.
    Also anything that was made before it was CITES listed is categorized as "pre-CITES" and also exempt.
    The hurdle is, proving how old your instrument is.
    THIS is why they listed all unlisted Rosewoods effective January this year:
    "The enforcement and the regime needs to be the same for everybody," Handy said, "because when there starts to be exemptions or exclusions in the system, we've seen time and time again that those that are trying to avoid the regulations and get around them find their way."

    Quote Originally Posted by Zelja View Post
    To think that a customs officer can confiscate a 200 year old violin in the name of "conservation" just does my head in.
    There is in fact an instrument exemption for pre-CITES instruments.
    Granted it's burdensome but the method is in place:
    From here https://www.fws.gov/international/pe...struments.html :

    "Musical instrument certificate (“passport”) for frequent cross-border non-commercial movement of a musical instrument containing species listed under CITES and/or the ESA
    To ease the paperwork burden on musicians traveling with musical instruments made from CITES-listed species, the United States put forward a proposal at the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to implement a passport program that would facilitate the frequent non-commercial, cross-border movement of musical instruments for purposes including, but not limited to personal use, performance, display, and competition with the issuance of just one document.
    If you are intending to make multiple border crossings with your musical instrument that contains a CITES or ESA-listed species, you should complete application form 3-200-88.
    Before traveling with your CITES- listed musical instrument, we recommend that you contact the national CITES authorities in the countries to which you are traveling. For a complete list of national CITES authorities, click here.
    For more information on traveling internationally with your musical instrument, click here pdf
    For general information on CITES permit requirements, click here pdf.
    Al
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    Senior Member Zelja's Avatar
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    Thanks Al. So any Indian Rosewood guitar made before last year should be exempt and be easily allowed to be exported/imported?

    It still all seems a bit cumbersome to me and I fear you could be at the mercy of a customs officer who has had a bad day as many things may still be open to interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    The hurdle is, proving how old your instrument is.
    Not just that. When I was getting one of my 70s S100s shipped from the US, the shipping company wanted to charge me $180 or so to do the paperwork for exporting a guitar with MOP (not banned by CITES as I understand it but subject to restrictions by US F&W). Now I had to prove that it wasn't MOP (eventually got a letter from Guild to that effect). What if a customs officer misidentifies an item, e.g. Indian rosewood (allowed for pre-CITES built instrumnets) for Brazilian(not allowed at all), how do you prove it?
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    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    They are, with the exception of any substance that's on "Schedule1", which is the strictest form of regulation like Brazilian rosewood and walrus tusk.
    Well, actually, this makes me feel safer...

    walrus
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