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

  1. #11
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelja View Post
    Thanks Al. So any Indian Rosewood guitar made before last year should be exempt and be easily allowed to be exported/imported?
    Absolutely yes, it's pre-CITES, you just need to provide proof.
    (Consider how all these "pre-stressed" guitars are going to affect customs officers' belief in the actual age of a guitar.
    That's one of the reasons I can see for instruments still being subject to screening.
    Consider the potential for unscrupulous importers to try to disguise post-Cites wood as pre-CITES.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelja View Post
    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.
    Cumbersome yes, but personal instruments being such a drop in the bucket compared to the commercial volumes involved in furniture-making, I'm not sure you'll get any relief from CITES.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zelja View Post
    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).
    Cumbersome, all right. (no snark intended)
    And I'm sure that the price for providing the documentation reflected the hassle of obtaining it, as well as some amount of profit for performing the service.
    BUT, still, there IS a process.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zelja View Post
    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?
    By ensuring the guitar shows up at customs with the proper certs.
    The same process used to verify the legality of your S-100 would be used to verify the pre-CITES status of an EIR-bodied guitar.
    The paperwork should serve to restrain an overzealous customs officer who's having a bad day. Since different countries may have different rules about what they'll allow IN to their country, a compliance certificate should be obtained from both the origin AND the destination country.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
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  2. #12
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    Well, actually, this makes me feel safer...

    walrus
    BE aware if you die on a beach and your tusks become fossilized then they're open game for Native Americans .
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
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  3. #13
    The whole Rosewood thing has been a farce even before armed Feds raided Gibson and turned that into a major fiasco.

    Chinese furniture, casket and home builders are causing Rosewood forests to vanish -- not western musicians with our puny little fretboards and guitar bridges.

    CITES doesn't do a thing against China. And they're framing houses with the stuff in Shanghai.
    Yet musicians have to worry about getting arrested? What a joke.

    Buy Chinese Rosewood furniture in Oakland, California.

    Rosewood consumption boom in China.

    Congolese forests being shipped to China.
    Youtube

    More


    1972 D25 (flatback), 1997 F65ce.

  4. #14
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    I've posted this before but it's time again.
    For anybody who wants to really understand what it is and how it works and not just whine about inefficient bureaucracy (pardon the redundancy), please read the Wiki page:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CITES
    "Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants."
    With due respect for my friend Marcellis, there are strategies embedded in the treaty to help curb non-compliance by signatorys:
    Although the Convention itself does not provide for arbitration or dispute in the case of noncompliance, 36 years of CITES in practice has resulted in several strategies to deal with infractions by Parties. The Secretariat, when informed of an infraction by a Party, will notify all other parties. The Secretariat will give the Party time to respond to the allegations and may provide technical assistance to prevent further infractions. Other actions the Convention itself does not provide for but that derive from subsequent COP resolutions may be taken against the offending Party. These include:
    Mandatory confirmation of all permits by the Secretariat
    Suspension of cooperation from the Secretariat
    A formal warning
    A visit by the Secretariat to verify capacity
    Recommendations to all Parties to suspend CITES related trade with the offending party[4]
    Dictation of corrective measures to be taken by the offending Party before the Secretariat will resume cooperation or recommend resumption of trade
    Bilateral sanctions have been imposed on the basis of national legislation (e.g. the USA used certification under the Pelly Amendment to get Japan to revoke its reservation to hawksbill turtle products in 1991, thus reducing the volume of its exports).

    Whether or not those sanctions will be brought to bear or have any effect on a member nation with the economic leverage of China is a different question.
    Instances of hitting eco-pirates where it hurts have occurred:
    https://news.mongabay.com/2015/10/us...ct-violations/
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
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  5. #15
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    Whether or not those sanctions will be brought to bear or have any effect on a member nation with the economic leverage of China is a different question.
    Actually, I don't want to speak for him, but I think this is marcellis' point. If it isn't, I guess it's mine. Like any "sanction", if the sanctions have no effect on the presumably worst offender, than this IS the question.

    walrus
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  6. #16
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    Actually, I don't want to speak for him, but I think this is marcellis' point. If it isn't, I guess it's mine. Like any "sanction", if the sanctions have no effect on the presumably worst offender, than this IS the question.

    walrus
    China demand's probably the single most important reason all the unlisted species of rosewood were blanket listed last year, expressly to curtail the already-proven propensity for pirate foresters to go after the next unlisted species as soon as the currently commercially exploited one gets listed. It was a never-ending shell game and they finally said "Enough".
    China is a CITEs signatory BTW, and does at least pay lip service to the value of the Convention.
    They also claim that the smuggling (in the loose sense of using false documentation) of wood from Russia into China where it was later sold to Lumber Liquidators was due to corruption of local officials.
    From one perspective, asking member nations to create their own internal enforcement scenarios also removes the potential for CITES to actually become what it's been perceived as, some kind of international game warden with powers of indiscriminate and arbitrary enforcement.
    Here's an example of how US enforcement of its own Lacey Act can impact the profitability of illegally harvested timber in another country, from HERE :

    "One project that will be funded is the development of a wood identification device that if successful, could fill a critical gap in enforcement when it comes to identifying the species of timber at a border or in an enforcement scenario. The device would be able to identify timber species that are listed on the CITES Appendices, including the species that were at issue in this case. If U.S. border officials would have had access to such a device in 2011, then perhaps Lumber Liquidators could have been flagged for violation years ago, thus averting the flow of money back to China and Far East Russia in support of illegal logging. "

    China itself isn't simply sitting back and allowing all this to go on unwatched according to THIS link contained in your OP:

    "Canby notes existing frameworks China has in place as well as systems in the works related to the sale of rosewood. Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the nation’s government has added additional control measures on listed rosewood species. However, the report notes that CITES’ mention of particular rosewood products, like logs, timber and veneer, make it easy for bad actors to circumvent the rules by simply adding a slight modification to their product; documenting rosewood logs as semi-finished, for instance, which doesn’t fall under CITES’ scope.
    The state also has a number of standards related to rosewood, though many of them don’t cover legality issues. Industry experts and analysts are debating whether the National Standard for Hongmu, which doesn’t explicitly address illegal sources in the rosewood trade, should be enhanced or abandoned for a more binding instrument.
    And China has a suite of other initiatives designed to combat these illegalities that include voluntary guidelines and agreements with other countries to encourage legal trade. “These mechanisms could serve as a foundation for more robust and legally binding legislation to curb illegal timber imports,” Canby said."


    ---and :

    "And the trade is still ongoing in Asia as report authors found transnational crime syndicates are exploiting remaining valuable rosewood. More than 150 people have been killed enforcing laws related to rosewood in recent years, according to the report. Like in Africa, bans are in place in these nations but complex supply chains, ripe with corruption and cronyism, allow industry actors to bypass international rules and flaunt domestic bans. In some countries like Myanmar, timber sales are deeply intertwined with ethno political conflicts...

    Perhaps one of the most important steps isn’t for the Chinese government but for the rosewood-producing countries. These places would need to develop or strengthen legal frameworks that include environmental and social monitoring as well as disclosure over non-compliance.
    For now, many researchers and others involved in the space believe addressing change through CITES is most effective, despite the loophole. And recently, Vietnam and Thailand proposed closing the loophole as well as protecting another rosewood specie, a replacement type called Siamese, by listing it under CITES. The region drew up an action plan last year, which was supported by all parties, including China."


    That was 2 years ago and in fact all rosewoods have since been listed, an action that had to be instigated by producing countries and supported by a majority of Convention/Treaty members.
    My bottom line point is that when it comes to CITES, some kind of action's better than nothing, and I respectfully submit that the alternative is far worse than the current reality.
    Last edited by adorshki; 12-11-2017 at 07:41 PM. Reason: sp/syntax
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

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