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CITES Rosewood restrictions to end on musical instruments?

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At last, some people opened the eyes and ears of the bureaucratic people at the CITES. And it was about time. Being a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard lover for my fretless basses, it became a real hassle to buy basses fitted with this wood... And I'm not even talking of selling some of them.

Hope this will really take place at the soonest.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hellzero said:

At last, some people opened the eyes and ears of the bureaucratic people at the CITES. And it was about time. Being a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard lover for my fretless basses, it became a real hassle to buy basses fitted with this wood... And I'm not even talking of selling some of them.

Hope this will really take place at the soonest.

Brazilian rosewood apparently will still not be exempt, as it is  explicitly listed in Appendix I and the new legislation applies to Appendix II species.

Edited by Passinwind

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Excellent.

I used to buy instruments from abroad but because of CITES I'd given up. I'll keep an eye on developments.

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3 hours ago, Passinwind said:

Brazilian rosewood apparently will still not be exempt, as it is  explicitly listed in Appendix I and the new legislation applies to Appendix II species.

Which raises the question, given that customs and excise probably don't know their Brazilian from their Indian, will instruments with what looks like Rosewood on be halted in passage anyway, no matter where it came from. Thus, it's probably not going to be that helpful lifting restrictions. Border control are still going to be busy and bits of paper will still need to be signed - and paid for? 

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Posted (edited)

Some clarification I got from Madinter today :

It has not been easy...
but we did it!

Since January 2, 2017, several wood species are listed in Appendix II of CITES, with Annotation #15, specifically, all Dalbergias and Bubingas.

Since then, a group representing the music industry, to which Madinter belongs, has fought to modify this Annotation, to get an exception for musical instruments.

Our work has not been in vain, and finally today, from Geneva, proud of the result obtained, we can announce that these products, among others, will be excluded: 
  • Finished musical instruments, finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instrument accessories.
However, the exports and imports of these woods will continue to need their corresponding CITES permit as at present.

WARNING: This change will come into effect 90 days from today.

We will keep you informed!
Edited by Hellzero
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So, in 2020, we will be able to travel all over the world with our instruments made with Appendix II woods without needing a CITES certificate.

But buying and selling them is still in the total mist.

About Dalbergia Nigra, aka Brazilian rosewood, I defy any custom officer to tell me he's 100% sure what wood he's looking at...

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4 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

So, in 2020, we will be able to travel all over the world with our instruments made with Appendix II woods without needing a CITES certificate.

 

Which I do anyway. I've never needed one....

 

4 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

But buying and selling them is still in the total mist.

 

Which surely is the main issue.....!? Nothing changed then.... so frustrating!

 

4 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

About Dalbergia Nigra, aka Brazilian rosewood, I defy any custom officer to tell me he's 100% sure what wood he's looking at...

 

Exactly! So, it's all still a mess..... :(

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The only wood used for instrument crafting in Appendix I is Dalbergia Nigra, so as it's a Dalbergia, just say it's rosewood, and everything will be fine.

Those bureaucrats are becoming stupider day after day, so don't be afraid.

The next victory would be putting the Dalbergia Nigra used in finished musical instruments, finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instrument accessories under the new regulation and also having a clear regulation text about selling, buying and trading these finished items...

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1 hour ago, Hellzero said:

About Dalbergia Nigra, aka Brazilian rosewood, I defy any custom officer to tell me he's 100% sure what wood he's looking at...

The original interpretation was that if an official thought a wood was on the restricted list he would seize the instrument. It was then up to you to prove it wasn't. I'm pretty sure that hasn't changed.

So "mess" or not it is clear that it's our responsibility to ensure we get our instruments safely through Customs.

 

46 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

The only wood used for instrument crafting in Appendix I is Dalbergia Nigra, so as it's a Dalbergia, just say it's rosewood, and everything will be fine.

Those bureaucrats are becoming stupider day after day, so don't be afraid.

So you're smarter than Customs? Good luck with that attitude.

 

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What you are telling about seizing an instrument by the customs (no need for a C capital there) is the American way and the presumption of guilt. Over here in Europe, even if British people pretend not to be Europeans, the presumption of innocence prevails, so the customs have to prove that your wood is in Appendix I, II or III.

It's not being smarter (even if it's the case here), it's simply abiding the law.

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19 hours ago, Dood said:

Which raises the question, given that customs and excise probably don't know their Brazilian from their Indian, will instruments with what looks like Rosewood on be halted in passage anyway, no matter where it came from. Thus, it's probably not going to be that helpful lifting restrictions. Border control are still going to be busy and bits of paper will still need to be signed - and paid for? 

At least in the case of the US Fish and Wildlife senior inspector I met and dealt with when exporting an old bass, he was extremely well versed in identifying wood, and fully capable of taking a core sample and using an electron microscope and other relevant tools. But at the same time, he was very friendly and respectful and the last thing he wanted to do was molest my 40 year old bass. I brought along extensive documentation and he went online to verify it on the spot, FWIW. The process was very onerous and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I was lucky enough for it to only take a 13 hour day to drive to the nearest of the dozen or so specialist inspection stations in the US, get it shipped out from the same city (which was highly recommended), and drive back home. 

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One easy solution while travelling along with an instrument is to have a copy of the proof of purchase. I had it with me when I travelled to Switzerland in May. I also walked to the airport Customs and asked for a paper, that I have this and that with me. The paper cost nothing and filling it took a few minutes (I had made a paper with names, serials, and approx. prices that was attached to the official paper). Then the friendly lady behind the counter put a very official looking stamp to it. Let's see, the paper is somewhere here...

https://tulli.fi/en/private-persons/more-on-customs-clearance/clearing-export-goods-through-customs# 

OK, the actual paper is not here (have not been able to find it from the net), but here is something about the temporary export:

https://tulli.fi/en/private-persons/more-on-customs-clearance/temporary-export-of-goods

Although the pages tell about ID's and so on, the paper was there in the Customs and there was no need to do anything special. Just use a pen and fill the list.

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Let me tell you a little story that happened to a friend of mine. He ordered last year an F-Bass Alain Caron Replica 6 strings through the official retailer in Paris. His bass along with 4 others were blocked by the French customs because one of them had a rosewood fingerboard, but they didn't know which one it was. UPS France did a terrific job by loosing the official CITES certificate that MUST be original. After 4 months of waiting I wrote to Marcel Furlanetto as my friend doesn't speak English at all and Marcel sorted it all within 2 weeks. My friend got his F-Bass Alain Caron Replica 6 by the end of January 2019 instead of early September 2018... And this just because of the total incompetence in that matter by the French customs which preferred to block 5 basses when only one needed a CITES certificate.

I don't think they can really tell the difference between plastic and wood.

In the USA, you've got specialised offices; in Europe, we have dumber than dumb customs officers.

It's about time that the guys at the CITES realise that the musical instruments are absolutely not endangering the woods of Appendix I, II and III, and focus on the real culprits.

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20 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Let me tell you a little story that happened to a friend of mine. He ordered last year an F-Bass Alain Caron Replica 6 strings through the official retailer in Paris. His bass along with 4 others were blocked by the French customs because one of them had a rosewood fingerboard, but they didn't know which one it was. UPS France did a terrific job by loosing the official CITES certificate that MUST be original. After 4 months of waiting I wrote to Marcel Furlanetto as my friend doesn't speak English at all and Marcel sorted it all within 2 weeks. My friend got his F-Bass Alain Caron Replica 6 by the end of January 2019 instead of early September 2018... And this just because of the total incompetence in that matter by the French customs which preferred to block 5 basses when only one needed a CITES certificate.

I don't think they can really tell the difference between plastic and wood.

In the USA, you've got specialised offices; in Europe, we have dumber than dumb customs officers.

It's about time that the guys at the CITES realise that the musical instruments are absolutely not endangering the woods of Appendix I, II and III, and focus on the real culprits.

It's a real mess, even if you deal with a sympathetic and competent agent as I did. In my case the bass was old enough to be exempt from the Appendix II regulations, but I still needed two different permits from completely different entities to document that exempt status, which took a couple of months to come through in one case. And the bass still got impounded in Europe, since the guy on the other end hadn't realized he needed his own importer's permit. Fortunately he was able to procure that permit very quickly, but that seems to vary wildly country by country.

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Now now.  The original regulation is welcomed if it works.  Has it been effective?  We know we've been affected but has it made a material change to the real problem?

Regards

Davo

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On 07/09/2019 at 13:23, gjones said:

Update: Regulations on importing/exporting instruments incorporating rosewood to be lifted in November.

https://www.namm.org/issues-and-advocacy/regulatory-compliance/cites

 

 

As it was mentioned earlier, following a message from Madinter I got the 28th of August :

WARNING: This change will come into effect 90 days from today.

😉

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