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Dec 7, 2017 - 6:21:53 AM
376 posts
Joined Mar 28, 2006

I have not been taking CITES very seriously... until now.

I built a neck destined for Japan with banned CITES materials: rosewood and ebony. Apparently Japan is a very strict enforcer of CITES.

If you have knowledge of CITES, please confirm my summary below or correct me:
1. It does not matter if the rosewood etc. was harvested pre-CITES. The material is still banned.
2. Only instruments built and sold pre-CITES can get a CITES invoice.
3. Only certified dealers can create a CITES invoice. These are intended to document pre-CITES instruments.

If I avoid the banned wood species, will I still get in trouble for the shell material?

Is my understanding correct? I offered to build the neck again with non-banned species. That is my only recourse as far as I understand.

Thanks

Edited by - mhickler on 12/07/2017 06:25:30

Dec 7, 2017 - 7:07:16 AM

1306 posts
Joined Oct 12, 2011

If you have paperwork from where the shell was sourced and it conforms with CITES then your good. Everything else please see my PM.

Scott

Dec 7, 2017 - 8:08:10 AM

kjcole

USA

1071 posts
Joined Apr 21, 2003

I apologize for the hijack - but curious if cocobolo is part of the ban since it is a Dalbergia (sp?) species.

Dec 7, 2017 - 8:13:04 AM
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376 posts
Joined Mar 28, 2006

The entire genus Dalbergia is off limits as far as I understand.

Dec 7, 2017 - 12:10 PM

Ken LeVan Players Union Member

USA

10247 posts
Joined Jun 29, 2005
Online Now

I recently sent a banjo to Germany with less than 1 oz of MOP. I had to get documentation from New Zealand as to the origin and species of the shells, calculate the weight, then buy an export permit from USF&WS,which took about a month.

As for the dalbergia, if you have documentary evidence of when it was purchased and can get a sworn and notarized statement, you can get a "passport" for a certain amount or for a specific instrument.  I don't know how you go about that.

At this point, I don't mess with it, it's not worth the headache - you can make just as good a banjo without it, my permit has expired, and I just use species that aren't listed,  provide a sworn affidavit describing materials to the customer and put one in the case, even if it's just cherry, walnut, or maple. I just sent one to New Zealand, which is, ronically , where the shell materials came from, but I sent all the documentation to the recipient.

I am currently making a banjo to go to Canada and I am using metal inlays that don't look anything like shell material and all documented non-listed species in terms of wood.

The big guys can get around all this and flood the world with thousands of cheap instruments using exotic wood, but we small hand-builders who only make a few cannot (end of editorial).

Dec 7, 2017 - 2:00:40 PM

TLG Players Union Member

USA

1428 posts
Joined Oct 11, 2004

I just don't understand it, unless everyone has their hand out for a tip.
I can purchase pearl, wood, ivoroid ect. from Canada, China, Hong Kong , Vietnam or almost anywhere else, it leaves their customs, comes thru our customs with apparently no problem still wrapped in the same packaging as when it left.
Something very wrong here

Tommy

Dec 7, 2017 - 2:12:32 PM

Ken LeVan Players Union Member

USA

10247 posts
Joined Jun 29, 2005
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by TLG

I just don't understand it, unless everyone has their hand out for a tip.
I can purchase pearl, wood, ivoroid ect. from Canada, China, Hong Kong , Vietnam or almost anywhere else, it leaves their customs, comes thru our customs with apparently no problem still wrapped in the same packaging as when it left.
Something very wrong here

Tommy


Every year there is a budget battle in the congress (about to happen now) and the budgets get cut for various agencies, including Fish and Wildlife, Depatrment of Agriculture etc. who;s responsibility it is to inspect things coming in and going out of the country (which is important). They are told they have to fund themselves because there isn't any money in the budget to pay their staff.  Issuing permits on things they have to inspect is one way they "self-fund".  If they were funded like they should be, they wouldn't have to do this mickey mouse stuff.  You are right - it IS wrong.

Dec 7, 2017 - 2:12:48 PM

krw2dbw

USA

12 posts
Joined Mar 4, 2013

In 1982 I traded a Gibson B45 Twelvestring Guitar for all the tools and forms and materials to build Classical Guitars. Unfortunately, I had to go back to school and put the Luterie on the back burner. I have transported those materials with me everywhere my employment sent me. Mostly up and down the East Coast of the United States. After I lost my job, I tried to liquidate a 2 inch by 8 inch by Six foot board of Dalbergia niger that at this point has seasoned 45 years since it was harvested in in 1972. Martin did not want it, Gibson had just been raided for a shipment of Dalbergia they received from Madagassgar. The most interest I got was from a Hardwood flooring firm that maintained the floors in some of the mansions in New Port ,RI. I called the EPA office in New York and was told that the wood was mine and I could sell it to anyone I wanted to, but articles made from the Rosewood would never leave the United States unless the owner of said article could produce CITES document verifing the origin of the Rosewood and Date of Harvest.

Dec 7, 2017 - 2:26:25 PM

TLG Players Union Member

USA

1428 posts
Joined Oct 11, 2004

Thanks,

Dec 7, 2017 - 2:49:51 PM

1855 posts
Joined Apr 16, 2003

I predict that at least the younger members of this forum will live to see a time when the international trade/shipment/carriage of instruments made from "traditional materials" ends completely. No "crossing of borders" permitted, period.

Dec 7, 2017 - 9:56:11 PM

rcc56

USA

1168 posts
Joined Feb 20, 2016

I can't speak for Japan's interpretation or enforcement of CITES, or what their regulations on importing CITES restricted materials is. You'll have to get that info from Japan. Scott Zimmerman has offered to help you with that.

The US allows exports of all species of dalbergia [the genus for rosewood] with proper documentation, with one exception: Brazilian rosewood [dalbergia nigra]. To export Brazilian rosewood, you must be able to document that it was harvested before the ban.

Cocobolo is a member of the dalbergia genus and subject to the same restrictions as Indian rosewood.

For anyone wanting to export an instrument or instrument part containing CITES restricted materials from the US, google "CITES shipping and permits q & a" and a US Fish and Wildlife pdf will come up with the all the info you need to comply on the US side. Also check with the country of destination-- they may also have permits and restrictions that have to be dealt with. If you do not comply with the regulations of both countries, you risk seizure of the shipment.

It is still legal for an individual to ship CITES restricted materials from the US with a permit. It costs about $100 for the permit and takes several months to clear. BUT it must also be legal for an individual in the country of destination to receive CITES restricted materials.

Dec 7, 2017 - 10:11:39 PM

rcc56

USA

1168 posts
Joined Feb 20, 2016

The questions an individual has to answer when deciding whether to ship overseas:

1. Is there any Brazilian rosewood? If so, you must be able to document that it was harvested pre-ban.
2. What materials are legal to receive in the country of destination?
3. What permits must be filed in the country of destination?
4. If you require documentation to clear CITES in the US, what documentation is acceptable and what does it cost?
5. Is it worth the time, trouble, and expense?

I had a fellow in Germany interested in a Regal made mandolin with a rosewood fingerboard that I had for sale. In that case, we found that the expense of getting the documentation and permits and the shipping costs were going to approach the cost of the mandolin.  We decided not to go through with the sale.

Some of the major vintage dealers ship overseas regularly.  They know the law and are experienced with the paperwork.  Some others no longer want to take the trouble to ship overseas.

Edited by - rcc56 on 12/07/2017 22:21:12

Dec 7, 2017 - 10:52:12 PM
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14274 posts
Joined Feb 7, 2003

Mark

Send me a message off list Ill walk you thru the various points, some of yoiur thoiughts are correct, some not.

Bob Absolutely not, Brazilian Rosewood, NEWLY cut Brazilian Rose is traded internationally daily with no problem, its CITES Schedule I so the paperwork and dance is totally different than mahognies and the newly instituted Dalbergia rules as of Jan 2 . I know someone who recently imported $100,000 of the stuff, and let me tell you he made sure all the paperwork was in order first

 

Shell rules are NOT CITES at all, the US Fish and Wildlife made these laws and no other country gives a damn about them. But if pressed yes the govt wont let the instrument leave the US

Scott

Edited by - desert rose on 12/07/2017 22:54:19

Dec 8, 2017 - 4:41:27 AM
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14274 posts
Joined Feb 7, 2003

Let me give a small cavete to your comment Bob. I know what the law says and on face value yes you are correct, however there are those who deal with Brazilian, and other things like Ivory and tortoise shell ( Also schedule I ) and know the laws inside and out, and there are LEGAL ways to deal commercially with newly sourced items in schedule I materials. As an example I can go into any music store in Japan and buy new tortoise shell flatpicks and thumb picks. Japan has the reputation of being the MOST severe country to deal with CITES rules as well.
I talked to my friend who imported the fortune of Brazilian and he requested I not discuss the details of how he was able to do it, but I stress it went thru the CITES process both in South America and Japan.

Scott

Dec 9, 2017 - 10:21:39 AM

9577 posts
Joined Oct 27, 2006

You have ebony in your OP. Most ebonies should not pose a problem. Gaboon ebony, maybe and good luck even finding any of that.

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