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Guide To The 2017 Cites Rule Changes


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#1 alex_holden

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 07:27 AM

Here is a useful guide to the new CITES regulations that will come into effect on January 2nd 2017:
http://www.madinter....ternational.pdf

#2 Don Taylor

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 10:27 AM

I don't think that this addresses the issue of an individual owner wanting to sell an antique instrument that may contain restricted wood components.

#3 JimLucas

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 04:58 PM

I don't think that this addresses the issue of an individual owner wanting to sell an antique instrument that may contain restricted wood components.

 
For transactions within the EU, it says there's no problem.  But it's an EU-oriented summary.
 
Rules, procedures, and other details apparently can vary from country to country... perhaps substantially?  I think the important information is this link,, which gives addresses, phone numbers, emails, and web sites to contact in each different country.  We will have to contact our individual authorities in order to find out what rules and procedures (including forms) we'll need to follow for any given transaction.



#4 JimLucas

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 05:41 PM

Meanwhile, what is most important to me is this subsection:

Exceptions

...

b )
Non-commercial  exports  of  a  maximum  total  weight  of  10  kg  per shipment; (Excluded)
This exception allows a person to travel to any country in the world with a finished product containing less than 10 kg of a Rosewood (Dalbergia) or a Bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei, Guibourtia pellegriniana or Guibourtia tessmannii) without a CITES permit, as long as there is no commercial transaction of the product.
An example:  a musician will be able to travel to any country with his Indian Rosewood guitar without needing a CITES permit, as long as he does not sell the guitar during the trip. It is not a problem if the musician earns money by playing his guitar abroad, as that would not constitute a commercial transaction of the instrument.

 

But I (and you) still need to check with the authorities directly regarding this apparent exception to the exception:

Important Note : Dalbergias and Bubinga have entered CITES Appendix II, therefore, CITES permits are only required for transactions with countries outside the European Union.
Dalbergia nigra (Brazilian Rosewood) is the only Dalbergia that is listed in CITES Appendix I and therefore requires CITES permits for absolutely all transactions and movements. In this guide, we do not go in depth about Dalbergia nigra, as its situation has not changed in the new CITES regulations.

 

How are we even able to know what species of "rosewood" was used for the veneer on a vintage concertina?  Do they offer DNA tests?  I will be asking the Danish authorities.

 

I also have to wonder how any ordinary individual is even supposed to know about CITES and its attendant restrictions.  For at least the last 30 years, I don't recall seeing any article in standard news media suggesting that "endangered species" concerns might impact a person's ability to legally travel with a musical instrument or privately sell his granddad's old squeezebox or flute.  I often read about elephant ivory and rhino horns, but wood just doesn't seem to interest the journalists.  I'm glad we have folks here to keep us aware and especially (thank you, Alex) to point us toward crucial information.


Edited by JimLucas, 09 February 2017 - 05:52 PM.


#5 Dana Johnson

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 10:04 AM

Pre CITES, for guitars at least, Rosewood meant Brazilian Rosewood. Compared to other members of the family referred to as "Rosewoods" it has a cleaner tone and a clear ring when struck, and was favored for one of the xylophone family of instruments. Indian rosewood is much purpler in color and a bit different grain, and I have never seen a concertina I thought had it. Even dark ones, the darkness is in the finish not so much the wood. Even if other woods were used ( and easily could have been given Britan's reach into the orient and Africa) the real problem comes with customs agents who can't tell the difference. ( can any of us?) I don't think there can be any substitute for some CITES approved species documentation to accompany any "Rosewood" ended instrument any time it leaves or enters the EU or any other non EU country.
I suppose we can take heart in the expectation that the US is going to be a very unpopular place to visit anyway in a few weeks. Who knows, Trump may solve the world's global warming and population problems with one push of a button. Be plenty of Rosewood to go around then, once the radiation dies down...

#6 adrian brown

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:08 AM

Many thanks for posting this Alex, and I've passed it on to my instrument making colleagues here in The Netherlands. Needless to say, none of us had any warning of this via the official channels, even though a quick search via the Chamber of Commerce would give you probably 90% of all the instrument makers working here. A small quantity of my output is in Grenadilla (African Blackwood) but I've never enjoyed working with it, so it'll be a good excuse to stop. It's going to be a big pain for clarinet and oboe makers though, and I guess a few more years down the line, for players of those instruments too...

 

Funny thing is that I have a large quantity (for me) of plum wood I'm importing from Serbia which has been sat, blocked in the customs since the beginning of December - I'm just wondering if they think it's some sort of rosewood and are trying to find somebody to identify it!

 

Adrian



#7 alex_holden

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 01:39 PM

Funny thing is that I have a large quantity (for me) of plum wood I'm importing from Serbia which has been sat, blocked in the customs since the beginning of December - I'm just wondering if they think it's some sort of rosewood and are trying to find somebody to identify it!


Interesting, I've made a few little things from wild plum from my friend's orchard. Not fun to whittle because it's so hard, but it turns very nicely.

#8 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 05:29 AM

It seems that travelling with your instrument is not an issue. 

It's only if you sell it, outside of the customs block. 

 

"I am a musician and I have an Indian Rosewood guitar (Dalbergia latifolia). I want to travel with my guitar outside the European Union. Do I need a CITES permit? No. Dalbergias and Bubinga have a #15 CITES annotation. This annotation includes an exception for "non-commercial exports of a maximum total weight  of 10 kg per shipment". This means that you can travel the world with your guitar without any CITES permits, as long as you do not sell it. It does not matter if you earn money playing your guitar abroad. The only thing you cannot do is sell the guitar during the trip. Only Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) needs a CITES permit for a noncommercial export, for example, if you are travelling with your guitar"

 

The annoying thing in this guide is that no mention is made as to whether it all applies to new products, or to S/H or even antique products equally. 

I would assume that it's all products of any age, as I think that that is the case with ivory, so the same would apply to rosewood.

 

Edit: In the US, I think ivory antiques over 100 years old can be transported, but not sold.


Edited by Patrick McMahon, 02 January 2017 - 05:32 AM.


#9 JimLucas

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 03:58 PM

It seems that travelling with your instrument is not an issue. 
It's only if you sell it, outside of the customs block.

 

Unless your instrument contains Brazilian rosewood, apparently.  See the "exception to the exception" quote in my post (#4) above.

 

It has been suggested that "rosewoods" other than Brazilian weren't even used until relatively recently.  (1950s?  Later?  Earlier?)  It's also known that many concertinas have ends that were actually some other wood dyed to look like rosewood.  But how many of us really know what type of "rosewood" was used in building our own "rosewood-ended" concertinas?

 

More importantly, how many of us would be willing to risk having our instrument seized and possibly destroyed based on our assuming that 1) it's not Brazilian rosewood and 2) the customs agents can tell the difference (or would be willing to admit their ignorance)?  Going to the trouble of getting official documentation to protect you from such a mishap may be a pain, but wouldn't the loss of your instrument be even more painful?  As I understand it, there's no alternative "penalty" of simply paying a fine, then taking your instrument and continuing on your way.
 

The annoying thing in this guide is that no mention is made as to whether it all applies to new products, or to S/H or even antique products equally.


If the law doesn't make a distinction, then it has to apply to all equally.  I hope that the published guide properly reflects the law itself.

 

As for shipping and handling, I think that was answered by the example of the guitarist using his instrument to make money.  As long as the restricted object itself is not what is being bought/sold, then there's no problem.  The cost of transport is separate.  That should also apply to the sale of photos made of your concertina or recordings made of it being played.
 

In the US, I think ivory antiques over 100 years old can be transported, but not sold.


Those are the old rules. These are new rules.  BUT...

  • The rules under the CITES treaty are not "laws", applying as written to all nations.  Instead, it is the obligation of each nation to pass its own laws to implement the treaty's provisions.
  • It appears that the EU has already done so.  Their new rules went into effect today.
  • Has the US done so, too, or is that still pending before our Congress? If the US has passed new laws, when did they or will they go into effect?  If not, what law applies when someone crosses the US border in the meantime?
  • Each country will have its own forms and procedures, but the details of the wording can have hidden traps.  E.g., many years ago, when I got a copy of the then-current US law, I discovered that it specified a procedure for businesses to apply for a permit to sell objects containing endangered-species material, but (contrary to the CITES treaty itself) there was no such procedure for a private individual to obtain such a permit.
  • Worms are not a protected species.  Nevertheless, when it comes to shipping or selling restricted objects, cans of worms are frequently opened for inspection.


#10 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 02:10 AM

It appears  that  the woodwind  instrument makers ( and thus probably  others too)  will  get  exemption  from  restrictions  as long as their  timber supplies are  properly documented  as  coming from  official  logging , i.e.  not poached or from illegal sources.   Go to   www.pipingpress.com   where   a search for African Blackwood  or CITES  will lead  you to  articles  on the subject .  Information   on  musicians  crossing  borders  is also   there.

 

I assume  that  if the  woodwind manufactures  have  been granted exemptions  then so also have /will  the makers of other instruments.


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 03 January 2017 - 02:12 AM.


#11 adrian brown

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 04:03 PM

It appears  that  the woodwind  instrument makers ( and thus probably  others too)  will  get  exemption  from  restrictions  as long as their  timber supplies are  properly documented  as  coming from  official  logging , i.e.  not poached or from illegal sources.   Go to   www.pipingpress.com   where   a search for African Blackwood  or CITES  will lead  you to  articles  on the subject .  Information   on  musicians  crossing  borders  is also   there.

 

I assume  that  if the  woodwind manufactures  have  been granted exemptions  then so also have /will  the makers of other instruments.

 

Thanks for this Geoff. But I still find it's a bit confusing, since this article from December the 3rd talks of an 'exception', whereas this one from the 20th, only confirms the rules in Alex's guitar guide. I'm not sure if there is any 'exception', except that African Blackwood is on the appendix II list, which in itself is less restrictive than the main list. or am I reading this all wrong? This summary from the 22nd of December seems also to confirm that there will be a necessity on makers to keep track of old and new stocks and points out the problem for private individuals outside the EU purchasing pipes from smaller manufacturers, much to the benefit of dealers. (in for example the US - the largest market)

What will eventually happen to all this, post-Brexit and Trumperty-Trump will of course remain to be seen...

 

Adrian


Edited by aybee, 03 January 2017 - 04:04 PM.


#12 David Barnert

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 07:44 PM

 

The annoying thing in this guide is that no mention is made as to whether it all applies to new products, or to S/H or even antique products equally.


If the law doesn't make a distinction, then it has to apply to all equally.  I hope that the published guide properly reflects the law itself.
 
As for shipping and handling, I think...

Jim, I think Patrick’s “S/H” more likely means “second hand” than “shipping and handling.”



#13 JimLucas

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 08:08 PM

I assume  that  if the  woodwind manufactures  have  been granted exemptions  then so also have /will  the makers of other instruments.


This is a political issue.  Where politics are concerned, it's dangerous to assume anything... especially anything reasonable.  I would suspect that such exemptions would be granted for other instruments only if there is strong lobbying for them.

 

If this is done on an instrument-by-instrument or even class-of-instrument basis, we concertina owners could run into serious trouble.  We're few and not well known.  An exemption for musical instruments in general is what we should aim for.



#14 JimLucas

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 08:15 PM

Jim, I think Patrick’s “S/H” more likely means “second hand” than “shipping and handling.”


Sounds reasonable. He could tell us.

 

I guess my interpretation was influenced by the fact that when buying an item from outside the EU, Denmark charges MOMS (equivalent to British VAT) not only on the article purchased, but also on the postage or other shipping cost.  :ph34r:



#15 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 05:26 AM

Although I'm right behind the importance of saving rare trees from the chain saw, I think the CITES people need a kick up the ass for this mess.

They are treating rosewood like ivory, when there's a huge difference. Ivory is ivory, there is a demand out there, and the sad losers who want ivory products have no interest in any substitute. The same doesn't apply to rosewood.

There are a myriad of good substitutes for rosewood, and buyers don't have the same fixation on "the real thing".

So there isn't the same incentive to smuggle and risk confiscation.

 

I think they should have a much more liberal attitude to rosewood products, whereby the focus is on raw timber, which is after all what needs protecting. Any product that can be shown to be made before 2017 with a bit of paperwork, should be ok to travel.

You're not going to get a huge fakery industry, like in ivory. If it looks old rosewood, it almost certainly IS old.

 

I think they are after money, from the issuing of permits etc. It has the look of a cash cow.



#16 JimLucas

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 10:47 AM

You're not going to get a huge fakery industry, like in ivory. If it looks old rosewood, it almost certainly IS old.


Aye.

 

I used to have a set of "bones" (for playing rhythm, not dice for gambling ;)) made of Brazilian rosewood. (Unfortunately, they disappeared when a bag they were in was stolen.)  They had been made from scraps in a sculptor's discard pile.  When an expert cabinetmaker/restorer saw them, he marveled and asked the source.  He said that the darker the wood, the deeper in the trunk it had to have come from, and there hadn't been any living rosewood trees with trunks that deep in more than 30 years.  (And this was several decades ago.)
 

I think they are after money, from the issuing of permits etc. It has the look of a cash cow.

 

Those who wrote the treaty aren't getting any of that sort of money.  That comes via individual national laws to administer the treaty's rules.  Seems more likely to me that they were lobbied not by governments looking for an excuse (do they ever need one?) to create new bureaucracies and fees, but by export/import houses looking for ways to exclude individuals and small companies from independent operation.  Still a cash cow, but for a different "farmer", if we're ultimately forced to hire the big boys as agents.


Edited by JimLucas, 04 January 2017 - 10:48 AM.


#17 Don Taylor

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 01:25 PM

I found this an interesting read:

https://www.theguard...egal-rainforest

Definitely a real problem.

#18 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 04:20 PM

Interesting article. It's dated two years ago, so it's probably nearly all gone now.

 

The restrictions on musical instruments crossing borders aren't going to put any kind of dent in that kind of trade.

It's like installing a smoke alarm, when your house is on fire.






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