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Rosewood Added To C I T E S Appendix 2

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Hi All,

Thought I'd point this out so nobody has an instrument seized by customs.

As of January 2, 2017 all rosewood species are now restricted from crossing all borders as commercial shipments. Personal effects are excluded, but selling a rosewood instrument is now problematic.

http://files.constantcontact.com/6b71fe6a001/ff31908b-37d2-4328-bbd2-3c3340ff666a.pdf

https://www.fws.gov/international/plants/wood-and-other-tree-products.html

Best wishes,
Michelle

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As of January 2, 2017 all rosewood species are now restricted from crossing all borders as commercial shipments. Personal effects are excluded, but selling a rosewood instrument is now problematic.

 

http://files.constantcontact.com/6b71fe6a001/ff31908b-37d2-4328-bbd2-3c3340ff666a.pdf

 

https://www.fws.gov/international/plants/wood-and-other-tree-products.html

 

That's interesting. I'll have to take a closer look when I have time. In the meantime, this previous thread gives a European Union perspective.

 

One thing I noticed in my quick glance at your links is the following:

Under U.S. regulations (50 C.F.R. 23.5), "non-commercial" means related to an activity that is not commercial, and includes but is not limited to personal use. "Commercial" means related to an activity that is reasonabley likely to result in economic use, gain, or benefit, including, but not limited to, profit (whether in cash or in kind).

 

In the European version, using an instrument in performance for profit is exempt. The above quote is in a section that "refers to both exports and re-exports", so it's not clear to me whether it contradicts the European exemption or not. I hope not, and that earning money with an instrument without any transfer of ownership is unrestricted, but I think it would be wise to have that formally clarified, since the letter I quoted from doesn't refer to forms of use other than the noted "exports and re-exports".

 

By the way, the documents you've linked to are from the US, but you're listed a being located in Vancouver, B.C. Do you have access to Canadian equivalents?

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NOTE:

 

The rules quoted are for species listed in CITES Appendix II.

Brazilian rosewood is listed in Appendix I, for which the rules are different and more restrictive.

 

Due to other pressures, I haven't yet gotten around to discovering the rules for Appendix I, but I suspect that they could include a requirement of documentation for transportation even for non-commercial use. And for what it's worth, there is reason to believe that all the rosewood used in vintage concertinas would have been Brazilian rosewood.

 

I hope that I or someone else will soon be able to report for certain what the requirements will be for such instruments, since I'd hate to hear of even one of them being seized and destroyed.

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Meanwhile, in spite of all this bureaucratic red tape regarding the transport or transfer of objects made from "endangered" wood, I'm not aware of any significant attempt to physically protect these species from illegally logging. :ph34r: :angry:

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Roger Bucknall, owner of Fylde Guitars, has recently written:

 

"The 2017 changes to CITES regulations on Rosewood were a shock, not in the overall intention but in the depth to which they apply, needing an export and import license even for a single Rosewood bridge pin, but still only one license for a whole ship full of raw timber. Rather odd and not very effective. Some makers welcomed the changes, I thought they were badly designed and silly at best. I'm probably not the only one, but I thought I had a good relationship with the "authorities" on this, and I wrote some very strong letters to UK and international bodies, including CITES in Geneva. 

 

I'm not saying that my complaints made any difference, (perhaps they did?) but the whole issue is being re-examined in May. The new proposal is an exemption for finished musical instruments. We can only hope. I will still be allergic to the stuff even if it is legal."

 

LJ

 

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There is current discussion in the next meeting in May to exempt small musical instruments from Cites II restrictions.  These restrictions have effected many niche markets like concertinas, bouzoukis and flutes (since african blackwood considered a rosewood species) as well as larger commercial enterprises such as clarinet and oboe makers, not to mention the big name guitar industry.  This will not affect Cites I objects, which I think are subject to forfeiture  if you cross international borders with an object even if you own it.  But don't quote me on that one. But there may be some relief on the horizon  for Cites II woods after that meeting.  Currently you can carry your own instrument across international borders if it weighs less that 15K, BUT EVEN A USED INSTRUMENT MADE BEFORE 2017 needs the proper permits if it is shipped or sold.  I have heard on this forum of someone having his concertina confiscated  at the Canadian border. They felt it was a new instrument and likely a new purchase.  Some musicians who travel are getting "passports" for their instruments available in the US at US Fish and Wildlife to eliminate hassles. 

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I have heard on this forum of someone having his concertina confiscated  at the Canadian border

 Could you elaborate on this ?

      I have a number of concertina friends here who regularly cross borders ( national , that is !)

Thanks

Robin

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There was a story here I think, or perhaps it was a flute forum on the Chiff and Fipple site.  There was an event on the east coast USA with someone returning home to Canada.  I cannot remember the specific workshop/event just the story.  It appears I remembered only enough information to be confusing.   The point the poster was making to those of us traveling was to carry documentation if you have it, like a receipt if you keep such things.  I don't frankly remember if the instrument was taken or almost taken. I thought it was actually taken. But I do remember the story was told as a "cautionary tale."  Sorry my brain is so porous.

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So we don't know if it was a CITES forfeiture or a suspected tax/duty forfeiture? 

 

The latter is entirely believable and (from personal experience) Canadian customs can be very agressive if they suspect tax/duty avoidance.  They will confiscate the item and the vehicle transporting the item! 

 

My advice to Robin and his friends is to visit Canada Customs before taking anything of value out of the country, take the item and supporting paperwork and get them to give you a little green clearance card for you to keep in the concertina case.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Don Taylor

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I believe that was my post.  I was returning to Canada from a concertina weekend at the Button Box with 3 concertinas in the car: a Morse GD and Edgley CG that I had taken to play in the workshops, and a family heirloom Henry Harley that I had previously mailed to the Button Box for a bellows rebind.  We were pulled aside for a random secondary inspection, and the Canadian border agent questioned me because of the number of instruments.  Not a CITES issue (although the Harley is "ebonized" rosewood), but rather a suspicion that I had bought them in the US, and was trying to take them across without paying the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (concertinas enter Canada duty free).  Fortunately the agent was called to a more urgent matter, and I was let off with a warning.  I now have the little green cards for all my instruments, kept in their cases.  Not a bad idea to have one for anything of value (camera, electronics, etc.) that might travel with you.  You can pick one up at the Canadian border before you cross.  

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On 2/26/2019 at 11:29 AM, Robin Harrison said:

 Could you elaborate on this ?

      I have a number of concertina friends here who regularly cross borders ( national , that is !)

Thanks

Robin

Late to the Game posted the following in a thread about a Dipper Anglo:
" Make sure  both you and your buyers do homework regarding their country's systems on  Cites II restrictions for exporting and importing woods if you are selling outside your home country.  Rosewood is currently on the restricted list, though they are talking about changing that for musical instruments in 2019.  It would be a shame to have this purchased only to be destroyed at customs.   Antique instruments are exempt, but not used ones. I think antiques are more than 40 years old, but I can't remember now.  I would check with your country's agency for specifics.  In the US the agency in charge of this is U.S. Fish and Wildlife.   The agency will vary country to country.  There was a used Cocobo flute shipped from the US to the UK early this year.  The seller did not realize Cocobo was on the restricted list and the instrument was confiscated, gone for ever.   I was told by U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Chicago office over a year ago  that an instrument sold became a commercial transaction as of the date of the sale, whether it was made pre-cites II or not.   This was right after the law came into effect and interpretations may have changed.  You will likely need an import and export permit for the wood for both the shipper and receiver.  There is a lot of info on this on the Chiff and Fipple Flute forum as blackwood was also restricted. Flutemakers have a lot more paperwork to do making sure they have a paper trail that the wood they use was sustainably harvested.   As I said, they are reviewing these rules (at the Hague?) with the idea they may exclude musical instruments next year.  As it currently reads you can travel with your personal  instrument containing up to 15 kilos of restricted wood.    So would you be skirting the rules if you took a trip and brought it home? I don't know and I'd hate to find out by seeing my Dipper walk down the hall under a customs person's arm never to be seen again.    At least one Canadian lost his personal hybrid after a gathering in the US because the Canadian Customs agent thought it looked "too new".  It was assumed he was trying to get around the rules. So people are encouraged to travel with their old reciepts if they have them. Again, if the powers that be make the exception for instruments this may no longer be a problem in a year or two.    These rules are taken  very seriously.  I recently had a new Dipper shipped to the US. It spend a couple of days in "Homeland Security" where it was opened and viewed.   In my case the woods were all Cites II compliant and clearly listed on the customs declaration.   Chris Algar may have some info on this."

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10 hours ago, Bill N said:

 I now have the little green cards for all my instruments, kept in their cases.

 

What are these “little green cards”? Would they be of any use to an American who occasionally travels to Canada with a concertina (it doesn’t look “too new”)?

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David

 

They are "Identification of Articles for Temporary Exportation" and are issued by the Canada Border Services Agency.  I don't know if they would be useful to an American.  Maybe, maybe not. 

 

There might be an equivalent issued by US Customs.  It is  really a certificate of ownership that stops any future questions at the border.

 

Don.

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