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Crossing Borders


mathhag
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Can anyone tell me about their current experiences or if they know the specific rules for taking a wooden Concertina across the US/Canadian border? I know there is a problem with Rosewood and Ebony but I dont know about other woods or how to find out. I am about to buy an older Dipper but we dont know what wood is on it and I do have to cross the border now and again.

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If you contacted Colin with the serial number he could probably tell you. If you are crossing back and forth it's a good idea to get a card from customs that you can keep in your case that proves that you already own it. I nearly had mine confiscated on the way back from a concertina weekend at the Button Box because I couldn't prove that I hadn't just bought it in the States.

Edited by Bill N
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Theory: if you have a standard black instrument case, then the more stickers (of country flags, from events, for other bands, etc) you have on your instrument case, the less likely a typical border official is to assume you just bought your concertina. There's nothing more suspicious than a completely clean black case: it says either "I just bought this expensive thing!" or "I am a cartoon character carrying a cartoon bomb!"...

 

(I'm not advising against carrying documentation of sale if you've got it, or documentation of materials in your instrument. But I wouldn't be surprised if this might help.)

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  • 1 month later...

The Cites II rules allow you to carry a personal instrument with up to 22 lbs of a restricted wood. It is only the commercial shipping of these woods that is disallowed. There is a special exemption for selling and shipping antique instruments but that requires documentation and proof of age by an expert. I would be more worried that bone buttons might be mistaken for Ivory which would mean immediate confiscation. Has anyone had any experience with this? There is a list of restricted woods on the Cites II website, so check before you buy anything that needs to be shipped across borders. An ebay flute was recently confiscated because its seller didn't realize that the wood he was sending was on the restricted list. He disclosed the wood species on the shipping label as requested without being aware that it was a problem.

 

I'd be interested in hearing from others who have traveled with their personal instruments. I know even antique guitars have some problems due to ivory, true tortoise or certain kinds of pearl which has had them confiscated.

 

If you have a concern about your instrument you can email US Fish and Wildlife. They got back to me quickly. I would think having a print out of an email stating that it was ok to travel with your personal instrument might be a handy thing to have in your instrument case. And if you can dig up any documentation regarding when you purchased it that might be a good idea as well.

Edited by LateToTheGame
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  • 2 weeks later...

There's nothing more suspicious than a completely clean black case: it says either "I just bought this expensive thing!" or "I am a cartoon character carrying a cartoon bomb!"...

Or, "I might want to sell or trade this box someday, and a clean black case says 'I take good care of my stuff' and will add to the appeal and price."

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Cites II rules allow you to carry a personal instrument with up to 22 lbs of a restricted wood. It is only the commercial shipping of these woods that is disallowed. There is a special exemption for selling and shipping antique instruments but that requires documentation and proof of age by an expert. I would be more worried that bone buttons might be mistaken for Ivory which would mean immediate confiscation. Has anyone had any experience with this? There is a list of restricted woods on the Cites II website, so check before you buy anything that needs to be shipped across borders. An ebay flute was recently confiscated because its seller didn't realize that the wood he was sending was on the restricted list. He disclosed the wood species on the shipping label as requested without being aware that it was a problem.

 

I'd be interested in hearing from others who have traveled with their personal instruments. I know even antique guitars have some problems due to ivory, true tortoise or certain kinds of pearl which has had them confiscated.

 

If you have a concern about your instrument you can email US Fish and Wildlife. They got back to me quickly. I would think having a print out of an email stating that it was ok to travel with your personal instrument might be a handy thing to have in your instrument case. And if you can dig up any documentation regarding when you purchased it that might be a good idea as well.

Do you happen to have the email address of the person at US Fish and Wildlife that got back to you? I called once and the person I spoke with really did not know as much as you seem to know.

I really need to get this straight because I would like to just keep the Dipper I recently got and sell my Morse. The Morse , by the way is quite nice. I just only need one.

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If you frequently cross the US/Canada border, it might be worthwhile to consider getting a nexus card. It dramatically shortens the wait time to get across the border and in the six or seven years I’ve been using it, I’ve never been subjected to any investigation more invasive than a polite question about my travel destination.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Flying down to Sydney last week from Hong Kong, my three anglos passed through the x-ray machine without comment, but Susanna's single Aeola EC needed closer inspection. Funny to see these machines have a concertina system bias :-)

 

Adrian

 

 

Is it possible you placed your boxes on the x-ray belt upright, while she placed hers on it’s side? Word is a traditional English-construction (radial levers) when x-rayed from the side looks a lot like a cluster bomb.

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Flying down to Sydney last week from Hong Kong, my three anglos passed through the x-ray machine without comment, but Susanna's single Aeola EC needed closer inspection. Funny to see these machines have a concertina system bias :-)

 

Adrian

 

 

Is it possible you placed your boxes on the x-ray belt upright, while she placed hers on it’s side? Word is a traditional English-construction (radial levers) when x-rayed from the side looks a lot like a cluster bomb.

 

Yes, that's quite possible, and of course there were one-piece recorders in the bag too, but I still rather like the idea of an anti EC X-ray machine :-)

 

Adrian

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