Cites regulations

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Husky, Jun 30, 2011.


  1. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change! Supporting Member

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    I'm reading through the cites manual posted above and when I got to the identification section of the manual I wasn't surprised to see that inspectors were directed to take a sample of the wood with a razor blade to inspect with a magnifying glass or microscope. Then each species has specific identifiers that agents are supposed to look for. Here on TGP, the "brazilian rosewood authorities" routinely say that to identify BRW they look for a sweet spicy smell. Guess what the CITES manual says. Exactly the same thing.

    If they are in fact targeting guitars, its a safe bet that they will be harvesting a sample of wood from your fingerboard, headstock veneer, bridge, back/sides, etc... to look at it and smell it. So if there is suspicion at all, they WILL be causing irreparable damage to the guitar to conduct their tests. They aren't just going to be looking at a finished guitar and scratching their heads looking at pictures. It looks like they will be cutting pieces off to send to labs and inspect on site.
     
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  2. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    As the owner of several top-notch production guitars and custom instruments (which include BRW parts) I ain't taking them across borders!

    You know what else? The $200 Yamahas students keep bringing in sound pretty darn good!
    I'll pick up one of those for any overseas tours.
     
  3. larry1096

    larry1096 Member

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    For all of you hoping this will get sorted out and clarified; did it?

    I know that the 922(r) laws certainly didn't (they apply to firearms) and arrests and seizures in error continue unabated.


    Larry
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  4. bluesmanbill

    bluesmanbill Member

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    I will use fake dot inlays to avoid any hassles--they look fine. Complex inlays may be a different story, but I never get any requests for that sort of thing, and what little I had supplied in the past was sub-contracted to people better at it than I was. Here again, todays Pearloid and laser cutting can solve a lot of issues.
     
  5. MBT74

    MBT74 Member

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    I'm curious too about how all of this is playing out as time goes on. I've heard horror stories about guitars being taken from musicians at gigs in Germany.

    How do the big name touring professionals get their vintage guitars on tour with these laws? I'm thinking about people like The Edge who travels with dozens of vintage guitars.

    The logical progression of the CITES laws would mean that nobody can sell vintage guitars that used Brazilian rosewood (so no pre '66 Fenders etc). Is that likely to happen or is common sense prevailing with the execution of these laws?
     
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  6. pima1234

    pima1234 Member

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    I fear that RUSH 2112 will prove prophetic.
     
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  7. dmove

    dmove Member

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    I almost bought an ES150 with brazilian rosewood fb and bridge.
     
  8. Lashing

    Lashing Member

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    This is just weird. People like to make way too much about this. CITES does not ban anyone from using old materials.

    People seem to really like exaggerating the facts. Just like all the Celluloid posts about it being like a hand grenade or something. Or that you must wear a mask when sanding ... lungs will give out and you'll DIE!!!!! This "cant do" attitude is perplexing. No wonder China is the superpower now. They are "can do" while everyone in North America discusses "cant do" or blows simple things out of proportion .... don't cross the street, its dangerous. Don't sand Celluloid - it will explode and take down the whole block! Gotta have a table saw that stops the blade if you put your hand in it. Old wood? what? thats illegal man! where's my 18th place ribbon?
     
  9. deathbyBONK

    deathbyBONK Member

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    Honestly I haven't run into much of a problem with this. I'm newer to the field so there might be aspects to it that aren't occurring to me. But I haven't been held up in going about my business.
     
  10. jay42

    jay42 Member

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  11. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    As much as I think the current travel situation is beyond stupid and is just a crooked money making/harassment scheme, it sounds like they didn't actually follow the regulations and they decided to bring them anyway.
     
  12. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone out there know of any horror stories involving ebony ?
    I`m not sure if CITES allows seizure of ebony ...That would include all symphonic string intruments and MY KOLL (ebony board) which I plan to take to Italy...but I confess ..I`m scared !!!!!!
     
  13. farkas

    farkas Member

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    So, I'll be gigging in Canada next summer, and would love to bring my Heritage 535 along with me. I'm not sure of the build date. I bought it used in June of 2004. It has an ebony board with mop block inlays. Does anyone have the definitive answer on whether or not it will be confiscated at the border? I'll be entering Canada from Maine, by car. From everything I've read here I either shouldn't be concerned at all, or should bring a guitar with a maple neck...
     
  14. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    http://www.speciesplus.net/

    Search for your favorite guitar material here.... Seems like there are only a couple of ebony species covered. Again though, supposedly "we aren't going after your guitars..." I trust them, don't you?
     
  15. GuitarWorkz

    GuitarWorkz Member

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    Hey I'm not trying to be rude or belittle anybody here but does anybody know of when people can expect to see or hear about a simplified version of the CITES regulations, like a 'CITES Regulations For Dummies' or something? Over here in Europe - I'm in the U.K., the Germans are taking this extremely seriously, bands have cancelled tour dates there already because they are worried about the German authorities confiscating their instruments, or charging them obscene amounts of money for permits to bring them into Germany.

    I have a mate who is refusing to set foot in Germany in a professional manner because of their enforcement and interpretation of the CITES regulations, I don't think this guy owns a guitar without either Brazilian rosewood, or Madagascar rosewood - he has a few guitars that are actually made of this. Not to mention the fact that if you for example buy an old ivory piano key that was made in the late 1700's or early 1800's and carve a nut or saddle out of it yesterday, yesterday is considered to be the date of harvest, even though the piece you just carved was originally harvested over 100 years ago - this one really has him worried because he not only does this, but he actually owns pianos that are that old the white keys are made of ivory.

    I have gone through the links you guys have been kind enough to post, but they make no sense, and in some cases they raise even more questions, how will this effect 'modern ivory' - hippo tusk and tusk from wild boar which is not illegal nor endangered, for example?

    This has me wishing I continued my education beyond 16 instead of taking up that apprenticeship, and became a lawyer. This scares me to think that somebody with my level of education and in some cases less will be making decisions about whether or not to confiscate and destroy somebodies instrument that can cost in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars, there are guitars that cost in the thousands range that are made with materials on the CITES regulations.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  16. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    thanks for the info ... Can I ask if you know of actual incidents and details? Your post only talks of fears of actions.
     
  17. tonedawg

    tonedawg Member

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    I never ship to Germany anyway who cares!
     
  18. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    ok... glad this issue has been resolved
     
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  19. GuitarWorkz

    GuitarWorkz Member

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    There are two recent incidents that spring to mind, the first is the Japanese violinist who had her violin confiscated by customs in Germany, it wasn't a new violin, and it didn't even belong to her, it was made in the 1700's and on loan to her, here are some links about that incident:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/...ians-million-dollar-violin-seized-in-germany/

    http://www.classicfm.com/music-news/latest-news/german-customs-demand-380k-return-violin/#3gRGax02Xs5YUsAW.97

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/334302

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/08/24/national/german-customs-officials-demand-huge-import-duty-for-violins-return/#.VZLec0bCXIV

    The other incident I can think of is the recent, I say recent it may of been 2014 or 2013 even, cancellation of the 'Vintage Guitar Show' in Germany, again for fears of German authorities confiscating or demanding large sums of money for paper work for instruments that where made not only before the harvesting or trading of the things listed in the CITES Regulation was illegal, but the CITES Regulations themselves didn't even exist, nor did the framework, backing or bureaucracy.

    http://www.bnbguitars.com/EN/news/v...rmany-canceled-due-cites-regulation/index.cfm

    There are a lot more examples of this, especially in the 'classical world', and it really does have a lot of people on this side of the pond worried, it even has big touring bands, especially the older bands who have been going since the 60's and 70's worried, even on your side of the pond.

    For sure it might not effect the small builder who has not been heard of outside his home town who is not likely to sell anything to anybody outside his home town or state, but for the larger, or even the small but well known builders it is a real concern, for example what if I order something from a US based builder and my order has to pass through Germany before it reaches me in Scotland. This really has me thinking twice about doing just that, I might not be ordering a guitar that I have spent nearly a year saving for because of these CITES Regulations.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  20. AnchorHoy

    AnchorHoy Member

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    I can think of another area of collecting that would be directly affected by these regs:

    Vintage woodworking tools, specifically planes and a few other bits like fancy rules and marking gages

    Most of the more common Stanley metal-bodied bench planes were fitted with rosewood totes ('handles') and knobs right from the acquisition of Leonard Bailey's patents in 1869, right up until about the 1970's (IIRC). That is literally a century's worth of production from just the most prolific maker alone, and doesn't even count relatively smaller makers like Miller's Falls, Sargent, etc.

    The situation with certain other types of tools is potentially even more dire. There's still a significant number of 100+ year old fancy plow planes floating around that were made from solid (and almost certainly Brazilian) rosewood. The most expensive types of folding rules, both at the time they were made and in today's collector market, were made from solid ivory....
     

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