Cites regulations

whoismarykelly

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Danish furniture is another example. I have multiple tables and a sofa that contain substantial amounts of solid brazilian and madagascar rosewood. Those pieces were made in the 50s and 60s before any restrictions came into play.
 

paka

Member
Messages
365
This is a BS issue it's never going to apply to individual instruments, at least not on a wide enough scale to be concerned. Who's going to pull your guitar out of its case at the airport and test to see if it's Brazilian rosewood vs Indian rosewood? Who can even tell the difference between South African abalone and American? It's a joke! How would anybody but a horticulturalist even make this determination? And using what tests? Small builders and certainly travelers have nothing to worry about. The enforcement personnel (all 2 of them) are probably busy trying to bust large scale exporters. Anyway, sounds like a lot of hype. This thing started on the early seventies and I doubt they're ramping it up suddenly in 2016. Just my 2 cents...
 

whoismarykelly

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7,829
This is a BS issue it's never going to apply to individual instruments, at least not on a wide enough scale to be concerned. Who's going to pull your guitar out of its case at the airport and test to see if it's Brazilian rosewood vs Indian rosewood? Who can even tell the difference between South African abalone and American? It's a joke! How would anybody but a horticulturalist even make this determination? And using what tests? Small builders and certainly travelers have nothing to worry about. The enforcement personnel (all 2 of them) are probably busy trying to bust large scale exporters. Anyway, sounds like a lot of hype. This thing started on the early seventies and I doubt they're ramping it up suddenly in 2016. Just my 2 cents...
If you read the documentation posted in this thread you would see that there are guidelines for enforcement personnel to determine what a specific species is regardless of whether they are truly qualified to make that call. And the onus would likely be on the owner to prove a seized piece of property is legal and documented to get it back. There have been plenty of cases where an individual's property has been seized. The staff on site at customs dealing with travelers are not the same folks investigating freight shipments.
 

paka

Member
Messages
365
Interesting... Though I don't doubt that there are seizures, I still question the frequency of such things. Just spoke w a friend who carves things out of wooley mammoth tusks (fossils) and he says that exports from Alaska are now banned due to the similarity to elephant tusk ivory. So, apparently there are not enough trained agents that can distinguish between a fossil and and a recent kill. This does not give me hope that these same agents/inspectors can tell the difference between rosewood species.
 

GibsonSGgirl

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1,269
This has me concerned because I own a lot of guitars (Gibsons, Fenders mostly) and at some point I will be moving from the USA to England and I worry that they will give me issues about it at the airport or when moving my stuff over. Maybe if I put them all in my car when it goes, they won't say anything...
 

71strat

Member
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8,981
Interesting... Though I don't doubt that there are seizures, I still question the frequency of such things. Just spoke w a friend who carves things out of wooley mammoth tusks (fossils) and he says that exports from Alaska are now banned due to the similarity to elephant tusk ivory. So, apparently there are not enough trained agents that can distinguish between a fossil and and a recent kill. This does not give me hope that these same agents/inspectors can tell the difference between rosewood species.

There is a SIMPLE Chemical Test they can do On the Spot to determine Brazilian vs any other kind.

It takes about 5 minutes.

Dalnigrin - a compound new to science, discovered in Brazilian rosewood (Image: RBG Kew)

A chemical test
Woods of Dalbergia are rich in phenolic compounds, so the team then decided undertake chemical analyses to see if the anatomically-similar species differed in their chemistry. This involved soaking small fragments of timber in methanol and then analysing the compounds that the methanol had extracted. The analysis used a mass spectrometer coupled to a liquid chromatograph to separate the extracted compounds and determine their molecular masses and formulae.

The chemical analyses showed that one of the main phenolic compounds extracted from wood of D. nigra was not present in any of the other species having similar wood anatomy. The team then set about isolating this compound to find out what it was. To their surprise they discovered that it was a compound new to science (albeit a variation of a previously known compound) and they named it dalnigrin.

Using this combination of microscopic and chemical analyses, scientists at Kew can help the UK Border Agency and other enforcement officers to identify illegal imports of this timber.

Item from Dr Geoffrey Kite (Phytochemist, RBG Kew)
Originally published in Kew Scientist, issue 38

Article references

Gasson, P.,Miller, R, Stekel, D.J., Whinder, F. and Zieminska, K. (2010). Wood identification of Dalbergia nigra (CITES Appendix I) using quantitative wood anatomy, principal components analysis and naıve Bayes classification. Annals of Botany 105, 45–56.

Kite, G.C., Green, P.W.C, Veitch, N.C, Groves, M.C., Gasson, P.E. & Simmonds, M.S.J. (2010). Dalnigrin, a neoflavonoid marker for the identification of Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) in CITES enforcement. Phytochemistry 71: 1122–1131.
Chemistry aids conservation
Scientists at Kew have discovered that a chemical present in Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) can be used to identify imports of timber from this species that contravene international regulations, so aiding conservation.
 

vortexxxx

Supporting Member
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10,027
An interesting CITES experience:
OK we all know CITES is really intended to protect the countries where the species are becoming rare from 'plunderers' and 'rapers of the land.' So a major flaw in it is not allowing countries where these species don't naturally exist from trading between each other. I had an interesting CITES experience today. I'm in Canada and I've always wanted a pet Toucan. I have other large parrots and have had birds in my life for most of my life. I've seen Toucans for sale locally in the past but they were pretty expensive and at those times, I couldn't afford them. The last local Toucan I saw for sale was for $5,000. Anyway, I tried searching online and couldn't find any locally. I contacted a US breeder and he told me most Toucans are now covered under CITES and he can't sell it over the border. He mentioned that there is a very complex process that costs over $300. to file paperwork requesting them to allow the bird to go into Canada. He never tried it because he heard that it was quite a hassle and they will likely say 'no' anyway.
Anyway, for the time being, I can't get a Toucan. It's too bad because the Toucan would have loved flying around in my house rather than sitting in a breeder's cage. And by the way, now that Toucans are on CITES, they cost about $15,000.
 

vortexxxx

Supporting Member
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10,027
Follow up to my earlier post - I am getting a Toucan but it's a different species and is cheaper. It's still on CITES but there is a guy who does paperwork for importing CITES pets. The permits and paperwork is going to cost about $1,500. There's not much else that I can do if I want a toucan. I've always had pet birds around the house and I've wanted a Toucan forever. This was a captive bred Toucan, so it's not like it's getting smuggled out of some rain-forest somewhere. CITES is supposed to protect birds from smugglers who capture wild birds and stick them in their suitcases, where many die, not captive breeders.
 

frankencat

Guitarded
Silver Supporting Member
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12,823
I have some guitars, knives and handguns with ivory, Brazilian, etc and I have not been able to get a straight answer from anyone about this from anyone I have asked including some well known manufacturers and luthiers. The consensus seems to be 'don't worry about it unless you have a problem'. :/
 

Mike9

Supporting Member
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10,943
I got this from a vendor today:

Starting today January 2, 2017 we will no longer be able to sell rosewood necks outside of the United States (unless you want to wait 60-90 days per order for a re-export certificate). New regulation has taken effect that calls for documentation when shipping instruments internationally that contain any amount of any kind of rosewood or certain types of bubinga.

The Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) held a conference from September 24 - October 4, 2016 this year in Johannesburg, South Africa where it was decided that all species of rosewood under the genus Dalbergia and three bubinga species (Guibourtia demeusei, Guibourtia pellegriniana, and Guibourtia tessmannii) will be protected under CITES Appendix II. Each country has its own CITES Management Authority. If you live outside the United States, you can look up the CITES contact in your country here.

When shipping musical instruments that include any amount (i.e. fingerboard, back, sides, binding) of Dalbergia or the other newly regulated woods out of your country as part of a commercial transaction, each one must be accompanied by a CITES re-export certificate. CITES re-export certificates must be applied for through the US Fish and Wildlife Service. You can download the application here.

This is an ongoing topic, we will do our best to keep you informed on future updates, policies and procedures. We will also continue to provide an amazing selection of guitar parts for you as well as handle any concerns with these new governmental regulations.

Thank you for your continued support,
 

cardamonfrost

Member
Messages
2,244
This is a BS issue it's never going to apply to individual instruments, at least not on a wide enough scale to be concerned. Who's going to pull your guitar out of its case at the airport and test to see if it's Brazilian rosewood vs Indian rosewood? Who can even tell the difference between South African abalone and American? It's a joke! How would anybody but a horticulturalist even make this determination? And using what tests? Small builders and certainly travelers have nothing to worry about. The enforcement personnel (all 2 of them) are probably busy trying to bust large scale exporters. Anyway, sounds like a lot of hype. This thing started on the early seventies and I doubt they're ramping it up suddenly in 2016. Just my 2 cents...
You have obviously never dealt with the Gov't. Enforcement of the law at any cost.

C
 

vortexxxx

Supporting Member
Messages
10,027
I bought an Epiphone Crestwood reissue from Chicago Music Exchange. They shipped it on January 6 and it arrived last Thursday in Toronto Ontario. It went through customs as they charged me taxes, but they didn't open the box (especially since it had a sticker on it saying something like 'Do Not Open it for 24 Hours to let it acclimatize'. That might be a good trick for customs. I bet they would be afraid to open the box.
I don't know if anyone else has tested having a rosewood instrument crossing the border.
 

vortexxxx

Supporting Member
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10,027
Guess what? So I won't be able to get the Toucan after all. The seller said it was like jumping through too many hoops to get a the CITES paperwork done.
 

Hogan/Guitars

Member
Messages
1,252
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I think it will get to the point where you will have to have papers on anything crossing the border. I mean right now they're leaving it up to the exporter to declare what the instrument is made out of.

Bubinga looks like brown wood very much like any RW, mahogany looks like mahogany to most, what are they going to do a sample test for African, Philippine and SA? on and on.

You can substitute Purple heart for bubinga but since PH turns browner with age and can have similar grain and if oiled or stained would look close to a untrained worker visually inspecting. What I saying is where is this all leading.

I think about it cause half the wood I have is on that list and much of it is 5-10+ yrs old.
 

robertkoa

Member
Messages
4,120
I wish this were a sticky.
What are you other builders doing about complying with cites regulations and the heavy potential fines associated with it? No Abalone, Shell, Ivory, Mahogany, Brazilian etc. From what I see is in order to use 1 abalone face dot it will cost me $190. There are permits associated with export now. My European and Japanese dealers are freaking.
This is even affecting the transportation of your instruments, take it to Canada and you might not be able to bring that old Martin back !
Even if you use an old piece of Tusk from a knife handle to make a nut , if you reshaped it last month they consider the born date last month no matter how old the knife was.
I'm a Player not a Luthier BUT NOW is a great time to get some of these eccentric esoteric Regulations eliminated.
Write it up, keep it simple, and explain how these Regulations are limiting USA Manufacturing !
 

burningyen

Member
Messages
14,631
I'm a Player not a Luthier BUT NOW is a great time to get some of these eccentric esoteric Regulations eliminated.
Write it up, keep it simple, and explain how these Regulations are limiting USA Manufacturing !
This would inevitably lead to a political discussion, which I think most of us would prefer not to see here.
 




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