1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to post, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

CITES - What every bass player should know

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Turnaround, Apr 24, 2014.


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Snaxster

    Snaxster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Jim Carr and Midak like this.
  2. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    The problem with the regulation isn't the regulation itself, it's compliance and enforcement. I don't have a problem with regulations, I have a problem with onerous burdens imposed by regulations. For musicians, this could easily be handled by having a standardized form, accepted by all relevant government agencies, that declare what woods (+ sourcing) are used in an instrument. Such a form would accompany every new instrument sold (even if the wood is ubiquitous as maple or alder) and would serve as the instrument's passport. Once manufacturers get in the habit of providing that information with instruments on a form that is universally accepted by government agencies, compliance with regulations will be a non-issue for musicians crossing borders.
     
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

    What about older instruments where it may not be possible to acquire the information needed (source, in particular)?

    I do agree that on all newly made instruments there could be such documentation supplied and kept with each instrument. But, if the instrument was purchased at, say, Guitar Center, there is a good likelihood that documentation will be missing come purchase time. ;)
     
    bassballs27 likes this.
  4. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner Commercial User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I design and build electric basses and pickups under the Turner, Renaissance, and Electroline brand names.
    You wish. ALL international movement of rosewood will be affected; it doesn't matter how old or new your instrument is. YES, you will need a "passport" for your insrument. Don't try to interpret these new regulations to fit your convenience unless you can afford to lose an instrument if you travel overseas with it. The horror stories will start in a few days.
     
  5. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner Commercial User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I design and build electric basses and pickups under the Turner, Renaissance, and Electroline brand names.
    If you try to travel with an older instrument and you don't have the necessary "passport", be ready to lose the instrument. Once again, you cannot interpret these treaties your way; this isn't up to you. You cannot apply your own logic to it. These regulations were made up by people who simply do not give a poopie about musicians. To those who wrote this stuff, it's legalese to protect rosewood, and to them, a rosewood guitar is no different from a gigantic ornately carved rosewood bed. Trees were cut to make it. You have to get out of bass player/guitar player mentality to come anywhere near understanding this stuff.
     
    EdwardofHuncote and FC Bass like this.
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

    I hear you, Rick! I don't plan on any international travel with instruments, not selling internationally. It is a sad day for anyone using or has used wood for products. I fully understand why this is in place, it is just a shame it affects anything made before these laws were enacted.

    I take it you are using only "safe" materials, these days.
     
  7. swood_de

    swood_de Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    Exactly right! The CITES musician passport is a half-day PIA to get and costs $75, is valid for 3 years and it is proof that your instrument can travel internationally without violating CITES. Any musician who travels internationally is courting disaster unless he or she has one of these passports.

    CITES is enforced at first point of contact by customs inspectors, both here and abroad, who have virtually no training in how to identify the various wood species (and shell inlay materials) covered by the treaty. All you need is one hyper-vigilant customs inspector who thinks that he or she sees a prohibited item on your bass and you are in trouble. Your bass can and probably will be confiscated right then and there, and the burden and expense of proving that the bass does not contain any prohibited materials falls on you. I personally know of an instrument that was held by customs for 3 months in a CITES fight before it was eventually returned to its owner.

    More about CITES, courtesy of the American League of Orchestras... good news and bad news. It looks like there may soon be a CITES exemption for musical instruments that are traveling with a musician for personal use. The bad news is that sales of instruments containing any type of rosewood will now require a permit (and theinternational sale of instruments containing Brazilian rosewood will remain prohibited. Have a look:

    Relief as Rosewood Protections Increase
    An original proposal related to the rosewood frequently used in crafting musical instruments would have subjected significantly more musicians to the burdensome travel permit requirements. Entering into the negotiations, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, and Kenya requested listing all species of rosewood (the scientific name of the genus is dalbergia) under Appendix II of the treaty, requiring permits for transportation of any rosewood items across borders without exceptions. While musical instruments that contain Brazilian rosewood already require CITES permits under the treaty’s highest Appendix I level of protection and will continue to do so, very many stringed instruments that contain Indian rosewood tuning pegs and tail pieces have not been subject to CITES permit rules. As the underlying threat to rosewood species is driven by a demand for large luxury furniture items, the music community successfully appealed to the CITES Parties to add an exemption for the small quantity of rosewood found in musical instruments so that permits would not be required when instruments are merely transported across borders for performances and personal use. Sales of these items across borders, on the other hand, will now require permits.

    The process of crafting the non-commercial exemption for musical instruments was a very complicated one, and up to the very last moment of deliberations it was unclear whether a real solution had been found. On the closing day of the CITES decision-making process, the U.S. delegation, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, took the highly visible and essential step of intervening during the proceedings to successfully obtain a clarification so that musicians traveling back and forth from their home countries with their instruments will find relief under the new rules. We are most grateful for this key leadership by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which is consistent with the recent steps taken by the Obama Administration to find solutions for musicians under new domestic ivory rules.

    The whole article is here.
    CITES Treaty Negotiations Include Musical Instrument Policies - League of American Orchestras
     
    Jim Carr likes this.
  8. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    You're right, I overstated my case. Assuming user-friendly documentation that would be accepted by government agencies, and assuming the documentation doesn't get lost, CITES compliance would be a non-issue for people purchasing new instruments.
     
  9. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Because this thread has information on legislation, not surprisingly, the discussion has veered towards political arguments several times.

    For now, I'm leaving this stickied but closed for discussion. If anyone wants to send me updates in CITES, feel free and maybe I'll add it here or reopen.
     
    Bunan, Jim Carr and peterpalmieri like this.
  10. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
     



Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.