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CITES - What every bass player should know

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


  1. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    jimi66 and steve_rolfeca like this.
  3. jimi66

    jimi66

    Feb 22, 2011
    Portland oregon
    Excellent, I had no idea . Thank you
     
  4. Eddie Charles

    Eddie Charles

    Oct 25, 2015
    Colorado
    What will eventually happen to instruments made of pre-CITES banned materials? Well didn't the US burn IVORY relics a little while back? In the name of preventing future IVORY imports? And then the US attempted to reverse the IVORY import law this year. Go figure!
     
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    At the moment, it appears the the CITES signatories are treating pre-CITES material just like post-CITES material. And, that is a major cause for concern.
     
  6. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    BlueTalon and Tom Bomb like this.
  7. BK bassist

    BK bassist "Apollo's Ghost" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY

    Attached Files:

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  8. UNICORN BASS

    UNICORN BASS

    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Cool, thanks.
     
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  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Interesting story. Too bad that luthiers have to wait a year until discussions take place that may help them.
     
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  10. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Better late than none at all
     
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  11. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
  12. Been in effect for more than a decade. Hence those terrible finger boards on the 5 string Squire Jazz. Good Luck!
     
  13. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    While CITES has been in effect since 1992, until recently the only wood species covered that is commonly used in basses was Brazilian rosewood harvested after 1992. Fender and Gibson both stopped using Brazilian rosewood for most instruments in the late 60's as it was getting expensive, and by the end of the last century Brazilian rosewood was only used as an extra-cost option by a few high-end bass makers (Fodera and Sadowsky come to mind). However, as of January 2017 ALL types of rosewood, bubinga and cocobolo are covered. That’s a big change, and that’s why there is a lot of noise about CITES recently.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  14. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    It is a huge problem, and a foreseeable one. How is the average customs inspector supposed to be able to look at a fingerboard and determine whether the rosewood is Brazilian (effective CITES date 1992) or Indian (effective CITES date 2017)? I don't fault the customs inspectors - most bass players can't tell the difference between Brazilian and Indian rosewood, and any way CITES covers more than 5000 animal species and 30,000 plant species, so by necessity if there is any real training in wood species identification it must be very superficial. And, worse yet, the European Union interprets CITES in such a way that ALL imports of Brazilian rosewood harvested before 1947 are banned. So, in the real world, there is no practical way to import a bass with a rosewood fingerboard into the EU unless you have appropriate paperwork that proves exactly what species of rosewood your bass contains and when the bass was made.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  15. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    Thank you for posting this bit of info that I was completely unaware of and which could've possibly landed me in hot water in the not-so-distant future.
     
  16. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    So in practical terms, who would want to risk their instrument to the judgment of a customs inspector?
     
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  17. ewe2

    ewe2

    Sep 13, 2012
    Bendigo, Australia
    Here in Australia, retailers are selling off anything remotely rosewood-connected at discount prices, I'm pretty sure this is my best chance to pick up a good fender or yamaha acoustic, and I'll have to content myself with maple necks for a while if I want a good cheap electric.

    edit: Also the situation in Australia is a little more complicated: here it is explained that Australia won't be using an actual passport type because we use electronic clearance but the "relevant permits" must be applied for. I haven't found out how to do that, and it seems that the committee that is in charge of defining the legislative amendments is still working on it. But in any case vendors like Thomann.de refuse to export any problematic gear to Australia.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  18. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    As long as you don't plan on traveling internationally with those instruments, it sounds like a great time to buy.
     
  19. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb

    Apr 23, 2014
    I haven't tried but there seems to be a way through this maze :) Fingers crossed.

    Below is some info. provided by a Japanese exporter, further iterated here: #536. One imagines that Thomann might be foolish not to follow similar principles - otherwise they'd be losing out. I may be mistaken - haven't tested the theory. Can't hurt to ask them. Dig a little deeper.

    Following this, there's some detail from the Oz gov's CITES-related officialdom - Department of the Environment and Energy - where some hope still resides - I've emphasised some of the relevant administrivia.


     
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  20. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    Because the CITES treaty specifically says that each member country is responsible for enforcement, and also has the option of imposing stricter rules than the treaty requires, if you are going to import, export or travel internationally with a bass you've got to prowl around on the websites of the agency or department responsible for CITES in each country to figure out what you need to do to avoid trouble.
     
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