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CITES - What every bass player should know

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

  1. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    Then, it would delay the purchase for approx. 45 days and that is actually bad for the sellers in the USA who could lose potential buyers from Canada. Thanks for your prompt answer! Club Bass in Toronto are the best !!!
  2. villis


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greece (Xanthi)
    that is easy : where are the notes on the fingerboard
  3. MatMeyer


    Feb 26, 2016
    Hi, I'm a bass player from Chile (South America) and will be traveling to the US in August. I'm planning to purchase a used bass there. if I carry the bass with me in the airplane (meaning, no shipping couriers overseas), can i still face trouble at customs if the bass has a rosewood fretboard?
  4. kumimajava


    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Based on my understanding - you might be in trouble if they do check: what you've done is bought a bass in the US, then are exporting it to your home-country.

    I don't think it's relevant that you carry the bass with you on the plane, rather than shipping it; in either case: you've bought a bass in the US, and intend to transport it out of the US. This constitutes "international trade", and from what I understand, CITES would apply.

    Happy to be corrected by anyone, if i've got it wrong.
    Garret Graves and Jim Carr like this.
  5. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    New York City
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    With the exception of Brazilian Rosewood, the new CITES regulations do not apply to personal instruments. They only apply to commercial transactions. Since you purchased the bass in the US, it would now be your personal instrument and you should not have to worry about CITES when you go back to Canada (unless you get a wacko customs person!).
  6. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    Voice of reason ^
  7. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    I think if a Canadian goes to the U.S. and buys a new bass, it's still technically considered importing when he crosses the border back into Canada.

    Your other observation (about a wacko customs person) has been at the center of my gripe all along with CITES. Instruments made with CITES-regulated materials are supposed to have a passport, for which there is a cumbersome process. Ideally, the passport process would be very user friendly, making compliance easy and therefore universal. And there should be instrument passports available for every instrument, regardless of whether an instrument contains CITES materials or not -- because the nature of CITES is to grow the number of included materials, so instruments that have no such materials now may very well have them in the future, without any changes ever having been made to the instrument.
  8. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Good luck finding a customs agent who can tell when a piece of rosewood isn't Brazilian. :D Assuming that the burden of proof is on the bass owner (which I'm pretty sure it would be), the problem is that we are at the mercy of people who are generally clueless about wood but have absolute authority where border crossing is concerned. :eek:
    gebass6, BlueTalon, s_wood and 2 others like this.
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Not according to the CITES inspector I spoke with back when I was exporting my bass to The Netherlands. But in all honesty, it seems like all this stuff leaves us at the mercy of whoever decides to stick their nose in.
  10. redstrand


    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    I learned to love maple on the custom build from the UK. Avoided the hassle and it looks great.
  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Wish that were true. But all the customs people I have spoken to would call that international trade and the CITES regulations would apply. I suppose you could make an argument about it, but that would probably only get settled in a court of law, and I for one wouldn't want to go there.
  12. Warmoth is one of the few aftermarket suppliers that have taken the time to set up the proper CITES paperwork process for Indian rosewood exports. They now offer all the Stateside certification, in order to ease the shipment of replacement necks to other countries. This is good news, as Canada doesn't require an import permit on small purchases if the US paperwork is all in order.

    However, when I checked with Warmoth in June, they couldn't offer any guarantees as to what would happen to my order on entry to Canada.

    According to the rep I spoke to, they are moving a fair amount of product to Canada again, but the entry process still seems to be dependent on the luck of the draw. He wouldn't give me numbers, but indicated that while most transactions go OK, there have been a few confiscations on the Canadian side.

    I decided to order a roasted maple 2-piece neck instead. Since that meant no CITES paperwork, I was also able to save close to $100 Canadian by purchasing from Best Guitar Parts, also out of Washington. I liked their pricing, turnaround time and customization options, and am very happy with my new neck.

    However, the knowledge that there are still potential issues with Customs, puts a real damper on my ability to trade used instruments with other enthusiasts across the border. I don't do this very often, and if l lost just one instrument to CITES, it would take me dozens of successful transactions to recover.

    Not to mention the possible friction it would cause if I got my axe, but the guy I was trading with didn't...
    Garret Graves likes this.
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    FWIW, the USDF&W guy I talked to was only commenting on the US side of the equation, and he mentioned that it would still be imperative to to get clarification on a per-country basis before attempting to bring in an instrument to the new owner's home.
    ajkula66 likes this.
  14. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    That's part of the equation that often gets overlooked. A shipment I am aware of had the proper papers coming from the USA, but it was held up by Canadian customs officials at the port of entry in Canada. You have to chase both sides of the equation.
    Passinwind and BlueTalon like this.
  15. Scribbler


    Mar 22, 2018
    My main bass at the moment is a Steinberger (carbon fibre) so I'm hoping that might not cause too many problems...
  16. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    Thanks again y'all. I've enjoyed following this thread a great deal — 'Enjoyed'? Perhaps not the best descriptor — might read more like 'been frightened by' or 'been having nightmares about' :) I've also enjoyed the notion that my needs were met, in this regard, before the rosewood hit the ban. However, I do feel for those who struggle with the limitations, trying to keep the game alive. Professional people are doing a fine job, in trying times.

    I've had an ear to the ground since I started playing in earnest. Remember the resentment towards those who went on binge global shopping sprees, hunting the world over for premium product and ravenously buying it all up? There was a lot of grumbling. One of my guitars came from a luthier's desperate need to fund one such trip. You won't catch me grumbling.

    This site, one that serves admirably many of the readers of this thread, offers some sage advice, supporting many of the arguments made here. Having one or two prominent friends in the show, this fact doesn't elude me: "Guitar makers, dealers and collectors have long faced a crazy quilt of regulations worldwide regarding endangered woods. …"

    The premium paid, especially by makers and dealers, is hard to fathom, without insight. One thing's easy to understand. One shouldn't pay with a jail term. This may be on the cards these days, for the hapless and unaware. But saving the natural ecosystems that can produce these miraculous woods is the real issue here. These forests are the irreplaceable life-supports that help to keep the entire globe healthy, wealthy and wise.

    It goes way beyond industries surrounding music and carpentry. But adherence now should keep us all productive and alive, ongoingly, in a very real sense. So, hats off to all who find a better, more sustainable way. (I wood if I could but I cant :whistle:)

    Here's the skinny anyway, with thanks to the author, from Flying with guitars – help for traveling musicians – airlines & guitars: Transport of guitars complicated by new rosewood pact
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
    equill and BlueTalon like this.
  17. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    Forests are not irreplaceable if managed properly.
  18. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    You misread. I refer to 'life supports' :)
  19. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    We don't need no stinkin' oxygen! ;)
    Tom Bomb likes this.
  20. Scribbler


    Mar 22, 2018
    Paint it...
    steve_rolfeca likes this.

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