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CITES - What every bass player should know

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

  1. My question is simple: after hearing and reading so much about CITES, has anyone ever, (or know of anyone who has), had their instrument confiscated at an international border ?
  2. Leo Smith

    Leo Smith

    Oct 21, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
  3. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggbassplayer.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
  4. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    In America, yes, but worldwide you still have to abide by each country's laws. And Brazilian rosewood is still out.
    s_wood and ajkula66 like this.
  6. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    I just bought a bass and the tracking says "being held by customs". Its been three days.
    I'm in Canada and its coming from the US. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell the seller not to include the build sheet that says Rosewood right on it....
    Should I be worried? I already am.
  7. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    Someone in the sticky CITES thread recently had an experience that suggests the exceptions for rosewood may have been implemented in Canada, in which case you should be fine. I couldn't find anything official when I tried googling it though. Is three days in customs unusual?
  8. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    I have bought and sold hundreds of items through eBay, Reverb etc...and I have never seen it before when I enter the tracking number.
    But, then again, its been a long tome since I bought from the US. I usually sell.
    Hopefully I am just being paranoid, but its a message I have never seen before. Anyone else get the same thing?
  9. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    Maybe they're trying to determine if it's Brazilian or not? I've had stuff held by customs when it's shipped USPS and I haven't arranged to pay those dumb brokerage fees.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  10. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I had that happen once on a higher value item.
  11. stefanb


    Sep 14, 2017
    Let me know what happens, I'm about to pull the trigger on something from Japan w/ rosewood fingerboard.
    kumimajava likes this.

  12. Oh, and go ahead and delete my account too, since you seem to be able to second guess me, Mr. Mod
    bdplaid likes this.
  13. Yes, a number of examples have been mentioned before on this thread.

    Canadian luthier Sergei De Jong had a beautiful, custom classical guitar seized at US Customs on its way Stateside. This was a month or two after they started enforcing on musical instruments.

    The problem in this instance was inlay materials, not tonewood.

    There was no warning- the package simply failed to arrive. The customer assumed it was a routine delay, and called Sergei. I can’t remember whether it was Canadian or US customs that advised De Jong of the seizure. He assumed that they could pay a fine and recover the instrument, but was shocked to learn that it was going to be destroyed with no means to appeal the seizure.

    Customs seemed to treat the matter more like an administrative oversight than a matter of criminal intent. In the case of shell inlays, the onus is on the importer, not the shipper. If the customer had known that he needed to purchase a $100-odd Fish & Wildlife importer’s license before having the instrument shipped, he would have had no problems.

    Remember that this was early days, and very few people in the guitar community were aware that the regulations had changed. Customs agents were still struggling to understand the new rules, as well.

    The destruction of the unlicensed item was the kicker. The explanation theat Sergei and his customer were given, was that allowing people to pay fines wasn’t a satisfactory deterrent.
    Garret Graves and BlueTalon like this.
  14. We are into the Christmas rush. Weird delays and strange re-routings of packages are not unusual at this time of year.

    Based on the advice of my luthier friends, I suggest that you try contacting Customs, both at the outbound and inbound ends.

    They will most likely know if there’s an issue long before the information trickles up to the shipping company or the seller.
  15. I don’t know much about the hours they work, but maybe the US Thanksgiving is playing a role in this?
  16. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    That, and Black Friday.

    Matthew_84 likes this.
  17. stefanb


    Sep 14, 2017
    Update Dec 2nd - right from Canada Wildlife:

    Good afternoon,
    As of November 26th, 2019 the CITES permitting requirements for finished musical instruments, finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instrument accessories with rosewood have been lifted (all rosewoods except for Brazilian rosewood, which hasn’t changed since 1992).

    Canada will no longer be issuing CITES permits for rosewood instruments, nor will we be expecting or requiring CITES export permits from other countries for these instruments.
  18. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    catcauphonic likes this.
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I was talking to a friend about this...Still makes me nervous...how will border agents know Brazilian rosewood apart from other varieties. I don't really trust them to be educated on the finer points of 'brown wood'.
  20. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Should be able to tell by the wax used.

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