All about rosewood....

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
User avatar
Cat
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:48 pm
Location: Peabody, MA

All about rosewood....

Post by Cat » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:11 am

With the new rules on Rosewood, does anyone that travels with their guitar internationally worry about it being seized by customs? Is this a concern?
2015 Marlon Navarro Alvarez Student Classical, Spruce

Andrew Pohlman
Posts: 1005
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:24 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:11 pm

You are talking about CITES and the Lacey Act. This situation is a big mess and it depends where you travel. All the appropriate paperwork is not only confusing, but rather a PITA to assemble. Then, even if you do, it will confuse most customs agents. I tired to get paperwork and gave up. I'm not even sure you need to worry about it if you are traveling with your "personal instrument". It may only apply to raw wood, or instruments newly made from raw wood.

LAX supposedly has trained "wood police", hence higher level of enforcement (I've never been through there though). SFO does not. They open the case, look at the guitar puzzled, close the case, and I move on. SFO was more worried about the Snark and questioned what it was... Gotta luv R hily intellijent and trayned cusstums offisers.

My strategy is to avoid rosewood of all kinds. None of my guitars have any rosewood. I gave away the one guitar I had with EIR back and sides. Now, I don't worry about a thing.
Last edited by Andrew Pohlman on Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

User avatar
Chris Sobel
Luthier
Posts: 1058
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 8:44 am
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by Chris Sobel » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:26 pm

Cat wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:11 am
With the new rules on Rosewood, does anyone that travels with their guitar internationally worry about it being seized by customs? Is this a concern?
As long as the instrument in question does not have D. Nigra (Brazilian) then you can legally travel with an instrument as part of your personal affects. This was implemented when the new 2016 legislature came about. For an instrument with D. Nigra you are technically supposed to get a CITES passport for it in order to cross international borders.

So no you should not be worried anymore than you should be worried about corrupt customs officials exhorting you for money.

Chris
CE Sobel Guitars

simonm
Amateur luthier
Posts: 6304
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Germany, Würzburg.

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by simonm » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:07 pm

So long as your guitar does not contain 10kg (22 pounds) of rosewood and does not contain Brazilian all should be OK. For Brazilian the "passport" Chris mentions is available in Germany after jumping through hoops. My teacher got passports for two guitars. However, with BR in addition to the passport you make have to apply for customs authorization in any case. Essentially, the passport just identifies the interment as legitimate and I assume you as the legal owner.

@Andrew

The trickier things are bridges, the headstock face plate, bindings and the rosette. :-)

Andrew Pohlman
Posts: 1005
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:24 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:45 pm

simonm wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:07 pm
...@Andrew ... The trickier things are bridges, the headstock face plate, bindings and the rosette. :-)
My God you are right ! Two of my guitars have EIR bridges! Bindings are mixed up from maple to blood wood and who knows what the brown stripes are? Oh noes! If I had said "no Dalbergia" I would have closer, but still wrong! :D
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

purple
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by purple » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:07 pm

It's not illegal to own a guitar with Brazilian rosewood. And even if you're travelling with such a guitar, they can't really prove it unless you allow them to take a shaving off the guitar... which of course you'll never agree to. If one states that the guitar has a different similar rosewood they would take your word for it I guess.
I wonder if the officials in customs are being strict. Anyone heard of people having problems?
By the way tortoise shell on your guitar is no longer a problem, CITES no longer consider small quantities on a guitar worth bothering about.

razz
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:01 am

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by razz » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:56 pm

Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:11 pm


My strategy is to avoid rosewood of all kinds. None of my guitars have any rosewood. I gave away the one guitar I had with EIR back and sides. Now, I don't worry about a thing.
I sold my only rosewood guitar a few years ago. An unexpected advantage because I would be the one that could not get a guitar through customs.

Alan Carruth
Luthier
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:56 pm

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by Alan Carruth » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:39 pm

My understanding is that if there's any question about the species of wood Customs is allowed to confiscate the instrument until a determination can be made. There is a test involving fluorescence of swab using different solvents that is supposed to be able to distinguish BRW from other woods with similar grain structure. Not every border post has the wherewithal or expertise to do it, which is one reason all shipments of rosewood have to go through designated ports.

Also, how exactly do you prove to Customs that you won't sell the thing once you've taken it out of the country? I suspect that's one of the functions of the 'instrument passport': if you leave the country with it, and don't bring it back in you could be in trouble.

Keep in mind the old adage that 'when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail'. To Customs agents you are a potential smuggler, and that will be the default assumption. It's up to you to show than that you're not. You're not exactly 'innocent until proven guilty' in a case like this. Rather than trying to skate through by blinking your innocent baby blues it's better to find out what you can about the regs and at least make an effort to comply. You do get some credit for that, even if you haven't done everything exactly right. Then you blink your innocent baby blues.... ;)

Apostolos.D
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:22 am

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by Apostolos.D » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:58 am

NIce information .. thanks ..

User avatar
Cat
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:48 pm
Location: Peabody, MA

Re: All about rosewood....

Post by Cat » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:07 pm

This takes a load of my mind...thank you so much.
2015 Marlon Navarro Alvarez Student Classical, Spruce

Return to “Public Space”