Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

WoodNString
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Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by WoodNString » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:48 pm

Hi,

I have an order in with a famous builder in Spain and am considering traveling to pick up the guitar. What are people's experiences with doing this? In particular, I'm concerned with plane check-in, CITES, and customs issues.

I know there a few other threads on this, so pardon the duplication, but I couldn't find any that addressed all of the above in the context of traveling with a new purchased guitar.

Thanks!

tednovak
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by tednovak » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:18 pm

Haven't done it. But don't you get to bring up to 10G back into US tax free? Don't know about cites. Could always get a maple or cypress I suppose. Can you carry on a guitar ? And check the case ?
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Sharkbait
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by Sharkbait » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:27 pm

On a related note, has anyone recently left the US with a rosewood (non-Brazilian) guitar? Any problems with customs officials upon leaving the country/demands to see CITES papers?

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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by John Ray » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:15 pm

Others with experience will be able to help you with customs and flying. For my part I would encourage you to ask the maker for a "CITES turístico" even though he might not think it necessary. It takes me a day or two to get one so you might want to ask him to plan ahead. This document will solve any CITES problems you might anticipate and will only cost him (or you) 20 Euros.
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Semitone
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by Semitone » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:14 am

According to CITES...yes, you are allowed to bring 10kg with you so you wouldn't/ shouldn't have an issue with traveling with a guitar...however, it is my understanding that the EU has adopted regulations that are stricter than those required by CITES. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the specific details.

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eno
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by eno » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:29 pm

I did not travel but I got my guitar shipped from Europe to US in 2017. I took the seller about 2 weeks to get the CITES certificate and then it spent another 2 weeks at US customs but it finally arrived with no issues. Whether travelling or shipping, the key is to have the CITES certificate, there is no way you can get anything with rosewood through any country border without the certificate with these new CITES regulations.
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by igycrctl » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:57 am

I thought you only had to go through customs on entering a county. Is is possible to have to deal with them on both entry and exit?

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andreas777
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by andreas777 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:27 pm

First of all, everyone from the US who flies to the EU to pick up a guitar could bring me a guitar from the US :D
I have no experience with US customs and guitars, but I talked to German customs officers this week about importing a guitar and traveling with a guitar. The 10kg exception is only valid in non-commercial use, that means that the guitar must have been in your possession when you started your trip. There is a risk that you have to prove this, especially if the guitar looks new. If you can't prove it then you have to pay import taxes and there is a (small) risk that they ask for CITES documents. I don't have experiences with that, but I guess the risk to get into trouble with no CITES documents is much smaller if you travel with a guitar than if you ship a guitar. Many airlines allow to carry a guitar in a soft case as hand luggage, but I would always contact the airline per mail and print out the response because most employees at the check-in counters have no idea about such rules.
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Semitone
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by Semitone » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:45 am

In the US, some of us, including me, interpret " commercial use" as essentially "for resale", so I would not expect to have a problem bringing home a guitar I bought overseas unless I planned to resell it . I have verbally had a customs official tell me that is the interpretation but you wil find many on forums to disagree.

I have tried to find something written in the rules online but haven't found anything clearly definitive.

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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by Bill B » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:53 am

I wouldn't use a soft case. Sometimes they make you check it in even when it's not the official policy
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by zupfgeiger » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:36 am

I was told about that soft case rule at a check in counter. And there is another one: The case should not be longer than 105 cm. I had booked the flexible tarif with more hand luggage included. And I brought the guitar in a solid, but soft case like BAM case which was shorter than 105 cm. So they let me take the guitar into the cabin.
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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by Mr Kite » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:18 pm

I have tried to find something written in the rules online but haven't found anything clearly definitive.[/quote]
Semitone wrote:According to CITES...yes, you are allowed to bring 10kg with you so you wouldn't/ shouldn't have an issue with traveling with a guitar...however, it is my understanding that the EU has adopted regulations that are stricter than those required by CITES. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the specific details.
There was a thread about this recently with a link to an EU document explaining how the relevant EU regulation is interpreted.
Semitone wrote:In the US, some of us, including me, interpret " commercial use" as essentially "for resale", so I would not expect to have a problem bringing home a guitar I bought overseas unless I planned to resell it . I have verbally had a customs official tell me that is the interpretation but you wil find many on forums to disagree.
A US customs official, presumably - FWIW I wouldn't disagree at all. On the other hand the EU regulation applies to exports, so you also have to consider how that is interpreted. As I say there is guidance in the other thread, but how clear it is, and how consistently applied it is, is another matter. I particularly liked the expression "non-commercial trading", which presumably made sense in the original language.

I have no personal experience but my impression is that enforcement of the regulation is very patchy anyway.

It just seems to be a giant grey area.

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Re: Experiences buying in Europe and bringing back to U.S.

Post by Semitone » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:48 pm

Mr Kite wrote: I have no personal experience but my impression is that enforcement of the regulation is very patchy anyway.
I agree. If you read enough of the forums, you will see that there is a large element of randomness regarding enforcement of import duty in the US. Not sure I would expect the Rosewood issue to be any different. At least with duty, I know what my worst case is, and I can factor in the risk/payment.

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