Siccas Guitars, experiences?

florestan
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Re: Siccas Guitars, experiences?

Post by florestan » Mon May 15, 2017 1:22 pm

Having started this thread I just wanted to follow up and say, since establishing contact with Manuel, I have nothing but positive and glowing things to say about the customer service at Siccas. He has been responsive, thoughtful and incredibly helpful! I would not hesitate to recommend Siccas to anyone looking to purchase a guitar, and will happily buy from them in the future if I again find myself searching for an instrument.
2008 Roland Scharbatke

neil
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Re: Siccas Guitars, experiences?

Post by neil » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:01 pm

Hi everybody,

I would like to sell a guitar. do you have any experience with Siccas?

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Guitar-ded
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Re: Siccas Guitars, experiences?

Post by Guitar-ded » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:14 am

simonm wrote:
Mon May 08, 2017 7:13 am
Podobin wrote:
Mon May 08, 2017 3:12 am
How would customs know the difference between a €500 guitar and a €3000 one? Not sure how savvy they are....someone indicated to me to carry in as a personal item.
I am sure that one or two customs officers in the US have figured out how to use google by now. :-)

I was in a customs office here paying some tax on timber I got from Canada. It was an open plan office. One official thought the declared price of some leather jackets (from Hong Kong) looked rather low. Quick google search, confirmed opinion and so passed the invoice to their investigating team instead of just send out the tax bill.

But as far as guitars go, if you are carrying it as a personal item, I doubt if they would be in the slightest bit interested whether it is a 500 or 3000 item. On the other hand if it is a violin and it is 250,000 or 1,000,000 they might be very interested indeed. In Europe that would have you liable to 50,000 or 200,000 sales tax respectively. (EU sales tax is 20% round numbers).
Carrying it as a personal item is simply a way of trying to dodge paying the taxes. If a customs guy sees a shiny guitar case he might decide to look inside and see if there is a shiny guitar. If he finds the shiny guitar (as said above) he'll google the makers name and get a price, possibly from a dealers site, so it could be a bit more expensive than you paid. You'll then be charged the duties on that. No doubt many folk get away with it but not all of them do.
If you decide to give it a go then make sure to post the receipt/invoice rather than carry it in the case and delete any build photos and conversations with the maker from your email and text services on your phone, it's the first place they'll look. This helps you to avoid the "no officer I've had this for years now... " to which they reply "that's not what it says on your emails" (or the guitar label for that matter).
Oh the tangled web we weave...
Getting better bit by bit, day by day.

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Siccas Guitars, experiences?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:00 pm

florestan wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 3:18 am
I'm glad to hear it Peter. I've never dealt with Siccas, nor do I personally know of anyone who has. The post was just an attempt to reach out to others who have worked with them, perhaps giving me a sense of what to expect. Or perhaps hear from a member who knows why they have been closed and for how much longer they may be closed yet.
It would be nice if you could give us an update once you receive the guitar and tell us whether it was posted by DHL or FedEx and if there were any extra charges (custom, etc).
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

SteveL123
Posts: 484
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Re: Siccas Guitars, experiences?

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:26 pm

Guitar-ded wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:14 am
simonm wrote:
Mon May 08, 2017 7:13 am
Podobin wrote:
Mon May 08, 2017 3:12 am
How would customs know the difference between a €500 guitar and a €3000 one? Not sure how savvy they are....someone indicated to me to carry in as a personal item.
I am sure that one or two customs officers in the US have figured out how to use google by now. :-)

I was in a customs office here paying some tax on timber I got from Canada. It was an open plan office. One official thought the declared price of some leather jackets (from Hong Kong) looked rather low. Quick google search, confirmed opinion and so passed the invoice to their investigating team instead of just send out the tax bill.

But as far as guitars go, if you are carrying it as a personal item, I doubt if they would be in the slightest bit interested whether it is a 500 or 3000 item. On the other hand if it is a violin and it is 250,000 or 1,000,000 they might be very interested indeed. In Europe that would have you liable to 50,000 or 200,000 sales tax respectively. (EU sales tax is 20% round numbers).
Carrying it as a personal item is simply a way of trying to dodge paying the taxes. If a customs guy sees a shiny guitar case he might decide to look inside and see if there is a shiny guitar. If he finds the shiny guitar (as said above) he'll google the makers name and get a price, possibly from a dealers site, so it could be a bit more expensive than you paid. You'll then be charged the duties on that. No doubt many folk get away with it but not all of them do.
If you decide to give it a go then make sure to post the receipt/invoice rather than carry it in the case and delete any build photos and conversations with the maker from your email and text services on your phone, it's the first place they'll look. This helps you to avoid the "no officer I've had this for years now... " to which they reply "that's not what it says on your emails" (or the guitar label for that matter).
Oh the tangled web we weave...
Does not sound Kosher!
Does US customs have the right to go into your email or txt messages? Don't they need your password to get in? Can they demand you surrender your password or do they have a backdoor into all email accounts

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Michael.N.
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Re: Siccas Guitars, experiences?

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Customs have a lot of power. If the police have the authority to read emails I wouldn't be surprised if customs have that authority too, although I suspect that both need a warrant to do so.
Historicalguitars.

simonm
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Re: Siccas Guitars, experiences?

Post by simonm » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:02 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:26 pm
…. Can they demand you surrender your password or do they have a backdoor into all email accounts
If you don't hand over the password you are clearly a threat to homeland security … it might take you a little bit longer than planned to leave the airport. If your devices are encrypted then you are doubly a threat to national security and are obviously failing cooperate with the forces of law and order.

The media loves to talk about "backdoors" - they surely exist but there is rarely any need as the front door is most likely wide open or at most just on the latch. (e.g. default administrer/developer/security passwords,)

That said if you are carrying a guitar in an innocuous looking case, the chances of anyone being interested is pretty slim indeed. An antique violin on the other hand might be lucrative for the taxman so is a different case.

Podobin
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Re: Siccas Guitars, experiences?

Post by Podobin » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:16 pm

Hi everybody. I have been particularly interested in this matter of hand transportation of instruments from EU to the USA. I am not a dealer, nor a private reseller, but an individual amateur guitarist who travels to EU frequently and has been interested for some time in hand carrying a guitar from Spain or Germany back to the USA. I have had special concerns since the implementation of the new CITES regulations earlier this year (2017). There seems to be much confusion about this matter, and it also seems because of the patchwork of regulatory agencies in the USA responsible for enforcing and interpreting CITES for the USA there continues to remain, in my mind, continued confusion. I have heard from some reputable brokers in Europe, specifically one in Granada, that if the instrument contains Appendix II Rosewood (not Brazilian) and has appropriate CITES paperwork, the instrument can be hand carried with ones personal luggage back to the United States under the "Personal Effects Exemption". I am still confused about this matter, especially about reading various "horror stories or urban folktales" posted above about being treated like a drug smuggler or terrorist upon arrival in the USA with a guitar. None of the stories indicated that one tried to transport an instrument, and were merely speculative. I have been researching this matter and found on the US Fish and Wildlife Service website a Question and Answer document related to implementation of the new CITES regulations and their implementation for import and export of rosewood in out of the US. It is interesting reading, and I am particularly interested in the point in the document outlining the "Personal Effects Exemption" which appears to allow one to transport a rosewood instrument back to the US exempt from CITES with certain stipulations. I have cut and pasted the text below from this section and also have included a link to the US FWS webpage. Take and look and let me know your thoughts:

Please refer to Item #48 in the attached link about "Personal Effects Exemption", which states:

"48. What is the personal effects exemption?
Under CITES, the term “personal or household effects” means specimens that are personally owned and
legally acquired, and worn, carried, or included in personal accompanying baggage or part of a household
move. Generally speaking, items that meet this definition are exempt from CITES requirements. However,
not all CITES Parties implement the personal effects exemption, so please be sure to check with the
20 relevant CITES Authorities to determine if your item qualifies for the exemption. Please also note that,
currently under U.S. regulations, species included in Appendix I do not qualify for the personal effects
exemption. See below for additional discussion on this issue".

(Please note that full link to the US Fish and Wildlife Service Q and A document is attached at the end of this message).

It would seem that if someone has a pre-CITES Rosewood guitar listed on Appendix II, (i.e. not Brazilian), they would be able to enter the US with the instrument and be exempt from the CITES requirements. It is possible and likely that the instrument may have to be declared for customs duty although the document does not get into this matter. Nor does it discuss anything related to the Lacey Act as related to the Personal Effects Exemption. However, I am not a lawyer, customs broker or instrument dealer, so I am unfamiliar with the ins and outs of how these various agencies interact in CITES here in the US and with the issue of hand transportation of an instrument back to the USA as personal effects.

Now I put the question to the forum, has anyone here actually traveled back form EU to the USA hand carrying a rosewood guitar since January 2, 2017 and what has your experience been? Please no speculative or third party urban folk tales. I would imagine that this issue is largely unsettled and also unclear to those at US Customs upon entering the country. I would also appreciate hearing from any dealers in the US who are familiar with actual examples of people traveling back with instruments.

The point and purpose of my post is not to find a loophole or to engage in any illegal activity or to encourage smuggling of instruments across borders from the EU to the USA. The purpose is to have a sober discussion about some of the facts which have been presented in the specific document by the Fish and Wildlife Service. My sense is that one single instrument in personal baggage may be fine to transport as it would come under the Personal Effects Exemption.

Link to US Fish and Wildlife Service document here:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... bY-CcNtlRn

Thanks everyone!! I look forward to your comments and input!!

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