Chiff and Fipple Forums
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/

Testing CITES enforcement and related news
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=106562
Page 1 of 2

Author:  Casey Burns [ Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:18 am ]
Post subject:  Testing CITES enforcement and related news

Have some items to report. Both are real world experiences of sending instruments with rosewoods including blackwood to different countries without permit.

The first involves one of my Folk Flutes in Blackwood originally sold to a client in Great Britain. This person recently sold it to someone in the US via eBay and sent it without any Single Use permit and the recipient also has no permit. The flute appears to have made it through anyway and is in the mail stream. He should know for sure in a few days as the expected delivery is Saturday. I am cautiously holding my breath for him and retain some skepticism that the tracking reflects reality. So far nothing identifies it as specifically having gone through customs. So there could be trouble and I will report the outcome next week. If the instrument is seized, I will get a new flute order out of it for someone who should have shopped locally anyway, whereas the British player loses his money due to non-delivery and eBay rules. Its his karma for unloading one of my instruments perhaps! Actions have consequences.

The second is a Major. Tale. Of. Woe although the one responsible deserves it. Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse.

A friend of a friend who makes high end guitars burst into my friend's flute making workshop the other day complaining of "Excessive Government Overreach". Ignoring the fact that the guitar maker supports the current government and is a gun nut besides, my friend and the luthier have a good friendship. Apparently what happened is that this guitar maker sent an instrument worth several thousands with some little bits of Rosewood trimmings here and there on it to a client in one of the northern European Union countries. This maker never bothered to get his required CITES and APHIS permits probably due to his politics.

The guitar arrived in the destination country and was inspected and confiscated by the Authorities. Period. Absolutely Final. Neither maker nor recipient will be able to get this instrument back and it is lost for all practical purposes. Nobody knows what they really do with these once seized. Unfortunately the shipping insurance does not cover such gambling the system and the maker certainly won't be able to legally declare a loss on his taxes. He was basically breaking the law and law-breaking isn't covered. Clearly the maker is responsible for this mess, despite the recipient's requirement to also purchase an import permit from the EU authorities. However, both are arguing over who should suffer the $12,000+ loss.

Its simply not worth gambling the system and the risk factor is high - especially so for higher end and more expensive instruments. Play by the rules, everyone!

I mentioned this story to Jeff Elliott, a great guitar maker in Portland who mentored me way back in high school! He proposed that I write an article for the Guild of American Luthiers and I agreed, and will be pulling from much of what I have written here. I offered a coauthorship to my friend Mike who is also my friendly CITES/APHIS inspector. We have a very good working relationship and plan to have lunch and talk shop when I bring a pile of exporting Folk Flutes over for inspection.

Unfortunately his position doesn't allow such things as coauthorship, in part due to the dynamic nature of this system with the next CITES meeting to set the rules for next year coming up soon. There may be changes - but most likely in the direction of greater restrictions on some species to CITES I from CITES II, despite the deregulatory environment of my current government. Rememnber that these conventions are via International Treaty. Instead he will provide me with much information, and be one of my peer reviewers. This article will probably be posted at my website where anyone using Rosewoods and other CITES protected species (both I and II) can refer to it to know what the correct procedure is etc.

I am gathering any kind of Tales of Woe, other makers' experiences from permit getting to inspections. All useful. Please PM me with these data or email it to me. Thanks!

Casey

Author:  jemtheflute [ Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

Further to this and previous posts about CITES restrictions affecting musical instruments, there's some very useful information from the British Musicians' Union via this link (together with other travel advice for carrying instruments):
https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/ ... ument.aspx

Author:  Casey Burns [ Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

Good Stuff Jem! Thanks for sending it to me yesterday so I can add it to the increasing knowledge base!

Know the difference between CITES Chapter I and CITES Chapter II or 2. The differences are not minor.

All Rosewoods with the exception of the very rare Brazilian Rosewood are covered under Chapter 2.

Endangered Species such as the Elephant and Brazilian Rosewood are covered under Chapter 1.

Permits are required for any transport of Chapter 1 items including hand carrying across a border, boarding a plane, selling it abroad, purchasing it from abroad. The documentation requirements are severe. Antique flutes such as an 18th Century Boxwood flute with Ivory trimmings are usually easy to justify it would seem. This is usually not the case. In some instances Chapter 1 items are illegal to own even, such as parts of endangered species. They will come knocking on your door at 4AM in the morning. Someone once found a dead orca whale along the Straits ourt where I do my paleo research. Since it was dead he thought that there was no problem with collecting the teeth (ivory) with a hacksaw. He gave it all away to various luthiers up here and all were very silent about it except for one kid who bragged about it to his drinking buddies at a tavern in Sequim. An USFWS overheard this and at 4AM he was awwakened by a large knock on the door and was arrested and had his home inspected with a fine-toothed Federal comb the next morning.

Its not so severe with Brazilian Rosewood as guitar makers still use it and many have guitars with it. One just has to have all the required paperwork and for any travel, the necessary permits.

Chapter 2 items are still legally harvested, bought and sold. I have delineated above the permit requirements for sale and transport across borders. But there is no restriction on use. The species are not listed as endangered or threatened. The major threat that Chapter 2 is fighting is black marketeering and illegal resource exploitation. This can happen here and the saga with Gibson Guitars using illegally harvested woods that have been under both chapters without the proper permitting has caused them all sorts of legal hassle that they brought upon themselves.

Apparently the owner is something of a Tea Partier I think as are many of their supporters complaining about "Excessive Government Overreach". There is a reason perhaps why they are located in Bozeman, Montana. Many out there feel like seatbelts and speed limits are other forms of "Excessive Government Overreach". This is why their $13,000 hand-made guitars get taken away from them by the Belgian Authorities. They are too ignorant and full of themselves to consider playing by the rules and are waiting for all rules to be abolished by the current administration which seems to wake up every day and ask "What can we break next?"

Unfortunately for them, the policies for CITES are set by International Treaty and very hard to change, especially since the United States gets only one vote on the Committee.

On another note - I am writing an Opera. One that could actually afford my retirement as it is designed to go somewhat viral and sought after.

Casey

Author:  dunnp [ Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

The new owner of the Blackwood folk flute shouldn’t count his or her chickens just yet.
I had tracking info once for a flute saying it was arrived at my local post office and after a few days search was still being held by customs for a high fee.
My fault though for trying to go around things I paid in full in the end.
Thanks for your insights. I have a set of pipes with ivory mounts made of old billiard balls. Though at the time using ivory as such was illegal. I can’t travel with them. Should replace but don’t have the money to just now.

Author:  jemtheflute [ Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

Oh, there's this too (GB only): https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/ ... nstrum?utm

Author:  piperjoe [ Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

Hey Casey...as I will soon be taking delivery of one of your Folk Flutes (blackwood), and subsequently traveling to Canada this summer is there anything special I'll need to do or be aware of?

Special paperwork, receipt(s) or will a simple," I'm a friend of Casey Burns of Kingston, Washington" be enough? :thumbsup:

Piper Joe

Author:  Casey Burns [ Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

All you need to tell them Joe is that this flute is a personal possession and that the wood is Pre-convention Wood covered under CITES Chapter 2.

If they want to seize it anyway demand that you talk to their supervisor. This could be a teaching moment for them.

Casey

PS: Am sending out an update to my clients with delay notifications. I've been taking a mental health break as there has been too much going on here. Lining up contractors, sick and dying friends, needing to do some major tool construction, and getting rid of my land line finally.

Author:  aphillips [ Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I bought a beautiful gaita galega from the Seivane family in Galicia, Spain. It is made out of African Blackwood with boxwood mounts. Before ordering I asked if the blackwood would be a problem and they assured me that they took care of the permits and that the import would be no problem!

They were absolutely correct. In fact, they shipped the gaita from Spain on a Monday morning and I had it in my hands by Thursday morning! Still blows my mind.


So yes, make sure the maker is responsible and you should have no problems.

Author:  Casey Burns [ Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

The Seivanes are great folks and their bagpipes are fantastic!

I own and play a very nice easily playing and great sounding set made by the late Xosé Seivane, Susana Seivane's grandfather and the father of the two who run the plave. This set was given to me by Alexandre Cadarso Suarez aka "Cano". He played this set for years while performing in a band led by Juan Bello Mallou who just passed away in 2013. We play much of Mallou's music here on the West Coast at our yearly Lark Camp gathering. This year Cano will be back, this time with one of his daughters who we are all eager to meet and there will be an "Instituto" in Berkeley for a few days afterward (Monday-Tues). PM me if interested.

I also have a lovely boxwood Gaita by Oli Xiraldez that I am trying to sell for a friend. He's another great maker. I wonder if many of the smaller artisinal makers are getting around the export permit requirements by avoiding Rosewoods entirely. But then, I haven't heard much discussion from there regarding CITES. It may be that this is no big deal to them, compared with the attitudes of Americans and their abhorrence of "excessive government overreach" as in "Keep the Government out of my Social Security". Actually maybe with the present kleptocracy, that might not be a good idea. But the ones holding up signs like that are the ones who voted for him. It is embarrassing to be from the States sometimes.

Casey

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

Casey Burns wrote:
It is embarrassing to be from the States sometimes.

That's as may be, but let's keep the politics to all that's strictly pertinent and fruitful to the CITES matters, shall we?

Author:  sjpete [ Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

Quote:
That's as may be, but let's keep the politics to all that's strictly pertinent and fruitful to the CITES matters, shall we?


Interesting to reprimand the original poster for commenting on his OP. Especially given that the OP includes this commentary:

Quote:
A friend of a friend who makes high end guitars burst into my friend's flute making workshop the other day complaining of "Excessive Government Overreach". Ignoring the fact that the guitar maker supports the current government and is a gun nut besides, my friend and the luthier have a good friendship.


It seems that Mr. Burns is keeping entirely within the boundaries of his own original post. Don't you agree, Smithers?

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

sjpete wrote:
Quote:
That's as may be, but let's keep the politics to all that's strictly pertinent and fruitful to the CITES matters, shall we?

Interesting to reprimand the original poster for commenting on his OP. Especially given that the OP includes this commentary:

Quote:
A friend of a friend who makes high end guitars burst into my friend's flute making workshop the other day complaining of "Excessive Government Overreach". Ignoring the fact that the guitar maker supports the current government and is a gun nut besides, my friend and the luthier have a good friendship.

It seems that Mr. Burns is keeping entirely within the boundaries of his own original post. Don't you agree, Smithers?

That, sir, was guidance, as I am charged to do first and foremost. You might notice that I had nothing to say until the the statement I quoted (and which you left out. Context counts.). Do you think that this interval was due to inattention? The Board rules on political content are clear, they apply to one and all, and as a mod I further am ethically bound to make no exceptions. Rather, I should think you would have noted how I stretched this, and stayed my hand. But when political content continues, sooner or later something must be said. We could have all let the matter drop at this point and moved on, and all would have been well. As it is, I have already received complaints about the political content in this thread even though the complainants are personally sympathetic - as am I, if you really need to know. But sympathies are not the point, and when members complain about breaches of clear and published Board principles, moderatorial inaction is no longer an option. And in case I need to point it out, the rules against metamoderating are also clear. Are you going to be the one to force a lock on this thread, then?

Author:  Kade1301 [ Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

From the point of view of a recorder player I wonder:

Why are (or seem to be) (almost) all flutes built from tropical woods? I would have thought that the demands on wood are nearly the same for recorders and flutes, and there are a great many recorders made from pearwood (which needs to be waxed to become "airtight" enough), maple, cherry, plum, olive, boxwood... - and those are only the traditional European woods (though Japanese maple is fantastic and apparently much harder than ours - I love my Takeyama alto). In direct comparison I've often found that I actually prefer the "softer", "warmer" sound of pear wood.

So shouldn't there be local North American woods that are suitable for flute making AND in no danger of becoming extinct/on no lists which would be a nice way around all the CITES paperwork?

A few days ago, thanks to Google (apparently I've done enough searches for tin whistle to be bombarded with ads relating to them) I stumbled across flutes made from bamboo http://www.bamboozle.org.uk/Bamboozle/Irish_Flutes.html - no idea how they play/sound, but from what I hear bamboo grows like a weed...

Author:  Terry McGee [ Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

The unifying characteristic isn't so much that the timbers are tropical, but rather that they are very dense and fine. English (or French) boxwood is hardly tropical! (Just wait for climate change to really kick in and I might have to eat my words!)

Indeed, our mainstay in recent times, African Blackwood, is a small tree from the dry inland of Africa. Gidgee, an Australian acacia with very similar characteristics comes from the dry inland of northern New South Wales. Both have densities around 1.2 times the weight of water. It's the poor fertility and dry climate that tends to produce such dense fine timbers. But also makes the trees a limited resource.

Interestingly, the US doesn't seem well endowed with very dense timbers. Rock maple must be made from very soft rocks! But interestingly, African Blackwood has been tried out in the US, notably in Naples, Florida, where the better growing conditions yield a bigger tree. Probably at some loss of density though.

Bamboo is interesting, as it is a grass, not a wood. Unfortunately, it's not easy to convince it to grow in exactly the right taper for Irish flutes (hmmm, any experts in genetic modification looking for a challenge?). But there is another approach which might prove interesting. The process is scrimming and the product is scrimber. Pioneered by John Coleman of the CSIRO (Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the people who brought you WiFi and lots of other innovations you might not link with Australia.) Scrimber is a modified natural product - the longitudinal structure of timber (or grass) is retained, but crushed into higher density, and then stabilised with adhesives. Bamboo scrimber can achieve high densities with high water resistance, and is very efficient to make. And very renewable. As you said, it grows like a weed!

Author:  Kade1301 [ Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Testing CITES enforcement and related news

Couldn't flutes be made from the wood of fruit trees? Cherry and plum have a rather good reputation for recorders, pear is a question of taste (as a player I love it, but I've seen a recorder maker sneer - he considered it not worth his time...) And don't they grow olives somewhere in the U.S.? Even if the trees can live pretty much forever - somebody somewhere must cut one every now and then because there's recorders made from them (they are exceptionally pretty with a good sound if well made).

Scrimming certainly sounds interesting - do you know of any instruments made from scrimber?

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 6 hours
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
https://www.phpbb.com/