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CITES Question
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Author:  crickett [ Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  CITES Question

I will be traveling from the U.S. to Europe this summer (not for the purpose of performing) and I'm wondering what the risk of taking a blackwood flute with me might be when I return to the states. The flute I was hoping to bring was made by (and bought directly from) a well-known maker around 2002, but I don't have any documentation of the purchase. If there is some risk of confiscation I can just bring a delrin flute for the trip, but I would rather have access to my main flute during that period.

Thanks for whatever advice you might have!

Author:  jim stone [ Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

Can you get in contact with the maker and get documentation or a photo copy of
the purchase?

Author:  Casey Burns [ Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

You shouldn't have any trouble bringing the instrument across borders as a personal possession.

Author:  pmcallis [ Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

As Casey says, it's your personal possession and you're allowed to bring it across international borders. Just put it in your checked luggage (if it's in your carry-on, you don't need some over-zealous, bored security guard thinking it might be a pipe bomb :shock: ). You don't need to declare it or fill out any paperwork. Also remember that the E.U. has free movement of CITES woods within its borders.
Paul

Author:  sligofluter [ Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

Casey Burns wrote:
You shouldn't have any trouble bringing the instrument across borders as a personal possession.


Yes, this is what happens in my country, you should only have problems if the customs agents think that you are selling instruments made with forbidden woods. You're only going to carry one, so unless you find an agent who has a bad morning, the worst thing that can happen to you is having to play some tunes in the airport.

David

Author:  crickett [ Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

Thanks to all who responded. It's a great relief to learn that I don't need to spend three weeks away from my main flute!

Author:  Kade1301 [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

I'd be more worried about bringing it back into the U.S. than about travelling within the EU. Could you get some paper that the flute is already in your possession when you leave the country?

Author:  plunk111 [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

As to paperwork... You could go to a notary public and have him/her verify that the flute is yours on a stamped document stating that fact. Might be worth the few bucks the notary would charge just for piece of mind...

Pat

Author:  cac [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

In Canada one can go to a customs office, show an official there the item, and receive documentation that the item was in your possession before you left the country. I would imagine a similar arrangement exists in the US. I usually go to a local airport (I live in a small city, but it does have flights to the US and hence has a customs office).

Author:  jim stone [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

I do not share the confidence in the rationality, competence, professionalism
of customs officers and border police. I know from experience that what should
happen and what does happen in such situations can be different. Personally
I would have verification.

Author:  Unseen122 [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

pmcallis wrote:
Just put it in your checked luggage (if it's in your carry-on, you don't need some over-zealous, bored security guard thinking it might be a pipe bomb :shock: ).


Absolutely DO NOT check your wooden flute!!!!! Changes in humidity and temperature can cause wood to crack (the neck on my Fylde bouzouki cracked this way). I've been flying with flute for over a decade, including internationally, and worst case scenario security will want to look at it and swab it with a cotton thing and test it for explosives. Usually they don't even say anything at all.

As for CITES I wouldn't worry about that either, unless you declare that you have CITES restricted items meant for commercial sale in your possession I would bet nobody is even going to notice that you have a flute made of blackwood.

Author:  jjdura [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

cac wrote:
In Canada one can go to a customs office, show an official there the item, and receive documentation that the item was in your possession before you left the country. I would imagine a similar arrangement exists in the US. I usually go to a local airport (I live in a small city, but it does have flights to the US and hence has a customs office).

I did this years ago with my Japanese camera. It only takes a couple of minutes at the airport and it proves you didn’t buy it abroad. It gives a little peace of mind, especially if your flute was made overseas. In my case nobody looked at the camera when I went through customs anywhere on the trip. I have flown domestically with my flute and security never even looked at it, either.

Author:  jim stone [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

The difficulty, if I may say so, is that, even though it's a good bet that there will be no trouble, there is a lot at stake if you lose. I've had bad experiences with customs police who were looking for ways to harass me. Not musical instrument related, but I've met my share of people who had a mistaken idea of the law or didn't care about the law. If there is a simple way of protecting myself, I'd use it.

Author:  pmcallis [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

Earlier in this thread I suggested that you put the flute (your personal possession) in your checked luggage. Unseen suggests not doing this because of humidity/temperature changes. I forgot to mention the obvious: wrap your flute or flute case in plastic cling wrap to solve any humidity change. Significant temperature change is negligible in the cargo hold.
Paul

Author:  Jayhawk [ Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CITES Question

I always keep my flute in my carry-on. I fly 6-8 times per year and havenever had an issue with them even asking what my flute is...no one has ever thought it a pipe bomb except for in my federal office building.

Plus, TSA agents are not trained on woods or types of woods...they will just say it's a flute. Customs will be fine, too. I fly out of country regularly and again...never an issue.

Eric

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