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AndrewKuker
11-29-2016, 04:02 PM
:eek:CITES Update:eek:

More than 250 species including commercial Rosewood and Bubinga!
https://www.namm.org/issues-and-advocacy/regulatory-compliance/cites-update-commercial-rosewood-and-bubinga

Somebody give me some good news. I see fire hoop jumping into a sea of paperwork in my future.

southcoastukes
11-29-2016, 04:38 PM
:Somebody give me some good news....

Maybe it's not true? I don't know, I doubt NAMM would publish something like this if they weren't sure, and the CITES listing is kind of vague. The Appendices currently say "Valid from 21 November 2016". It seems to me like that must mean this is the updated list:

https://cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php

I don't see anything mentioned in the article on this list. The Dalbergia looks to be unchanged.

So it seems like either they're going to change it again in only just a couple of months (something never done before) or my guess is that they backed off, and the final version doesn't have those new restrictions NAMM might have thought they were adding (for the time being).

saltytri
11-29-2016, 08:30 PM
What, if anything, does this mean for domestic sale of instruments made with CITES I, II or III species for which we don't have documentation?

Michael N.
11-30-2016, 12:23 AM
I think it refers to crossing borders. When I buy timber from a supplier I can purchase the documentation so that it can cross international borders. Being in the UK I am OK as far as the EU is concerned, no documentation required (for now!).
Then again there's very little rosewood or exotics that I use. It would barely affect me, there are just too many great local/domestic woods that can be used to make musical instruments that I don't understand the obsession with rosewoods.

mainger
11-30-2016, 03:08 AM
Somebody give me some good news.

Well, it is supposed to be created for the protection of the species listed, so it's good news for them...

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-30-2016, 08:38 AM
Seems indian rosewood isn't on there (https://cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php) but i heard it was???

saltytri
11-30-2016, 08:53 AM
It seems to be in flux. There used to be guidance documents on the USFW web site but they've been taken down.

AndrewKuker
11-30-2016, 12:21 PM
Well, it is supposed to be created for the protection of the species listed, so it's good news for them...

Well that’s good that there are regulations. But some of the laws are ridiculous. Like you could use the ivory key of a 200 year old piano for your nut and saddle and have your ukulele legally seized, indefinitely! They wouldn’t even let you take off the nut and saddle and keep the instrument!

Look, some of the laws do make perfect sense and do go to better our world, but when you legally purchase wood, abalone etc.. and build an instrument out of it, it would be nice to know it can’t be legally confiscated by some over zealous USFWS official that might not even be right with what he suspects the materials to be, and it can be taken, forever. And let’s be real here. Over 30 million acres of forest are cut down every year and 3/4 of that is for cattle ranching. A lot of “environmentalists” get real quiet when it comes to the real elephant in the room. They like the taste of it in their mouth too much. So making it really hard to ship or travel finished musical instruments doesn’t impress my good will for the ‘Aina. It’s a can’t see the forest for the trees sort of situation IMO.

Pete Howlett
11-30-2016, 02:57 PM
I've just looked at the list and cannot even find 25 listed rosewoods let alone 250! Am I looking in the wrong place?

Biedmatt
11-30-2016, 03:41 PM
I've just looked at the list and cannot even find 25 listed rosewoods let alone 250! Am I looking in the wrong place?

It is apparently all species of rosewood except Brazilian, which has been protected under stricter rules for many years. They are not banning trade, just requiring a permit to export or import. Probably to prove the provenance of the wood. Whether you will receive a permit is another matter. You can still travel with your instrument, see the link to fish and wildlife webpage in the namm link. There is an exception: "b) Non-commercial exports of a maximum total weight of 10kg per shipment." I suggest you claim it before you leave or you may not get it back in country and may have a problem at your destination.

Biedmatt
11-30-2016, 03:55 PM
Well that’s good that there are regulations. But some of the laws are ridiculous.

Like CA, NJ and NY banning trade in fossilized mammoth ivory? Apparently they feel these animals that went extinct 10,000 years ago will be hunted into extinction. Elephant ivory can readily be discerned from Mammoth ivory, so it isn't because you cannot tell what species the ivory is sourced. Mammoth provides income for Siberian residents who mine it and material for those who like ivory but want to save the elephants. But I go off topic.

https://www.fws.gov/lab/ivory_natural.php

Pete Howlett
11-30-2016, 04:15 PM
As I read it its is not all species of rosewood otherwise they would all be listed which they are not. Or if they are, I cannot find them. Plz provide the link...

Biedmatt
11-30-2016, 04:25 PM
Paragraph two: "... the entire genus Dalbergia..."

https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/letter-appendix-III-timber-listings-november-2016.pdf

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalbergia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosewood

Pete Howlett
11-30-2016, 05:12 PM
Thanks - yes it is broad and Beau I cannot find listed Dalbergia Latifolia which lets Indian rosewood off the hook. Glad I use mgurure or leadwood which won't go on the list as it is so obscure! Also if you use santos rosewood that won't be on the list as it is not a Dalbergia.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-30-2016, 06:19 PM
hhhmmmm- it does say the entire genus- well....poo

AndrewKuker
11-30-2016, 09:13 PM
Link to webinar registration - NEW Rules for Protected Species and Musical Instruments (http://216.34.99.192/votingmodule/VOTING2/f/1087545/10f2/?msig=63ab3800702bce2e0ddab857f261bcc5)- Wednesday, December 7 at 12:00 noon Eastern

We’ve been shipping ukes internationally 5 days a week for many years and never ever had one taken for it’s species. Knock on some Brazilian. Partly because we work at getting the paperwork right when needed etc, partly luck I suppose, but it does seem like the a$$hat position might be opening up for noble FWS officials in many countries. I won’t scream bloody murder till I see a knife, but this is like one of those letters with the words cut out of a magazine. Not good. Very not good. We gotta look out for each other here.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-01-2016, 11:16 AM
https://www.fws.gov/international/plants/current-cites-listings-of-tree-species.html

and

https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/factsheet-cites-permits-and-certificates-2013.pdf

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-01-2016, 11:17 AM
and
https://www.fws.gov/international/Permits/by-activity/musical-instruments.html

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-01-2016, 11:19 AM
differnet one
https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/factsheet-musical-instruments.pdf

Michael N.
12-01-2016, 02:02 PM
Perhaps Indian rosewood isn't listed because it's already heavily controlled by the Indian government and has been for a very long time. I seem to think that no raw lumber is allowed out of the country, just milled timber or rather timber that has been processed.

saltytri
12-01-2016, 02:17 PM
Michael, that seems to be correct. I have a very nice, quartersawn billet that is just the right size to slice off ukulele fretboards. One of the surfaces is neatly milled to be slightly convex. Seems like a waste of effort but it meets the requirement for export. That is exactly how it was explained to me when I bought it.

maenibaeni
12-02-2016, 02:00 AM
Maybe it's not true? I don't know, I doubt NAMM would publish something like this if they weren't sure, and the CITES listing is kind of vague. The Appendices currently say "Valid from 21 November 2016". It seems to me like that must mean this is the updated list:

https://cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php

I don't see anything mentioned in the article on this list. The Dalbergia looks to be unchanged.

So it seems like either they're going to change it again in only just a couple of months (something never done before) or my guess is that they backed off, and the final version doesn't have those new restrictions NAMM might have thought they were adding (for the time being).

So, I think I`ve read most of the relevant documents on the subject, and since I am a biologist (and used to deal with species and genus names and what not) I might be of assistance to some who are still a bit confused. The conference of the parties on CITES decided at its 17th meeting by consensus to include all the species of the genus Dalbergia (Dalbergia spp.). They can not just back off from that decision a couple of days later. In this document (https://cites.org/eng/notif/2014.php AMENDMENTS TO APPENDICES I AND II OF THE CONVENTION) issued on the 29th of november they summarize the decided changes. So the list is going to change at the beginning of next year and will include all the species of the genus Dalbergia in Appendix II, which includes Dalbergia latifolia (Indian Rosewood) and any other species that starts out with Dalbergia (except those Dalbergia species already mentioned under Appendix I, of course) all the lists not including all the Dalbergia species are valid for the moment, but need to be updated at the beginning of next year (so very soon).

saltytri
12-02-2016, 03:41 AM
There's a discussion going on at luthiersforum.com:

http://luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=48606

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-02-2016, 05:43 AM
So, I think I`ve read most of the relevant documents on the subject, and since I am a biologist (and used to deal with species and genus names and what not) I might be of assistance to some who are still a bit confused. The conference of the parties on CITES decided at its 17th meeting by consensus to include all the species of the genus Dalbergia (Dalbergia spp.). They can not just back off from that decision a couple of days later. In this document (https://cites.org/eng/notif/2014.php AMENDMENTS TO APPENDICES I AND II OF THE CONVENTION) issued on the 29th of november they summarize the decided changes. So the list is going to change at the beginning of next year and will include all the species of the genus Dalbergia in Appendix II, which includes Dalbergia latifolia (Indian Rosewood) and any other species that starts out with Dalbergia (except those Dalbergia species already mentioned under Appendix I, of course) all the lists not including all the Dalbergia species are valid for the moment, but need to be updated at the beginning of next year (so very soon).

Hi Maenibaeni-
Thanks for your knowledge.
What is your understanding of the 10kg part???- all ukes and guitars have less then 10kg (22lbs) of any rosewood in them.???

AndrewKuker
12-02-2016, 10:09 AM
This is the permit form you'll need to apply for from the US - https://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-32.pdf

You can apply for one time use @ $100 but I hear you will need one for each species, so if you have cocobolo sides and back and EIR fretboard it would be two permits. The way to do it, and what we are doing, is getting a master file for $200 and then each clone permit is $5 that you can order in bulk and wait 2 weeks instead of 2 months (after the master file permit is approved). We ship about 10 ukes international a day so we will have them ready for most instruments.
There is a lot of confusion in the industry world wide right now. Most government agencies here are even confused as to how this is gonna work and USDA is enforcing it here but doesn't seem to know much yet. Anna Berry at F&W was helpful (703)358-1976. I think they're east coast time. We'll be working at having this down from all different angles because we import and export from various countries but right now I'm still just figuring it out. I can try to help however I can if you guys need though, once I have a better handle on it.

Biedmatt
12-02-2016, 12:31 PM
This is suppose to prevent a species being logged to extinction. Andrew's post leaves the impression they will rubber stamp your permit if you throw money at them, "...master file for $200 and then each clone permit is $5 that you can order in bulk...". So will the trees be saved, or are we just filling our government's coffers? Then there's the other end. This is just a permit to let it leave the US, what does the customer need to do at the other end? Maybe I'm a cynic, but I bet more money for importation will grease the skids. I am glad it is fairly simple and will not severely impact or end Andrew's and others export business, but I can't help and wonder if we will save anything. If the fees went to managing the trees, it would at least be palatable. I'm sure the money won't go there.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-02-2016, 12:43 PM
This is the permit form you'll need to apply for from the US - https://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-32.pdf

You can apply for one time use @ $100 but I hear you will need one for each species, so if you have cocobolo sides and back and EIR fretboard it would be two permits. The way to do it, and what we are doing, is getting a master file for $200 and then each clone permit is $5 that you can order in bulk and wait 2 weeks instead of 2 months (after the master file permit is approved). We ship about 10 ukes international a day so we will have them ready for most instruments.
There is a lot of confusion in the industry world wide right now. Most government agencies here are even confused as to how this is gonna work and USDA is enforcing it here but doesn't seem to know much yet. Anna Berry at F&W was helpful (703)358-1976. I think they're east coast time. We'll be working at having this down from all different angles because we import and export from various countries but right now I'm still just figuring it out. I can try to help however I can if you guys need though, once I have a better handle on it.

Is this Andrew from HMS??

So if you have different rosewoods for
1- back/sides (Cocobolo)
2- fingerboard (Indian rw)
3- binding (Amazon rw)
4- headplate (Panama rw)
5- rosette (Honduran rw)
6- inlays (Madagascan rw)
7- bridge (African blackwood)
+
8- Shell anywhere

Will you be charging the customer an extra $40 for paperwork???

Biedmatt
12-02-2016, 12:49 PM
Is this Andrew from HMS??

So if you have different rosewoods for
1- back/sides
2- fingerboard
3- binding
4- headplate
5- rosette
6- inlays
7- bridge
+
8- Shell anywhere

Will you be charging the customer an extra $40 for paperwork???

Edit: I missread your post, you are listing only one protected wood genus. But you will need to permit each individual export shipment at $100/species or $200 total for Andrew's example, "...two one time permits would be needed for cocobolo sides/back and EIR fretboard...", or buy the master for $200 and then buy each individual export permit for $5 more. What isn't clear is if a $200 master file is necessary for each species, which could make it a $400 startup for Andrew's example and then $5 each ($10 total) for the two wood types. And then you included #8-shell anywhere, which is not included in this latest CITES revision, but a prior edition. Keep F&WS on speed dial.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-02-2016, 01:19 PM
Edit: I missread your post, you are listing only one protected wood genus. But you will need to permit each individual export shipment at $100/species or $200 total for Andrew's example, "...two one time permits would be needed for cocobolo sides/back and EIR fretboard...", or buy the master for $200 and then buy each individual export permit for $5 more. What isn't clear is if a $200 master file is necessary for each species, which could make it a $400 startup for Andrew's example and then $5 each ($10 total) for the two wood types. And then you included #8-shell anywhere, which is not included in this latest CITES revision, but a prior edition. Keep F&WS on speed dial.

So it sounds like:
$200 Master file (WTF...)
$5 for each different Dalbergia species + shell so $240 up charge for the above example????????

Biedmatt
12-02-2016, 02:01 PM
So it sounds like:
$200 Master file (WTF...)
$5 for each different Dalbergia species + shell so $240 up charge for the above example????????

I am guessing that is correct, we'll learn more soon. Look at the bright side, the $200 master file can be amortized for the calendar year(?) it is valid.

AndrewKuker
12-02-2016, 03:14 PM
So it sounds like:
$200 Master file (WTF...)
$5 for each different Dalbergia species + shell so $240 up charge for the above example????????

No no, the individual one time permit is like that, needing multiple ones for each species, and it will take 60+ days for approval. The master file takes just as long but then allows for clone permits with multiple species on one permit and only taking 2 weeks. I'm relaying what I was told by FWS. Don't ask me to actually make sense of it. The master file is good for 3 years but needs to be renewed each year for like another 50 bucks or something. The whole thing is madness. FWS is saying USDA will enforce imports to us here and USDA says no it will be FWS. And this all gonna be in effect in one month and they say 2 months at least for a a master file to be approved. Of course because it's government it's all in actual paper getting sent through the mail, cause they're so environmentally conscious and all. As far as me upping my charges. Hopefully not. I like to make it as easy for people all around the world to purchase from us and most are getting hit with their countries import duties and many poor exchange rates right now too. I'd hate to hit them with more. We'll see I guess.

Biedmatt
12-02-2016, 03:38 PM
Hopefully they are ready to take that $200 master file now so you can get out in front of this ASAP and fill international orders in two months.

"madness", a perfect characterization.

maenibaeni
12-03-2016, 03:07 AM
Hi Maenibaeni-
Thanks for your knowledge.
What is your understanding of the 10kg part???- all ukes and guitars have less then 10kg (22lbs) of any rosewood in them.???

Well, my understanding is that you don`t need permits and documentation for non-commercial exports less than 10 kg. So you would somehow have to convince customs that your package contains "personal or household effects". What those exactly are is described on this site: https://cites.org/eng/res/13/13-07R16.php But after reading it I can`t tell you how you would go about to label your packages as "non-commercial".
I have recieved a custom-ukulele from the US that was labeled as a gift, which saved me some VAT (I didn`t ask for it and was pleasantly surprised upon arrival) but in this case, I don`t know if simply labelling as a gift would be enough and qualify it as non-commercial. Also it is illegal to mislabel your packages. I don`t know what happens if customs inspect your package and decide that it is mislabelled (and there is apparently quite a high risk of this happening, depending on what country you are exporting to...). In the worst case they might annex the package and you might even have to pay additional fines. So I think it`s not worth the risk...

I realise that this reply is not really helpful and contains a lot of don`t knows. But someone with more experience sending stuff around the world and who has an idea about how the different countries handle non-commercial shipments might chime in...

Rakelele
12-03-2016, 03:20 AM
Anybody has an idea of what this means for international customers, particularly in Europe? Will we have to pay any additional fees, or will it even be illegal to import an instrument with one of the wood species mentioned? Or will it suffice when all the paperwork is included in the shipment?

Pete Howlett
12-03-2016, 05:02 AM
It will motivate you to buy European!

Michael N.
12-03-2016, 06:26 AM
Anybody has an idea of what this means for international customers, particularly in Europe? Will we have to pay any additional fees, or will it even be illegal to import an instrument with one of the wood species mentioned? Or will it suffice when all the paperwork is included in the shipment?

If it has the required paperwork then there shouldn't be a problem. Movement of timber within Europe is not an issue. It's no different to sending a piece of Braz. rosewood from Munich to Berlin. Sending it from Berlin to New York is another matter.
Cedrela (the neck wood) has been on CITES II for some years. When I buy cedrela from my European supplier I can purchase the permit from them. That allows me to send it internationally. I don't bother. For instruments that go out of the EU I use a different timber for the neck. In fact I try to avoid any of the timbers that are deemed exotic, even though I have used them many times in the past. I don't have a problem with that. It's my opinion (and experience) that there are enough suitable timbers grown within Europe (if not the UK) that are perfectly suitable for musical instruments. You just have to get over the idea of exotic= good, non exotic = bad. It's nonsense.
We should be basing things on timber properties, real life measurements not some sort of medieval type belief system where the magic comes from just the name of the wood. Figured timber is a case in point. Now figured timber can be extremely attractive but figured maple (or walnut or koa) does not sound any superior to unfigured maple, walnut or koa. It only sounds better when someone looks at it.:) That should tell you a lot.
Apologies for the rant.

kohanmike
12-03-2016, 07:06 AM
I ordered a custom uke a few days ago from Vietnam with spalted mango top and curly mango body, so I thought I would look it up on the list, and gladly it's not there. I also was introduced to a ukulele luthier yesterday who's shop is on the way to my rehearsals twice a week. Looked at his work yesterday, very very nice. I'm planning on discussing wood choices and the restrictions with him.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-03-2016, 08:29 AM
Like a previous poster mentioned- all this BS will not actually save trees.

It is as pathetic as a carbon tax on huge factories that spew pollution into the air- What pollution is stopped by simply taxing/ fineing a factory???.... none.

It's FUBAR

Mivo
12-03-2016, 09:20 AM
It is as pathetic as a carbon tax on huge factories that spew pollution into the air- What pollution is stopped by simply taxing/ fineing a factory???.... none.

I suspect that at some point it becomes cheaper to invest in different/improved technology and production methods that reduce the CO2 output.

What are the alternatives? Doing nothing and just leaving the problem to the next few generations? Shutting down the factories and causing the workers to lose their jobs?

Choirguy
12-03-2016, 02:21 PM
How hard is it to buy seeds and just grow your own in your house?

Dan Gleibitz
12-03-2016, 03:04 PM
How hard is it to buy seeds and just grow your own in your house?

Harder than you'd think. And few builders can wait 400 years for a bit of wood!

Biedmatt
12-03-2016, 04:32 PM
A managed effort is what is needed to save the endangered trees. Management includes reforestation and logging. That takes land and money. That is where these fees could do some good- buy some land and pay a labor force to mange them. As stated above ("400 years"), this is a very long term investment. It will not pay dividends, so private business won't do it. Government grants and donations to NGOs are the only way it can be done. If the fees went to such an effort similar to the way Pittman-Robertson has raised money for wildlife conservation in America, I would be all over it. But they won't, the fees will go to the general tax base. All the noble efforts CITES believes they are doing is just a delusion. The rosewoods will still find their way to Asia for the high end furniture the middle class wants, just like the rhino horn and elephant ivory does after decades of CITES protection. CITES only delays the inevitable. If we manage the trade, they are doomed. If we manage forests of trees, they just might survive.

This model http://kanileaukulele.com/reforestation-project/ done on a scale (read funding) only governments can provide, could do it. It can't be done in a jar on your kitchen window shelf. These species really only grow well in certain regions and those regions are typically rain forests.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittman–Robertson_Federal_Aid_in_Wildlife_Restorat ion_Act

southcoastukes
12-03-2016, 07:29 PM
A lot of good information on the changes. I found I had saved an old copy of the Apendices, and the one on site now appears to be identical what's been up there for a few years. I guess the confusion comes from CITES adding the "21 November 2016" notation to a list that is actually older than that.

I for one have no problem with expanding the list of restricted species. Those who think these regulations have no effect are mistaken. I've lived for quite a while in Central America, where many of these regulations are aimed, spent even more time in the furniture industry, as well as a shorter stints in lumber trade and construction.

First, rain forest destruction and species extinction are two different things. The musical industry has an almost neglible effect on the former, but at this point the chief reason these restrictions are being expanded is musical instrument wood demand is a chief contributor to species extinction.

True rosewood of any sort hasn't been used in furniture or construction in decades. The asian manufacturers who claim to be making "rosewood" furniture are in fact using something else. U.S. manufacturers don't even bother any more with that deception. And in commercial millwork the use of restricted timbers are way down. Spanish Cedar, for example, once a prime material, and even now only lightly restricted, is widely substituted; don't even think of specifying Mahogany. There things like LEEDS tax credits in major construction projects that tie back to the use of permitted lumber, and when demand disappears for major projects, supplies aren't there for smaller ones either.

From personal experience in Central America, I can tell you abuses exist, and I could tell you how it's done, but I can also say that over the years, this practice has steadily declined, as the larger commercial interests buying these products aren't seeing a demand for these woods; as such they just aren't interested in "black market' materials.

The musical instrument industry is the exception in all this. Only here are manufacturers driven by a public demand for restricted material. And there is no reason for it at all. Michael summed it up:


... It's my opinion (and experience) that there are enough suitable timbers grown within Europe (if not the UK) that are perfectly suitable for musical instruments. You just have to get over the idea of exotic= good, non exotic = bad. It's nonsense.
We should be basing things on timber properties, real life measurements not some sort of medieval type belief system where the magic comes from just the name of the wood....

We built instruments in Central America (and hope to get started again soon), but we moved away from anything restricted. Don't confuse "exotic" with "endangered". No matter where you live, there is simply no reason to use a threatened species when other beautiful, resonant timbers are so plentiful.

I think Ukulele buyers are actually less likely to be pulled into "rosewood magic" than guitar buyers, but if folks would stop buying into the "magic" Michael refers to, there wouldn't be a danger of selected species extinction, and there would be no need for these restrictions either.

So don't bemoan these regulations. They're not perfect, but in large measure, they actually work. We should all be glad that CITES exists, and hope that they look at some of the instrument woods in low supply that aren't currently regulated.

AndrewKuker
12-03-2016, 11:54 PM
I can respect small things that make a little difference, I mean, starts with yourself in trying to save the world, right? Idk, I believe everything John Lennon says. But let’s go to the big picture anyway since this discussion seems to want to.

We gotta examine where we are and why we are here before we can do anything to change it, right. Actually I take that back, we will change the world, consciously or not. And our planets changes are alarmingly exponential. First thing to understand is that only 100 years ago Earth had 1.5 billion people and now it houses and feeds 7.5 billion with another 1/4 million a day in growth at this point.

So pertaining to this particular discussion let’s look at an example of how a tree gets endangered with the Atlantic Forest whose Brazilian rosewood happens to be part of the reason why we have now have to get permits for properly farmed Indian, Indonesian, and others. I’m gonna address human impact because that’s basically where it comes from.

500,000 square miles of dense forest was very slowly taken out from the time Europeans came to Brazil 500 years ago but most of it comes in the past 50 years and snowballing to almost 88% lost now. Replaced partly by cities and roads, that’s how we do it. Agriculture is next with sugar-cane, coffee, tobacco, and biofuel crops. Yep, basic human needs. And #1 conversion of forest is of course…cattle pastures! Cause “where’s the beef”! (comin’ from?) This part of the tropical forest was commonly converted with the ol’ slash and burn method of deforestation. It’s a wonderful way to take out an extremely biologically diverse ecosystem containing large numbers of endemic and endangered species. We’re so awesome! Other animals can’t even start fires. Actually I heard recently that chimps are startin’ to get it down and I’m sure it’ll be their favorite activity, so that could be a problem… But back to the topic, illegal logging plays a role too. It hurts the forest slowly and can be devastating over time and it should be regulated. But to entirely blame this problem on it is absurd and to blame instrument makers for using these woods or customers for loving them for this problem is equivalent to you blaming your local diner for serving beef and you for lovin’ it. C’mon, who’s lovin’ it?! Of course those two industries aren’t even remotely close in volume or devastation to our environment so maybe it isn’t equivalent.

Anyway, that’s one mini case study in why we are at this point and the issues that lead to this. As far as what you do about it now… well, you see, what you do is fill out the PDF at the link in my last post, throw the man some $$ for being so great and keeping Mother Earth alive, and get yourself a permit to send your properly obtained rosewood that was never endangered. Oh, and plant a Banzai in your window while you’re at it. But I didn’t even come here to say any of this. Just got sucked in by the comments. I came here to paste an email I got from CBPAS. Geez this is gonna be the longest post ever. And not even very helpful considering the fact that this letter from Susan somewhat contradicts what Anna at FWS tells me regarding individual instruments. But if they decided not to require this for single instruments being sent that would make a lot of sense. So I won’t count on it. I’ll take the advice of the supplier quoted in the email. I’m a little hopeful though. Optimistic like a dog. Ok, so here it is in all it’s truth and ambiguity.

NEW Regulations on the Rosewood Trade will affect Music Products

Cites summit moves to protect the world's most trafficked wild product by placing all 300 species of the tree under trade restrictions.
Many industry members would be aware of the recent decision by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) with regard the rosewood species.
Key is that Indian Rosewood will be listed on the CITES list from Jan 2, 2017. What this means is that the movement across international borders of products containing Indian Rosewood will need to be accompanied by CITES permits issued at each point of supply (from supply of logs to wholesaler).
This does not apply to individual instruments but will certainly make life complicated for the movement of guitars in any number.
The AMA has been communicating with members and the Department of Environment to make more clear the immediate and future impact of this latest ruling. The Department has advised that it is preparing a comprehensive information resource for the industry.
It is also keen to have consultation with the industry and the AMA will organize this process, and contact members when we know more.
One supplier said; "Our own advice from government to date is vague so it is probably best practice to assume the full restrictions will apply from Jan 2 and work from there".
The music products industry has been termed the innocent bystander in this situation, very little of the rosewood cut in the world goes towards guitars. Most is destined for China to be used in luxury furniture. But any industry involved with rosewood today is faced with the difficult task of ensuring its legality and complying with increasingly strict international regulation.
The ruling reflects a desperate need to stop the massive illegal operations that brought this on in the first place. The new regulation is a significant move towards reducing destructive illegal logging and international wildlife trafficking that harms forests and forest communities. But it is also monumental for the industry, which will now have to provide CITES permits for all commercial trade, imports, and exports of guitars and other instruments containing rosewood parts, including backs, sides, fretboard, bridge and binding.
Language on "non-commercial personal use" protects traveling musicians from officials seizing their instruments, but the new CITES listing marks a new era for instrument manufacturers.
We will update members when more info comes to hand.

Susan A Mantooth
Supervisory CBPAS
1901 Cross Beam Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217

mm stan
12-05-2016, 02:45 AM
I still think it still needs refining and although it been out for a long time, it's not perfect. This is where the
Gray area lies for their rules, restrictions and regulations. I can understand this is basically to save many species
However there will always have a black market for whatever. Like fireworks and drugs, you can't stop it or
Make it where many who have them suffer the consequences. I know by discouraging future buyers by
Threats is no solution when traveling with said endangered species. If there is a market for them, there will
Also be buyers even in the black market. They actually need a better solution to control the black Market of these
Species like solutions from the source rather than punish the buyers.

AndrewKuker
12-06-2016, 10:01 AM
Just listened to the webinar. So all commercial transactions including single instruments containing any type of rosewood in any amount will need a permit when shipping international or a permit from the country when importing. The 10kg exemption part applies only to non commercial shipments or traveling musicians. It does not apply if you are selling or buying the instrument and you will need a permit for a single instrument with all species and weights listed. Will be in effect starting Jan. 2.

Pete Howlett
12-06-2016, 10:21 AM
Looks like my local market has just opened wide it's doors...

AndrewKuker
12-06-2016, 12:08 PM
Looks like my local market has just opened wide it's doors...

I guess. I mean everything should be the same for our customers. Just a PITA for us. But, whatever, it'll always be something, right, still workable but the paperwork. Ugh.

AndrewKuker
12-06-2016, 12:16 PM
Oh yeah, and we would need the paperwork from your side Pete if you send stuff to us. So maybe just don't have any woods on cites if you don't want to go through all that. At least I don't have to worry about that from domestic shipments. But I may need to collecting more info from individual luthiers. Possible wood receipts. We'll get it down. Right now I have to see what they are gonna approve in terms of detail provided.

resoman
12-06-2016, 12:29 PM
Andrew, thanks so much for keeping us up to date on the regs. Any new materials I buy will be local and non CITES affected. I have quite a few sets of Indian Rosewood and Bubinga but that will stay here anyways.

terry

Pete Howlett
12-06-2016, 01:27 PM
Yes Andrew, we moved from rosewood as our fingerboard material several months ago and use not listed African woods like a wood called mgurure or leadwood. All the other woods we use are not on the list thank goodness! So you will be getting a couple of nice ukulele-without-passport issues next year as recently promised.

Also looked at our local CITES site here in the UK and could find no mention of this rosewood gig anywhere! News about the psychedelic gecko and other lizards but narry a mention about the 250 species of dalbergia which I note also includes blackwood - never knew that. So there's another newbie uke wood down the toilet.

We should see emerging then, more spruce topped instruments, as long as they don't have Albanian Fir (I think that's what I caught a glimpse of) tops. Now is the time for walnut and cherry to take centre stage along with those, as yet, not listed African species like Makore (US us awash with figured boards of the stuff) and Korina/Black Limba if you can get it. It's also time to visit oak as a back and side alternative wood. It's plentiful and if you are lucky you can get flamed stuff. Why not try myrtle as well... yes, stand up front domestic hardwoods. I may even try looking at sycamore and am going to the Alsace next year to hunt down some larch :) My recent concert in oak and larch sounded fantabidozey :)

I used to shop here quite a bit until shipping charges knocked that on the head: https://www.gilmerwood.com/categories/38-boards-and-blanks/products Lots of lovely domestic figured woods here. And no minimum charge for December :)

Wildestcat
12-06-2016, 10:59 PM
fl and am going to the Alsace next year to hunt down some larch :)

Should be plenty of larch around in the UK soon Pete :(

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-9cyg8x

Michael N.
12-07-2016, 01:40 AM
Don't forget Ash. The figured stuff can be very attractive, quite striking. I've used figured ash once but it tends to be one of those woods that's ignored by instrument makers. Yew, maple, walnut and cherry of course. Cherry is very underrated IMO, again figured cherry is sometimes available if you want the fancy stuff. Doesn't sound any better than the plain stuff but you have the choice. I've used laburnum once as a fretboard wood and I use lots of bog oak for fretboard material. In fact I've virtually stopped using ebony as I've become sensitised to it. Normal oak is fine for fretboards but it's a bit light in colour. It can be stained of course but it's getting that stain to a decent depth that is the problem.
Plenty timber to go at, especially given the size of ukuleles. Apart from the extra work there's no reason why 3 piece backs can't be employed and even 2 piece sides if it came to that. Once you limit the width of the board then so much more timber becomes readily available, which is why you have to feel a bit sorry for those cello or double bass builders.

pahu
12-07-2016, 06:53 AM
I may even try looking at sycamore

\
This sycamore is a recycled drawer bottom from some 60-year-old furniture.
How does it work as tonewood?
Bendable for sides?
96153

resoman
12-07-2016, 07:36 AM
I've used sycamore with great success in mountain dulcimers. The stuff is easy to work and is pleasing to look at, to me anyways.
John Calkin wrote an article for American Lutherie called "The Heretic's Guide to Alternative Lutherie Woods" that is very informative and way worth reading. He discusses the characteristics of all kinds of different woods

Michael Smith
12-07-2016, 07:36 AM
Sycamore is one of the easier woods to bend. Very resistant to splitting, even makes a decent top. Also the wood of choice for pyrophapy (wood burning)

Rakelele
12-07-2016, 07:43 AM
Thanks for sharing your information, Andrew. Please keep us updated on what all of this means for your store and your international customers.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-08-2016, 09:20 AM
The Webinar can be listened to here:

https://1sourceevents.adobeconnect.com/p9505cbidb6/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-11-2016, 10:21 AM
A podcast from the Fretboard journal

https://www.fretboardjournal.com/podcast/podcast-127-cites-rosewood-updates-john-thomas/

AndrewKuker
12-18-2016, 04:15 AM
Doing setups 12+ hours a day for the last 7 days…using liquid bandage on my thumb already, regular xmas gear…but thoughts come as I work. So to my colleagues here I wanted to say this about the topic and a bit more.

Simply with effort we can include our friends/ supporters in other countries (like me, if you are outside the US). If you change woods, cool, if you stick with what you have and need to get permits for a customer in another country, do it!

International customers that need to wait longer, be patient and realize you should have many years of joy with this instrument, waiting is part of what it takes sometimes. We know it’s well worth it. We can’t control government agencies…but if it’s too irritating and takes too long, we will cancel/refund orders etc. Sell to someone else essentially. But let’s keep this dialog open into the new year and see how it goes.I don’t expect delays beyond the first few months of the year.

I feel like the whole world is experiencing some level of kick back on “globalization” because of big corporation side effects. Businesses nothing like ours. I mean, we offer the world products from such a modest niche level. Custom builders still starting out usually can’t be sustainable in local stores and festivals alone, it’s an expertise best offered to the world via the internet. I got my custom bass from 6,000 miles away. I like it better than anything this island offers, and I love it more every year. This is how my and your customers often feel. So, personally, we’ll adapt. We won’t revert. But everyone finds their own path. I’m just sharing my vision into the new year.

I guess my post is mainly to share this thought, I don’t think stuff like this should make us buy into a confined national offering just out of convenience.
(on the other hand, convenience is pretty cool)
But…I will gladly help you as I can if you need. I just might learn something as I deal with this wonderful new regulation with regularity. With any questions I am usually responsive at my email. Otherwise (808)781-9168, call or text

Mahalo for the support we’ve been shown, and here’s to a forum/ community that to me seems to be about as altruistic as you practically never see. Love that about you guys!! Micro version of world peace here. I mean, there will be heated exchanges. But I see it like a family. What family doesn’t bicker from time to time. Great info and aloha is abundant and that’s what really shines through.

From all the craziness of 2016, UU stayed pretty cool. Congrats to the founders and contributors. See you in the new year… 2017…AHHHHH!!!

sequoia
12-18-2016, 06:13 PM
What a great post! I'm hunkered down here in the cold with a dripping cold (sneeze, sneeze) and a workshop that is freezing cold and feeling a bit discouraged. I'm working on some beautiful but knarly looking burl wood that just wants a fight (come on uke boy, try and bend this!...) and decided maybe this is not the best time to make ukuleles. Everything is going to be fine. It will all work out in the end. Mahalo nui loa and aloha from the frozen mainland.

Rakelele
12-19-2016, 01:44 AM
Thanks for your thoughts, Andrew. I think you're right: everything will work out, it will just take more effort to get all the paperwork done (essentially proving that the woods which are used come from a legal source). If it takes a little longer to get an instrument, this won't be an issue for most customers. But I would hate to see an instrument travelling around the world only to be sent back or confiscated at customs. And I'd hate to be restricted to what local stores offer only. Being able to order online from your store on the other side of the globe has opened up a whole new world for me, and I'm thankful for that.

southcoastukes
12-23-2016, 05:54 PM
... here’s to a forum/ community that to me seems to be about as altruistic as you practically never see. Love that about you guys!! Micro version of world peace here. I mean, there will be heated exchanges. But I see it like a family. What family doesn’t bicker from time to time. Great info and aloha is abundant and that’s what really shines through.
From all the craziness of 2016, UU stayed pretty cool. Congrats to the founders and contributors. See you in the new year… 2017…AHHHHH!!!

Excellent all around Andrew. And in the spirit of family, a special shout out to Mr. Pete Howlett.


Simply with effort we can include our friends/ supporters in other countries (like me, if you are outside the US). If you change woods, cool....


Pete et al, just thought I'd share a bit of my experience. Use it as it suits your situation.

Because we actually produced instruments in Central America we needed to get export permits to get them into the U.S. Though a permit was "supposedly" only $50 per species, if you had a few restricted species in an instrument and your shipment of say six intruments had some variation among the instruments you could easily end up with $600 or more in legitimate permit fees for your shipment. But that's only the legitimate fees. Since these permits are generally issued to folks sending out containers of timber, the "mordida" (fee paid to the official to actually get the permit) could be $1,000 more. Not too bad for a container of wood - out of reach for a half dozen Ukuleles.

We did the only thing we could do - went to species that required no permit whatsoever. No CITES, no Lacey Act (U.S. only & even more restrictive). No Mahogany, no Spanish Cedar, no Granadillo, no Cocobolo, etc., etc. These were the woods we knew.

Still we were in Central America, the true treasure trove of tropical hardwoods. So we found other species. It took time to hunt them out, try them out and find reliable sources. And then by the time we started to get going again, our builder reached an age and state of health where he couldn't continue. But in that short interval when we offered our "alternate species", we learned a bit about marketing them.

Pete, I took a look at the Korina Tenor you posted about. If you haven't sold that one then folks are really missing the boat. That wood in general is an absolutely beautiful thing to look at, your boards seem especially nice, and it even has a bit of notoriety as a tonewood. Granted, it's in Gibson (I think) solid bodies guitars, but the qualities it showed there versus Mahogany, for example, would seem to indicate fabulous potential for an Ukulele. With the unique aspect, the beauty of the wood and the tone it likely has, you should be marketing it as a "premium exotic".

And marketing is always a part of making instruments. You mentioned another wood "Mgurure". In my experience a name like that will hurt sales. People can understand that a given wood will make a good instrument and look nice, but they still want to know how to pronounce it - to tell folks what it is without hesitating on how to say it. Leadwood is a bit better - you can pronounce it, but it's not too appealing.

I'd look at something the lumber industry does all the time - a practice I used to look down on: make up your own name. One that you feel reflects the qualities of the wood, either in tone or color or both. Obviously in this new environment, something like "Tanzanian Rosewood" wouldn't be that great an idea, but as long as you include the "a.k.a."s or scientific name after whatever name you decide to use, then you aren't deceiving anyone. It's just "Pete calls it Tanzanian Blackwood". I wonder how long now before Bolivian Rosewood (not a rosewood - not threatened) starts to be called something else.

We also used to "issue a passport" with our instrument. It was a simple listing of all the species by scientific name and with a date of manufacture in case some of those woods became restricted in the future. It had no legal standing, of course, but any official seeing such a thing would be likely to give it the benefit of the doubt, and being issued by us, it put responsibility for any misstatement on us, where it should be, and not on the owner.

96478

Finally, we would also fill out a Lacey Act declaration. It's a self-declaration with no permitting required. Just make sure the species you use aren't under any local origin restriction above and beyond the CITES listings. We didn't do the formal entry - just attached the declaration to the outside of the box in a plastic sleeve with another copy inside in case the outer copy was damaged. A customer could save that declaration and use it in the same fashion as our "passport".

Hope that helps a bit.

Happy holidays to all!

saltytri
04-21-2017, 01:26 PM
Andrew, are rosewood tuner buttons a no-no?

Pete Howlett
04-22-2017, 11:59 AM
Great advice -I love the description "Tanzanian Blackwood'.... will seriously think of using that term or Leadwood. Korina is great - it is spectacular to look at, has huge acoustic potential and will be a great replacement for mahogany and koa until it is harvested out!

rubykey
04-22-2017, 04:48 PM
So if an individual here in the marketplace wanted to sell an instrument that has a smidgen of Rosewood say on the fretboard, or as someone else referenced, on the tuner buttons, to an international buyer in either direction across the pond or across the border would they be able to send it as a"gift?" Many people use PayPal friends and family. And aren't we all here friends and family :-) wouldn't that fall under the individual ownership and not a commercial transaction? Just wondering.

I too think it's a step in the right direction but a grotesque misinterpretation that is going to wreak havoc on instrument buyers and sellers. Seems like individual shipments of one or two units ought to be allowed. Specially since the resource has already been sourced. I guess this would cut down on real alligator skin cases as well (just kidding). As if all the Plastics and toxins used to manufacture faux alligator cases is not a tremendous drain on resources. We are a consumerist society. It is shocking to hear you must cut back. But confiscating instruments from the hands of musicians is a gross abuse of power. If all the resources spent too micromanage the individual was spent on capturing the major culprits at the supply chain the problem would be solved.

sequoia
04-22-2017, 07:25 PM
Did you note the sanctions just enacted on wood from Peru? Apparently Peru is the big, bad actor when it comes to illegal logging. This is a good thing singling out one country for embargo rather than the entire world when it come to importation/exportation of valuable hardwoods. These guys gave everybody a bad name. Shame on them. Corrupt to the bone. Punish them but don't punish everybody. I'm glad they are singling them out. Now maybe we can get control of responsible harvest of timber by allowing responsible countries to export their timber that has been responsibly harvested. Article below:

"It's not one company that is doing bad business. It's everybody. Because nobody's paying attention..... What they [the Peruvian government] have been doing is increasing the penalties in laws and regulations. But if no one is being sanctioned or investigated, what is the point?"

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2015/08/peru-rotten-wood-150812105020949.html