View Full Version : The CITES Dance--Step by step with links

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-25-2017, 08:21 AM
I gleaned this from one of the facebook luthier groups I belong to and figured I'd repost it here for those interested. This is the OP's first experience with shipping an instrument overseas while following all the necessary regulations. He figures it cost about $363 for the process and took about 10 hours of his time. Not something i'd want to spend my time on but it might be of interest for those of you with stronger stomachs than mine.

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1. Apply for CITES permit for the BRW or whatever.
Cost: $100

2: Apply for the USDA Protected Plant Permit with form 621. You can print it out and send it in but the USDA has a handy dandy ePermit system. Go to www.aphis.usda.gov to sign up for level 2 access to applications. You can pay your $70 fee online also.
Cost: $70
I got my permit by email within an hour of submitting the application.

3. You’ll need your import/export license to export the pearl products. This has to be sent in by mail, along with the fee. This one came pretty quickly by email.
Cost: $100

4: Print and fill out the U.S. Customs form 3461.

5. Create a shipping label with FedEx or DHL. Others maybe able to handle the requirements but USPS cannot.

6. Go to the FWS eDecs Page and create an account. Fill out form 3-177, which is right on there. Follow the instructions and you will end up scanning and uploading the following:
-form 3-177
-check for $93
-CITES permit
-customs form 3461
-commercial invoice
-export license for the pearl
-the shipping label/waybill. They need the tracking # from that.
Cost: $93

7. Get your CITES permit signed. Find the CITES approved port near you and send them:
-original CITES permit plus 2 copies
-your PPP (protected plant permit)
-commercial invoice
-copy of the waybill
My CITES port is at JFK:
USDA-APHIS-PPQ plant inspection station
230-59 int’l airport centers BLVD
Jamaica, NY 11413
ATTN: CITES inspection

Here’s a list of ports:
And a list of USDA inspectors:


Pete Howlett
10-25-2017, 08:23 AM
For masocists obviously. Thanks for posting this Chuck...

Pegasus Guitars
10-25-2017, 08:26 AM
Chuck- Did the poster explain what they needed to submit to prove that the wood came from an approved source? Most of us with older wood have no proof whatsoever of the origin of the wood.--Bob

Pete Howlett
10-25-2017, 11:13 AM
And for most of us with pre-CITES stashes Bob, that is the key to the problem...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-26-2017, 08:20 AM
Before the regulations went into effect I seem to remember we had a window of opportunity to inventory, document and record all the stock we had on hand and that was supposed to be filed with some bureaucracy. I didn't pay much attention to it at the time because I knew I'd be sitting out this dance.

Pete Howlett
10-26-2017, 11:22 AM
I think you still had to have the 'proofs of provenance' then Chuck... It's such a shame this business. If only countries with these precious resources had adopted the Indian model we wouldn't be in this pickle. They have been sensibly controlling and conserving since the 1930s...