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View Full Version : Travel with your ukulele in/out of US



foxfair
11-13-2011, 02:27 PM
If you are heading to / getting out by San Francisco Airport, no need to worry about custom officers and the blah blah Lacey Act. I just came back from US, the officers in SAN airport were busy enough and didn't give me too much trouble. In fact, they scanned my uke like usual hand-carried baggage and passed without question. That's all.

If you really really worry about this issue, I suggest that save your receipt of purchasing in gigbag(or hardshell case), for customized uke don't bother to bring your fancy baby which involves with rosewoods. I don't see any problem except that. MOP? Inlay? I doubt how many officers would spend time to open box and ask the details after X ray scanning.

It is my personal experience and report from SFO :)

mds725
11-13-2011, 05:46 PM
It is my personal experience and report from SAN :)

Just to avoid any confusion, the designation for San Francisco International Airport is SFO. :)

foxfair
11-13-2011, 06:53 PM
Just to avoid any confusion, the designation for San Francisco International Airport is SFO. :)

You are right, I was confused inside my brain with another stop - San Diego last week.
Fixed.

Rick Turner
11-13-2011, 07:43 PM
It would not be a bad idea to have a document in the uke case detailing what materials were used, especially for International travel. Inside the US you won't have a problem, especially if it's carry-on.

I'm going to make up a little spreadsheet that I can send out with every instrument detailing materials and sources.

MOP and abalone shell can be an issue; there are endangered species like the South African abalone. That's not even getting close to wood issues which are really thorny. Which Madagascar rosewood is legal? This piece? That one? Beats me. And heaven help you if you have an instrument with Brazilian rosewood even if it's 50 years old. Unfortunately, we're into Napoleonic law interpretation with some of this stuff. You and I are guilty 'til we can prove ourselves innocent if we run into the wrong agent of the government.

sugengshi
11-14-2011, 02:49 AM
I'm going to make up a little spreadsheet that I can send out with every instrument detailing materials and sources.

HI rickety Turner. That's very nice of you. I am sure the list will be very useful. :drool:

UkuEroll
11-14-2011, 03:05 AM
After reading this thread, I wondered what is the policy if you take a cigar box Uke made from a Cuban cigar box.

philpot
11-14-2011, 04:03 AM
After reading this thread, I wondered what is the policy if you take a cigar box Uke made from a Cuban cigar box.

Good question. I have a friend who's brought some cuban cigars back from s Saudi Arabian business trip, maybe I'll see if I can't test this out ;)

fabioponta
11-14-2011, 05:08 AM
Some policy problems for a international travel from US to Europa or Europa do US with a fluke concert with pin top and plastic fretborard , made ​​out of plastic without documentation that prooves it's don't coming from the petrol stations in Iran?

lkdumas
11-14-2011, 05:46 AM
You need to be concerned about compliance with this law if you have a warehouse full of exotic wood that you intend to use for manufacturing and resale. The enforcement has nothing to do with an individual who may have unsuspectingly purchased an item containing a banned item.

mr moonlight
11-14-2011, 06:32 AM
You need to be concerned about compliance with this law if you have a warehouse full of exotic wood that you intend to use for manufacturing and resale. The enforcement has nothing to do with an individual who may have unsuspectingly purchased an item containing a banned item.Think about it this way. The likely hood of obtaining a uke made with banned materials is highly unlikely so it's not something to worry about.

southcoastukes
11-14-2011, 07:14 PM
Think about it this way. The likely hood of obtaining a uke made with banned materials is highly unlikely so it's not something to worry about.

Folks, I wouldn't be so complacent. Probability of trouble is still very low, but incidents of seized intruments are growing by leaps and bounds. The way it's trending, it will be like seat belt laws - not much enforcement when they were first passed, different story today. The big difference is that penalties are no slap on the wrist, although ignorance of a violation will usually get you some slack.

As Rick mentioned, Brazilian Rosewood and certain shell materials are banned. A banned material can be confiscated. If it looks like a banned material it can be confiscated. Maybe you'll get it back, but "taking samples" of wood and shell from your instrument won't leave it in the condition it was. You have no recourse for a mistake on the part of a customs official, or any damage they might cause.

Do you have anything on your instrument that could be mistaken for Brazilian Rosewood by your average customs agent? Have any shell at all?

What Rick is doing with his material list is where things will have to go. We backtracked and are re-doing woods to be able to offer a "passport" of our own.

Don't count on the laws being changed for the benefit of musicians. You can gamble on enforcement if you want.

Rick Turner
11-14-2011, 07:33 PM
The likelihood of being able to buy a uke from me with materials that could be questioned is about 100%. I have old Brazilian rosewood...with no papers. I have Madagascar rosewood...with no proof of which regime was in power when it was harvested. I have Honduras mahogany. I have ebony from at least three places on the globe. No, I cannot provide DNA evidence that this piece of shell that was sold to me as being from New Zealand was not, in fact, from South America. No, I'm not selling uke straps made from baby harp seals or Siberian tigers, but I'm afraid that I still have some elephant ivory that I got forty years ago. You can't even get away with salvaging real ivory piano keys and using them for inlays...as I started doing when I was still in high school in 1962. It's way over the top, and real people are getting hassled about this stuff.