Quick Question: East Indian Rosewood and Canada


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Oct 22, 2014
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Little River, California
Quick question: I'm selling an uke to a person from Canada. They will be driving back to Canada. The bridge is made out of rosewood. Could there be import issues at the border? I realize this is a complicated and obscure question. Is this just a North American shipping question perhaps and CITES international does not apply? I'm totally flummoxed. Thanks in advance if you can help.
There shouldn’t be any problems if you’re not shipping.
Please advise your buyer not offer to perform for the customs agent on the border crossing .......
Damn you’re fancy in the Americas..! A bridge of rosewood? On which you can drive a car? I hope you put your Sunday tyres on before crossing.

I thought the very same thing, :p

I live in Canada and have traveled back and forth to the States many times with a ukulele. I never had a problem, I have never even been asked what is in that case. As you guys know there is so much conflicting information on this. My sons girlfriend work as a border crossing guard in Vancouver, apparently the busiest Canada to US crossing. I asked her about CITES, she had never heard of it, they are focused on money, drugs, guns and illegals.
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Thank you for your replies and I am probably overthinking this. However, as I read the statutes it doesn't matter if it is hand carried or shipped: certificates of origin need to be produced at border crossings that show it is plantation raised or legally harvested. Now I realize that your average Canadian border agent wouldn't know rosewood from balsa so the question is mute. In my opinion the statue is too broad and musical instruments, which use probably 0.01% of illegally harvested rosewood, needs to be amended for an exception. Good luck with that. Picture below of the dreaded contraband.

I don't think it has anything to do with plantation raised. The requirements are that it needs a CITES certificate, all rosewood does. There's a weight limit (or maximum) and it's non commercial (he isn't intent on selling it) so my understanding is that he will be OK without the CITES.
In theory it could be a problem, in reality it should be fine. Technically it needs documentation, but the average border worker isn't focused on such things and most likely can't tell one wood from another.
I was told by the Canadian border that under 10kg and non-commercial instruments are classified as outside the scope of CITES.
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