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  #1  
Old 05-29-2014, 06:37 AM
B. Howard B. Howard is offline
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Default Brazilian RW

Up until now Brazilian rosewood already in the U.S. was legal to buy, sell, use, and ship interstate even without documentation (much old lumber and many vintage guitars lack paperwork, since it wasn’t previously required). But as of June 26th, as a CITES Appendix I species (like elephant ivory) and in conjunction with the new total ban on all elephant ivory, it will become a felony to buy or sell anything containing Brazilian rosewood unless it has proper documentation (http://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/re ... import.pdf). To qualify for the exception: “If the [rosewood] was lawfully imported…before the species was listed…you may continue to use the [rosewood]…provided you can clearly demonstrate (using written records or other documentary evidence) that your [rosewood] was imported prior to the CITES listing, with no restrictions on its use after import. If you are unable to clearly demonstrate that this exception applies, the [rosewood] may be used only for noncommercial purposes.” Good luck to you all trying to get acceptable paperwork for old wood stocks and all those guitars out there...

I borrowed the above from Chuck Erikson, The Duke of Pearl. He has more first hand experience with the various government agencies that enforce these things than any of us would ever want.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:42 AM
tomiv9 tomiv9 is offline
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Wow. So when was BR first put on cites?
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  #3  
Old 05-29-2014, 02:54 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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June 1992.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:57 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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BRW was listed on CITES Index 1 on June 11, 1992, iirc. I was at a Guild of American Luthiers convention, and one of the speakers had brought in some BRW, and other Brazilian woods, and was giving a talk about them. Those may have been some of the last certifiable sets to enter the country.

From what I can see, BRW that was in the country before that can be more or less presumed 'legal'. Of course, there was illegal wood around before that: the stuff that 'fell off the truck' and was sold under the table, but that's another matter. If you can trace out a US bill of sale for the wood before that date, and make a pretty sound case for it, it should be OK.

'Stump' wood, that was milled from trees that were felled before 1992, is more problematic. There you need certification of when the tree was felled, and the complete paper trail from there.

Even with the paper work, you may not be out of the woods (so to speak). If the Fish and Wildlife Service thinks there's something wrong with your documentation they can still confiscate the instrument while they track it down. Confiscation is not, in itself, a 'punishment' under law, as I understand it, no matter how it impacts your tour schedule.

The bottom line is that copious and clear documentation is probably the key to minimizing hassles. Remember the old adage: "When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail". These folks deal with dishonest people all the time, and will probably assume you're one of them at the outset, so whatever you present them with had better be convincing.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:19 AM
tomiv9 tomiv9 is offline
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So if your BRW guitar was built prior to 1992 you should be in the clear right? what if your BRW guitar was built after 1992, how do you go about getting documentation of when the wood was imported? is this something the guitar builder can usually supply? is that sufficient, or is there some official CITES approval document you need to get. i was thinking about maybe purchasing a BRW guitar, but obviously want to make sure i can buy and sell it legally. Any links or additional info would be helpful, the OP link did not work, thanks.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:21 AM
Earwitness Earwitness is offline
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There's an extremely contentious 37+ page thread on this topic on the main discussion board. (Contentious because this topic draws out some people's primal opinions about government, conservation, freedom, selfishness, saving the world, etc.).

Despite a lot of input, no one could much improve upon what you have already said, which is that an undefined, and likely unavailable to the average person, level of documentation is required of post-1992 guitars with BRW in order to sell the guitar.

Surely we can assume that serial numbers showing that, for example, a 60s Guild with a BRW bridge, was built long ago would suffice.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:38 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Quote:
Surely we can assume that serial numbers showing that, for example, a 60s Guild with a BRW bridge, was built long ago would suffice.
No, you can't.
How do you prove that a bridge or fingerboard have not been changed.....or even a back, for that matter? My issue is that much of my BR stash has been in my possession since before the 1992 ban, and I have receipts for some of it. But proving that the wood I have is actually the wood in the receipt is almost impossible.
And if it mirrors the rules on other endangered products like tortoise shell and ivory, once an antique is altered from its original form, it becomes illegal.
So much for taking antique items like tortoise combs or boxes and making guitar picks. Or taking pre-ban scrap ivory pieces and making nuts and saddles out of them.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:02 AM
redir redir is offline
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I can understand why there is a need to do this but it sounds like a mess. I've only got some head plate, bridges and fingerboards of which there is no way I can find the receipts for. I'm glad I didn't invest in a lot of it. I do have lots of Imbuia and Pau Amarello though and I wonder if that is on the list as well. I imagine this list is published online somewhere does anyone have a link?

And BTW you need to make copies of receipts because if you haven't noticed the way most are printed they start to fade and become totally invisible within a few months.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:32 PM
ivantheterrible ivantheterrible is offline
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So my family has an old marimba, not much to look at but sounds great and we always banged on it as kids. It occurred to me recently that the keys may be BR. My Dad said they got it in the 50s from a guy who left it at his dad's welding shop. If it IS BR, can we somehow get permission to repurpose the wood? Or maybe sell the keys to someone who would use them on a new marimba? How can I find out what it's worth?
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:47 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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A clear and well lighted close up or three would make identification more likely. That said, I believe the traditional material for marimba bars is Dalbergia stevensonii, often called Honduras rosewood, and a relative but not the same as BRW, nor nearly as valuable at this point in time..
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:50 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivantheterrible View Post
If it IS BR, can we somehow get permission to repurpose the wood? Or maybe sell the keys to someone who would use them on a new marimba? How can I find out what it's worth?
When I rebuild marimba's, I use Padauk, and simply colour it to achieve the same visual appearance.

If it is CITES listed, then its as simple as that, not trying to be harsh, but people will need to find an alternative and move on.

Most governments list things with the right intentions, unfortunately the ramifications can affect small business's but we have to learn to roll with the punches and move forward.

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Old 07-24-2016, 10:51 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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This is a zombie thread, based on a mistaken premise. Chuck Erickson, who is not a lawyer, misunderstood an amendment to the law that did not (as he assumed) make commerce in undocumented BRW a crime. In fact, the amendment liberalized existing law to make more BRW stocks lawful to trade. Chuck's posts, while well-intentioned, spread a lot of unnecessary paranoia, and were refuted repeatedly by an actual expert on the law, John Thomas. We really don't need the misunderstanding recycled again.
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:45 AM
redir redir is offline
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Now that it's been cleared up, thanks Howard, I think it would be a terrible waste of a perfectly good instrument to deconstruct it and re-purpose it's wood. An old church door, old broken down bench, barn timers and so on sure but a working instrument? Some one would appreciate that for what it is I'm sure and you could sell the instrument as whole and up the price since it's made from BRW if in fact it is. Just my 2 cents.
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