Modern Gretsch Guitars

Rosewood and Gretsch

1

Any info on how Gretsch is dealing with the new restrictions on rosewood? Currently all species require a license for international transport. Gretsch is still issuing guitars with rosewood fingerboards and bridge bases; will this come back to bite us owners of Gretsches with rosewood in them when we cross the border? Joe, if you see this, maybe share your thoughts?

2

From an article on Reverb;

A new regulation takes effect on January 2, 2017 that calls for documentation when shipping instruments internationally that contain any amount of any kind of rosewood or certain types of bubinga.

It does not apply to instruments shipped within the borders of your country or instruments carried for personal use while traveling internationally [unless they contain more than 22 lbs. (10 kg) of the regulated woods].

This is a developing story, with details emerging as government agencies figure out how to create processes around the new requirements. To what degree they are enforced remains to be seen.

3

So the short answer no it's not an issue (YET) but I'm sure there will be a tax, fee, or toll at some point.

Follow the money, always follow the money.

4

From an article on Reverb;

A new regulation takes effect on January 2, 2017 that calls for documentation when shipping instruments internationally that contain any amount of any kind of rosewood or certain types of bubinga.

It does not apply to instruments shipped within the borders of your country or instruments carried for personal use while traveling internationally [unless they contain more than 22 lbs. (10 kg) of the regulated woods].

This is a developing story, with details emerging as government agencies figure out how to create processes around the new requirements. To what degree they are enforced remains to be seen.

– Curt Wilson

I'd like to know the source of that info Curt. My understanding based on a couple of luthier friends who ship guitars regularly across the US/Canada border is that the amounts are of no significance; any amount requires a license, unless of course this is a very recent ammendment to the regulations. Joe Yanuziello for one is no longer using any rosewood and Linda Manzer is looking into acquiring licenses for her guitars that have rosewood. In the case of my classical, she used old Brazilian rosewood and it is almost impossible for her to establish when that was harvested as it was stuff that she collected decades ago. There was a fairly lengthy article in Fretboard Journal a few issues back that went into quite a bit of detail regarding the CITES regulations. It is a very complex piece of legislation. Based on that article and the current list here: https://www.fws.gov/interna... there appears to be no allowable amount of any wood in the Dalbergia family without a license. Currently there are only two locations in the USA where one can obtain a license and the appropriate paperwork must be taken there in person. It is a nightmare. On top of that, mahogany is now on the list.

5

If you have a Taylor (registered) or know someone who does, there is a pretty good article in their latest "Wood & Steel" concerning something called "CITES" ("Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species") and how it affects guitar makers.

(update- just found an online link to the article -and the mag. Article's on the second-last page):

https://www.taylorguitars.c...

Seems that individuals such as us who travel with one or maybe two instruments should be okay when crossing international borders (although it's an evolving situation), but for commercial importers, manufacturers and even re-shippers, it's become a major headache.

Separately, I've heard that higher-end re-sellers like Gruhn are having fits- can't ship anything offshore that doesn't have a CITES certificate. That's only hearsay, but it stands to reason.

6

USA Custom Guitars posted this one their website:

We are approved for International shipping of Rosewood!

USA Custom Guitars has received a Master File Permit from the United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service for the export of Rosewood species (Dalbergia spp.) and the issuance of certificates under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

So, what does this mean to our International customers?

There will be an additional processing fee of $25 PER ORDER, for orders containing Rosewood. This fee will cover the cost of the individual CITES certificate as well as any special shipping and handling that will be required.

Another caveat is that no rosewood necks for export are permitted to have shell inlay (MOP or Paua).

There is also a possibility, depending on the laws of your country, that there may be a “Phytosanitary Certificate” fee which can range from $75 to $125. If this fee is required, we will contact you before processing your order.

Thanks for your continued support!

7

Somehow, I was under the impression that Indian rosewood came in large part from plantations maintained to provide a steady supply of material. I have absolutely no documentation for that, and it may just be someone's wishful thinking.

A quick web search doesn't give much information about the CITES status of various ebony species. Short supply and high demand puts serious pressure on ebonies, but I hear less about these woods than I hear about Dalbergia species. Do any of you know what's going on with ebony?

8

Wood is a renewable resource, some over harvested much of it isn't. This is just another control and tax situation.

9

Somehow, I was under the impression that Indian rosewood came in large part from plantations maintained to provide a steady supply of material. I have absolutely no documentation for that, and it may just be someone's wishful thinking.

A quick web search doesn't give much information about the CITES status of various ebony species. Short supply and high demand puts serious pressure on ebonies, but I hear less about these woods than I hear about Dalbergia species. Do any of you know what's going on with ebony?

– Viper

Yeah, Bob Taylor literally owns ebony.

10

Yeah, Bob Taylor literally owns ebony.

– Curt Wilson

friend of mine is based in Cameroon... has been for a decade do lot of social activist work and Taylor owns Cameroon hard woods which is one of their big exports

11

Perhaps a phone call to Fender is in order.

12

Perhaps a phone call to Fender is in order.

– Journeyman

I think there's another thread about Fender's response to this issue.

13

I think there's another thread about Fender's response to this issue.

– drmilktruck

Cool. If anyone finds it, please post a link.

15

https://www.premierguitar.c...

– MadScience

I hope that as consumers that is somehow extended to us. I know it is a complex situation, but I'd feel a little better knowing that I'm not risking having my guitars confiscated whenever I cross into the US or back into Canada. I'll call Fender tomorrow and see what they say.

16

100% solution is ownership. If you own the harvested land you will be diligent planting saplings and seeds to ensure you have crops to harvest.

Here's the answer key;

https://www.fws.gov/interna...

17

Again, I'll post this.

"Many instruments, such as guitars and violins, when imported or exported for noncommercial purposes such as personal travel or performance, are excluded from the listing and thus exempt from the Appendix-II permit requirements, as the weight threshold will not be exceeded. However, some instruments may contain more than 10 kg of the protected species, such as a double bass, a marimba, or certain drums".

18

Again, I'll post this.

"Many instruments, such as guitars and violins, when imported or exported for noncommercial purposes such as personal travel or performance, are excluded from the listing and thus exempt from the Appendix-II permit requirements, as the weight threshold will not be exceeded. However, some instruments may contain more than 10 kg of the protected species, such as a double bass, a marimba, or certain drums".

– Curt Wilson

Thanks Curt; relieved to see that in the CITES updates. That was a new ammendment as of April; finally someone with some common sense must have heard the concerns from musicians and small instrument makers. Based on what I was told by someone who appeared as a consultant when the new rules were first being implimented a few years ago, those types of concerns were simply dismissed. The response from the Fish and Wildlife person at the meeting was something like, "Well, you're just going to have to use different woods." My friend said there was a genuine belief that they were doing the right thing by protecting threatened species, but the approach was entirely single-minded. Politicians........

19

What was even worse was that in its initial stages, the reg appeared to have failed to take into account the age of the instrument the musician may be traveling with. This put a 1950's Gretsch or similar into the same category as a brand new instrument made using now-banned wood.

Fortunately, cooler heads seem to have prevailed on that score and our precious older instruments are somewhat safer, although an over-zealous border officer may attempt to say otherwise.

20

Just to update and inform, I found this discussion over on the RRF, and tho it does re-hash some of what we discussed already, there are also some very informative links which I think may benefit us when posted here as well...

http://www.rickresource.com...


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