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Re-Importing a guitar with a Rosewood fretboard


Tman

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Apologies for this incredibly wordy post. I never read them when they are this long. Skip to the last sentences to see what to do to get a guitar with a rosewood fretboard back to the US.

 

I wanted to document what all has gone on in order for me to get a Gibson acoustic back to the states.

 

Good news - I scored a 12 string limited edition new Hummingbird about a month ago online from Peach guitars in England. Also good news was that it was more than a $1000 cheaper than any other advertised price, after conversion of pounds to dollars. I was assuming because of the comparatively weaker British Pound Sterling after Brexit.

As soon as I bought it I got a congratulatory email from the guitar store telling me that am going to eventually receive an absolutely outstanding phenomenally playable and sounding guitar. After they put it through the re-importing process from England back to the states following the American Game and Fish commission rules for rare plants and animals. My experience is as follows, reproduced here to hopefully spare anyone who reads this and needs to go through it some time and frustration.

 

A month has passed and I received good news that the guitar was cleared with the British authorities to be re-imported to the USA. Ball is now in my court. I have to arrange to have it accepted at a port here in the states. So I went onto the Game and Fish commission website because surely I'm not the first to do this and surely there will be pretty clear instructions on how to get er done. No such luck. I found the instructions to be completely indecipherable. Even after looking up the most likely species - Dalbergia latifolia, from India. It was down to one of 2 different applications to fill out then pay my $100 for the non refundable processing fee. I looked for and found an email address to ask some clarifying questions. I received a reply the next day with a link to the website and specific reference to the pages that I found indecipherable in the first place. Kinda like a Twilight Zone episode. I found a phone number in Virgina so I thought what the heck, let me call.

 

It took only 2 attempts and about 10 minutes in digital phone hell and being placed (automatically no less) on ignore that I finally spoke to Carol. She was very nice and fairly knowledgable albeit very unsure about what to do. Is it a appendix II? Hell, I don't know. (it is by the way). When was it made? Not sure, I can probably get the serial number though and then I can tell you. I think recently though or at least that is what Gibson says. Where was it exported too? I'm assuming England. Oops nope, went through the Netherlands first. OK did it get there before or after March? Seriously? I have no idea. I did not and would not let one molecule of frustration be known for fear of prematurely ending my only hope of getting this done. She then said, tell you what, send me a pdf copy of the British document and send it to these 2 email addresses because I'm not sure which one it should be. I said OK, done. I said then will you please let me know, step by step, what I am supposed to do? Let's assume that I am challenged, which I am.

 

I sent the email and received this reply within 20 minutes:

 

IMPORT INTO THE UNITED STATES:

 

A CITES document must be obtained from the CITES Management Authority of the exporting country. DONE!!

 

A separate CITES import permit from our office is not required. YAY!!! However, you must ensure that:

 

· the foreign CITES document is endorsed at the time of export.

 

· the foreign CITES document travels with the shipment.

 

· the foreign CITES document is validated (the CITES document must be stamped) for entry into the U.S. by the appropriate inspection authority, which will either be USDA/CBP or U.S. Fish and Wildlife service depending on whether the items also have wildlife components such as mother-of-pearl

 

 

So fingers crossed I should get the guitar in one week.

 

 

 

 

In summary: Get the export document from the other country and have them include it. In the US you don't need to fill out another form nor pay a processing fee to re-import it.

 

Any least that is what it seems now. I'll let you know. The mother of pearl statement is scaring the crap out of me.

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I would have to pass on the guitar in this scenario. Too many hands that it would have to pass through.. any one of which could be a spanner in the works and hang the guitar up in Limbo. My one experience with this went well. Bought a 1964 Martin 0021NY in Brazilian about 5 Yrs ago. Canada to FLA. Seller drove it across the border and shipped it from NY. I hope everything goes well and you didn't get $1K worth of aggravation..

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Congrats on what sounds like great guitar Hopefully it arrives soon!

 

My guess is that the people you are dealing with are helping as best they can. They probably don't like dealing with all the new regulations any more than the rest of us.

 

Keep us posted!

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Jeez. I suppose this is what it has come to. I hope all goes well.

 

Makes me kind of nervous heading back to the U.S. for a few weeks this summer with my J-35, though. I carry it as carry-on, but I guess it only takes one person with a little time on his hands to raise a fuss.

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It's even stupid to spell.....

 

I had to rely on spell check.

 

Jeez. I suppose this is what it has come to. I hope all goes well.

 

Makes me kind of nervous heading back to the U.S. for a few weeks this summer with my J-35, though. I carry it as carry-on, but I guess it only takes one person with a little time on his hands to raise a fuss.

 

Good luck to you. I took a guitar to Europe last year and the TSA attendant happened to be a guitar player who wanted to see it. No problems.

But that was last year. [unsure]

 

 

 

And away we go. If it gets hung up I may have a chance of tracking it down.

 

Chelmsford, United Kingdom 05/23/2017

05/23/2017 6:16 P.M. Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.

7:55 P.M. Departure Scan

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I kind of agree with this all.. rain forests seem to be taking a hit.. But all it takes is greed to screw up a good thing.. now we all pay for it..

 

I think a guitar these days has to be a real good deal ( cheap)) to make all the effort to try and transport across borders..

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I had to rely on spell check.

 

 

 

Good luck to you. I took a guitar to Europe last year and the TSA attendant happened to be a guitar player who wanted to see it. No problems.

But that was last year. [unsure]

 

 

 

And away we go. If it gets hung up I may have a chance of tracking it down.

 

Chelmsford, United Kingdom 05/23/2017

05/23/2017 6:16 P.M. Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.

7:55 P.M. Departure Scan

 

On the other side of the coin, the last time I flew with a guitar -- a trip this spring to Sri Lanka -- a supervisor at the ticket counter saw my guitar case, asked me if I played and we chatted a bit. He played, too. He then gave my wife and me a complimentary upgrade to business class, which is pretty fancy-schmancy on SriLankan Airlines. And given that it was a six-hour flight, it was nice to lay down in the fully reclining seats. All because I had my guitar with me.

 

I don't see an American-based airline ever doing that....

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On the other side of the coin, the last time I flew with a guitar -- a trip this spring to Sri Lanka -- a supervisor at the ticket counter saw my guitar case, asked me if I played and we chatted a bit. He played, too. He then gave my wife and me a complimentary upgrade to business class, which is pretty fancy-schmancy on SriLankan Airlines. And given that it was a six-hour flight, it was nice to lay down in the fully reclining seats. All because I had my guitar with me.

 

I don't see an American-based airline ever doing that....

 

I've had pilots spot my guitar while sitting noodling in the departure lounge, and come up for a chat and a strum. Haven't gotten that upgrade yet, however. Clearly I'm schmoozing the wrong people. It's the flight attendants and ticket counter agents you want on your side.

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kinda related..

 

My wife and family bought me a Washburn GE3 mandolin for my 60th. Ordered it from Sweetwater in March. It's still on back order, going back to January.

 

I was chatting with Stuart from Sweetwater to get an ETA and it seems the Rosewood laws are partly in play with the delay.

 

He also mentioned a few things of interest. Gibson for one, is thinking about starting up an international prod. line where they are not using rosewood at all.

Shipping internationally has become a real problem with the required documentation.

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Wow hope it all works out for you! I had a similar situation from a 70s Ibanez Concord I bought off ebay from Canada. After about a month of hearing nothing I kept contacting the seller, long story short it was held up in customs and...misplaced. Yea. Got my refund. Not sure if they ever recovered the guitar.

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After receiving a message from UPS that it was on its way yesterday, I received this today: Additional documentation is required for clearance. We’re working to obtain this information.

 

I'm not a conspiracy theory kinda guy but I have a suspicion that this doesn't bode well. I hope not.

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After receiving a message from UPS that it was on its way yesterday, I received this today: Additional documentation is required for clearance. We’re working to obtain this information.

 

I'm not a conspiracy theory kinda guy but I have a suspicion that this doesn't bode well. I hope not.

 

 

Be proactive on this one. Don't give in.

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2 messages this morning:

 

From Peach Guitars: Just another update for you, so the shipment has stalled at customs requiring an absolutely horrible form from the US department of agriculture that has given me a nose bleed, but is now done and back with UPS, so hopefully that'll be the end of the matter now.

 

From UPS: Phillip,

I need to get a tax id # or Social security Number in order to get this through US Customs.

 

I called UPS and they assured me it is on it's way! Pictures when I get it.

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2 messages this morning:

 

From Peach Guitars: Just another update for you, so the shipment has stalled at customs requiring an absolutely horrible form from the US department of agriculture that has given me a nose bleed, but is now done and back with UPS, so hopefully that'll be the end of the matter now.

 

From UPS: Phillip,

I need to get a tax id # or Social security Number in order to get this through US Customs.

 

I called UPS and they assured me it is on it's way! Pictures when I get it.

 

Good to hear man! Insane that it has to go through so many hoops. I imagine a 12er Hummingbird is gonna sound amazing.

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