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Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?

GUEST,babypix 18 Mar 13 - 10:25 PM
babypix 18 Mar 13 - 10:27 PM
Sandra in Sydney 19 Mar 13 - 04:13 AM
Rog Peek 19 Mar 13 - 04:57 AM
Dead Horse 19 Mar 13 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,babypix 19 Mar 13 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 19 Mar 13 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,babypix 19 Mar 13 - 06:15 PM
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Subject: Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?
From: GUEST,babypix
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 10:25 PM

Do I really need a special form and dispensation from BOTH the US and UK governments allowing me to travel with my 1916 Gibson L-1, due to the Endangered Species Act? C'mon, you gotta be kidding me. What am I supposed to play on tour? A plastic kid's guitar from Wal-Mart? ZOUNDS! Anyone been stopped at any borders lately? Touring UK in April/May. Thanks to Mark Ross for bringing this to my attention. (Just returned from a tour of British Columbia, where there was no such concern at the border in either direction, though!) Woof!

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Subject: RE: Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?
From: babypix
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 10:27 PM

Feel free to respond directly to my e-mail!

Best, Deborah Robins-Hanks

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Subject: RE: Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 04:13 AM

Passports for 'Endangered' Musical Instruments Bangkok. From pianos with ivory keys to violin bows crafted with tortoise shell, musical instruments made from protected species will soon be able to roam the globe more easily — with their own passports.

The 178-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreed on Wednesday to create a system of certificates for such instruments, which currently need a new permit each time they travel.

The multi-entry passports, available for instruments made before international trade restrictions for the relevant species came into effect, will be valid for three years for non-commercial movements.

Kazuko Shiomi, president of Japan's Nippon Music Foundation, said the move would end a major headache for international musicians who borrow its priceless Stradivarius for their performances.

"They travel extensively for concerts throughout the world very frequently with a very tight schedule," she said.

The time-consuming paperwork and risk of seizure linked to moving such instruments around the world has in the past prompted drastic measures, such as removing ivory keys from pianos, according to one British removal expert specialising in antique pianos.

"No one wants to harm elephants but it seems a little ridiculous to have to apply for a CITES (permit) for a 120--year old piano," he told AFP, asking not to be named.

The US National Association of Music Merchants has welcomed the passport scheme as "a good first step" towards making it easier for musical instruments to cross borders.

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Subject: RE: Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 04:57 AM

Copied from


by Chuck Erikson » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:11 pm

This is great news regarding international movement of guitars and other instruments, especially since approval on this proposal wasn't expected to happen at this conference! The passports are only for personal instruments, so buying/selling internationally continues to remain almost impossible. Tim Van Norman is one of the USFWS officials with whom NAMM's Lacey Task Force has been meeting, so we're beginning to see some practical results although much more needs to be done:


Musical instruments and bows containing materials from protected species will be required to have their own dedicated "passports", according to a system agreed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) on 12 March. At the Bangkok conference, where new restrictions on the trade in ebony and rosewood have also been established, delegates from 178 countries have agreed that a passport will be acceptable in place of the current system of permits. This will take the form of a certificate of ownership that contains details of all protected species (such as ivory and tortoiseshell) contained within the instrument.

Under current regulations, musicians carrying such instruments are often required to have a permit to enter a certain country, and then obtain another in order to leave it. A passport, which will be valid for three years, will state that the instrument is "owned for personal use and may not be sold, loaned, traded or otherwise disposed of outside the individual's state of usual residence".

The draft proposal was originally drawn up by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Tim Van Norman, FWS' branch chief of permits, estimated that the US would begin implementing the resolution "within 90 days, assuming everything goes as planned, with the whole body of the Convention adopting the resolution". He added that FWS would also be releasing guidance documents, such as application guides and fact sheets, before implementation begins.

Heather Noonan, vice president for advocacy at the League for American Orchestras, welcomed the agreement as an aid to streamlining the complex permit system. However, she stressed, "It is essential that a passport be voluntary, and take into account the time, expense, and practical realities of travelling with instruments. It is key that steps are taken today and in the future to educate the music community about how to navigate the permit rules – both those existing CITES requirements and the varying domestic endangered species permit rules for each country, which won't be covered by the CITES passport concept". She also stated that the passport concept would not be "a silver bullet" in itself.

Details such as the likely cost of a passport or the duration of the application process have not yet been disclosed.

Further dicussion here Passports for Guitars


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Subject: RE: Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 08:43 AM

Your fingerboard will have to be converted to the metric system for use in Europe. This is especially important for 12 string guitars.
Dueling has been outlawed for many years so banjos are limited to one only per group/combo - trombones have no such limit (76 has been noted at some performances)
If you intend to visit Ulster with a marching band you will have to do it in season. This does not apply to the rest of the UK or Europe.
The import of steel from the USA will not effect stringed instruments but triangles have to be declared by weight - dont forget to include the beater in this or you may suffer a penalty.
Coonskin hats and some other ethnic items of apparral (Snake belts, cowhide boots etc) made from animal pelts may also be subject to quarantine regulations, so send them ahead by not less than 3 weeks prior to your arrival.
There is a sliding scale on size of tip-jars to be used, depending on number of performers in a group/combo. If you do not have a sliding scale a capo may be substituted.
Shape notes must comply to EU regulations.
Hope this helps :-)

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Subject: RE: Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?
From: GUEST,babypix
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 11:20 AM

Dear Dead Horse:

Thanks for the "heads up"! Coonskin cap duly noted!

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Subject: RE: Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 02:44 PM

I know of instruments that have been confiscated for failing to comply, yes. The UK border is pretty relaxed if you can convince them that you didn't know the rules and it's obviously pre-'72. The US is not. If you happen to hit a customs agent with his head switched on (or who has just done his CITES refresher), you are (a) in trouble (b) sans instrument.

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Subject: RE: Requirements for US to UK w/old guitar?
From: GUEST,babypix
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 06:15 PM

This is SERIOUS!!! Debra Cowan from AFM Local 1000, tells me, "Don't even TRY to bring the guitar!!!!"

Anyone else recently made this trip?



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