Changes to CITES rules for Blackwood flutes Jan 2nd 2017
Sorry for the wall of text, but I’m hoping this might make things easier for us Blackwood flute and instrument players. So after much panicking on Facebook last night as I have an upcoming overseas trip in which I wanted to take my Martin Doyle Blackwood flute overseas, I though I should make a post for others to navigate all the confusion out there.
So the same regulatory body that monitors and bans the trade in wildlife parts and fauna will be listing African Blackwood and other woods of the same family in Appendix II of the CITES amendment. And while not made illegal, it will restrict and regulate the trade of the wood starting January 2nd, 2017. So what does this mean for us instrument players with new and old flutes trying to buy/sell/travel with our instruments? I scoured the Federal Wildlife Services site last night and here are some FAQs that pertain to us. This is ONLY for the US side and to be safe contact your country’s CITES officials to be sure. Here is the link:
1. Traveling across international borders with your instrument for personal purposes without getting your instrument registered: SAFE
As per their fact sheet, so long as your instrument contains LESS than 10kg of the threatened wood listed in Appendix II for NON-COMMERCIAL purposes, your Olwell or Grinter will be safe. However, we may all need to carry documentation in the future to prove our flutes are pre-2017. See #47 and #51 on the link I’ve posted.
2. Planning to resell in another country: NOPE
Sorry guys, the FS posts on C&F and if you head to a festival with an extra flute to sell, you will need a CITES permit for it to cross international borders and even for a single instrument. No more eBay or international postage on your Blackwood flutes. And even old flutes may need documentation to prove it was grandfathered before the new rules took place. Please see #21 and #53.
3. But What about all the instruments I have before the rule? How will this affect me?
From what I gather, these will be all considered Pre-Convention, therefore exempt from the new regulations that come into effect. However, this is where things get confusing and why it may be necessary to have receipts and documents from your makers to prove that your instrument was made and purchased before Jan 2nd, 2017.
5. And what about the makers? What’s going to happen going forward?
Makers in the US and Canada will have to seek CITES certification and clear a lot of new rules going forward. There are a lot of bureaucracy in order to get things shipped and bringing flutes overseas to conventions. It’s gonna be a tough road so give them some time to adjust. As for repairs, I’m not sure what this means as it could put a stop to shipping them across borders for fear of seizures. Please contact them directly and see what is being done. See #22, 23, 24, 34, 35, 36, 39, 41.
I hope this clarifies as much to what’s going on with the changes. Please share and spread the info as many of us travel overseas to festivals and workshops. Also if you know about any regulations in your home country please share as well!