Rosewood Handles – import/export restriction

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  • #314348
    Alan
    Participant

    There’s a Stanley No.2 on eBay at the moment. The seller says he can’t ship outside the USA because of new CITES restrictions governing the import/export of Rosewood – and old plane handles are Rosewood.
    First I’ve heard of this. It changes the situation with old tools to/from abroad.
    Apparently they may be confiscated if they don’t have proper documentation.
    That’s going to inflate the price of old Stanley handles.

    #314353
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Stanley handles is the least of it.

    Make sure your Gibson or Guarneri has a CITES passport.

    #314355
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    I imagine this is an (understandable) over-reaction by the plane’s seller to new legislation. Are there any manufacturers of hand planes still using rosewood for their handles? I could be wrong, but I think probably not. If I’m correct, then why would customs officials waste their time confiscating planes that were obviously all manufactured before the current legislation came into force?

    It’s just an opinion, but I’d say that guitar distributors have much more to worry about here. Give it time and the situation will settle down as people realise their hand planes won’t get seized at the border. Fingers crossed anyway!

    #314358
    David Barker
    Participant

    Tell the seller to slap a coat of dark brown paint on it and dirty it up a bit. Shouldn’t think it would be a problem if he is a private individual but I can see that a business may be more concerned about playing by the rules.

    #314363
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Sending an email asking someone to break the law hardly seems the way to go. CITES does actually save species, however cumbersome the regulations are. As testing gets cheaper and they can distinguish the species, some varieties will no doubt be allowed. A similar thing happened with the mahoganies. Rosewood is still available at my local hardwood dealers. It is not illegal to use existing supplies.

    Or when the Chinese demand for rosewood furniture dies down, behaps there won’t be such a demand on tropical forests.

    Lay in a stash of one of the Dalbergia and make your own. It’s actually a pretty satisfying project.

    Or just get handles from domestic woods, some can be quite nice looking. steamed pear, as an example, is beautiful.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #314370
    Edmund
    Participant

    I only heard about this recently myself. Not really a problem unless you’re trying to be a collector. Just have the seller ship the plane without the wooden bits, and buy or make your own replacements from non-CITES species.

    Still, I doubt CITES was created to stop sales of used Stanley planes around the world. The burden the OP is facing is likely just a failure on the part of those who wrote the laws implementing the CITES agreement. Probably wouldn’t hurt to contact your elected officials and let them know your issue — laws can be amended.

    #314373
    Ed
    Participant

    CITES only affects items crossing borders. The seller can sell domestically with no risk, so he/she would be a fool to risk his business by selling across borders illegally when domestic markets are robust.

    I wish our ancestors had taken more care so that we’d still have access to these woods, even if at higher price and lower volume, but at least reliable supplies. I think the legislation *is* meant to restrict trade of all rosewood (and several other woods) crossing borders, even small amounts. There are antique exceptions, but the item must be over 100 years old (and you may still need paperwork…I didn’t dig deep enough to be sure).

    #314390
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    I wish our ancestors had taken more care so that we’d still have access to these woods, even if at higher price and lower volume, but at least reliable supplies. I think the legislation *is* meant to restrict trade of all rosewood (and several other woods) crossing borders, even small amounts. There are antique exceptions, but the item must be over 100 years old (and you may still need paperwork…I didn’t dig deep enough to be sure).

    Well, it’s not fair to blame our ancestors. The problem is ours in the making, specifically the Chinese middle class’ demand for rosewood furniture almost to the exclusion of all other. When three billion people yearn for something- anything, you have a problem.

    We aren’t talking violin bows, we are talking this:
    ( see attachment )
    And it’s only a few of the Dalbergia that are endangered, it has to emphasized.

    Only one. Dalbergia negra or Brazilian rosewood is threatened with extinction, and that’s largely from deforestation for agriculture. Four are appendix two as vulnerable and should be legitimately banned. Three have single nation export holds ( two from Madagascar and one from Nicaragua at those government’s requests) only from single countries and aren’t threatened elsewhere. Thirty something other Dalbergia aren’t in danger at all.

    But since customs people aren’t trained, CITES banned them all, supposedly until definitive tests can be found.

    Ancestors play no part in the problem.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #314393
    Zdenko Tudor
    Participant

    Funny that i would sign up for the masterclasses yesterday and this would be about the first post i would see.. I have ordered the bulk of the tools i need following Pauls advice, including a nr 4 pre 1970s plane. As it turns out, the eBay Global Shipping Programme (GSP) stopped the shipment and confiscated the plane. I was refunded and the seller kept his money.

    In a clarification email I was told the following: “There are many different types of woods that are restricted by CITES. Rosewood, Mahogany and Cedar are a few examples.”

    So, your sellers worries are well grounded.

    I even tried “attacking” the eBay representative saying that it is a crime to destruct (i guess thats what they’ll be doing??) such a fine tool when it has so many good years left in it, but of course, there is nothing to be gained by that. I just need to find a seller that will ship to me directly.

    What a shame, that a tool that so much is resting on has been delayed so much…

    #314415
    Ed
    Participant

    Well, it’s not fair to blame our ancestors. The problem is ours in the making,

    I was thinking more broadly than just rosewood, but you’re right. We need to own this. For me, owning the problem means finding alternative woods and not trying to subvert the protection measures.

    #314423
    Robert Fowler
    Participant

    I found this video on http://www.wood-database.com/ that helps explain what is going on with all rosewoods. http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/rosewoods-bubinga-really-banned-cites/

    Robert

    #314426
    Debra J
    Participant

    I am proud to say my old plane has Bakelite handles. LoL

    - Debra J

    #318835
    Byron
    Participant

    Hi
    There’s the added risk of insects travelling in the wood. Pallets for international trade are heat treated to prevent this. The city I live in is infested with Wood boarding Beatles that were brought in with tropical hardwoods 80 years ago, and it would have been great if someone had prevented it from happening in the first place.

    Also, a lot of unscrupulous sellers of ivory, rhino horn, and other CITIES protected items were using the amnesty given to antiques by manufacturing fake antiques and shipping them by the thousand through non-origin countries. So it a not surprising that they eventually just made a blanket ban.

    ReUser

    #348170
    Paul
    Participant

    I recently sold a few restored planes via eBay that I shipped to the USA via the Global Shipping Programme. One was stopped due to it having Rosewood handles.

    After that I made sure to only ship planes to the States that had handles which weren’t made of rosewood.

    All went well until I had another stopped. I queried it (as much as that is possible) as the plane in question definitely had beech handles.

    I was told that the plane was stopped under the GSP because it had a cutting blade in it.

    So ever since then, I have not attempted to ship planes to the USA under eBay’s GSP. It’s just too disappointing for the buyer.

    Plane Collector & Restorer
    Web: https://oatwood.com
    Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OatWood
    Instagram: @oat_wood
    YouTube: (search "OatWood")

    #349172
    Alan
    Participant

    What happened with the Plane that was stopped, Paul? Did you get it back, or did they confiscate it? Have you looked-into getting the required documentation beforehand? We’d be interested to learn how complex that process might be.

    I had a similar problem importing the Paul-Sellers-Stanley-Knife. They would only ship an empty handle.
    A colleague of mine could only import Chisels he wanted, if they weren’t ground or honed at all.

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