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? Shipping a USA Sunburst from Germany back to US

Hamer Dave


Hi all!. Having an early USA Sunburst shipped from Germany to US. Any special instructions besides stating country of origin as United States? Being it’s coming back to within miles of where it was manufactured, I expect NO customs or duty fees. Please confirm I’ve nothing to be concerned of. Thanks.


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I was hoping I’d be exempt of cites being that it’s coming back to country of origin. Maybe I should call Fish & Wildlife Services to see what they say as well. They came up on a search of shipping. 

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Thanks for the input. I talked with Fish & Wildlife Services, and read an article or two at Reverb on this. Need to include a preconvention certificate, confirming prior production. Labeling as preconvention when shipped. Also, they suggest that showing verification of production year by a serial number should satisfy verifying when it was made. Then they know no protected rosewood was harvested for the build since the new restrictions. Believe Brazilian Rosewood is prior to 1991.

Being that it is coming back to USA (country of origin), I should expect NO customs/duties/tax fees, correct?

F&W Services realize they need to make this practical for our guitars, but may take a couple years to see the process fixed.

Interestingly, if I were to bring the guitar back home on a plane as a personal carry-on. No one would care. Frustrating. 


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Hi Dave,

if you took the guitar by plane as carry-on back to Illinois, it could still be confiscated at your entering the country... 

I talked to an expert - Thomas Weilbier of No.1 Guitars in Hamburg. He deals worldwide with vintage intruments.

1. Get CITES II permit from authorities in Germany for the rosewood and the mahogany

2. With that permit go to the govering federal authority in Bonn/Germany and apply for an export permit

3. With the granted export permit apply for import at USA authorities

4. When import permit granted your end, then ship guitar.


The process in Germany alone could take up to and over 6 months.


Cheers, Todde

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