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Thread: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Canmore Alberta
    Posts
    704

    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    There is little likelihood of your camera being confiscated. Travelling with an item seems to be very different than shipping something, where paperwork becomes a nightmare.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Posts
    27

    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    It's a common issue with musicians who may travel with vintage guitars. Acoustics were often made with Brazilian Rosewood...electrics often had rosewood or ebony fretboards. Many touring musicians have learned to travel with non-CITES guitars and will leave their precious favourite at home and settle for a more travel-friendly version...avoid the hassle and paperwork.

    Every country has their version of CITES/LACEYAct...since the OP mentioned Canada, here is theirs: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment...s-summary.html ).It's essentially enforced to prevent the import (and therefore the value to poachers) of endangered species of animal and plants.
    Customs agents are very good at recognising various materials....especially mahogany, rosewood, and ivory...and the differences between their non-endangered cousins (Honduran vs Brazilian).
    There have been some addenda to CITES recently....According to the CITES law you can still travel freely overseas with your guitar or camera, as long as you are with it and it has less than 10kg (or 22lbs) of regulated materials...but you need an instrument passport (it's definitely in violation without an instrument passport). The passport may or may not work depending on the countries to which you're travelling. AND for guitars, it needs to be pre-1975, which they'll verify when you apply for the passports.Not sure if there is a timeline for cameras.
    Last edited by Mudrunner; 10-Jan-2022 at 14:06. Reason: incorrect wood species identified

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Canada or France
    Posts
    114

    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Well, I just ordered a wooden half plate camera from Japan so if it arrives safely to Canada, it will be the one I will take for my travels.

  4. #24
    Late Adopter
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Rossendale. Lancashire. UK
    Posts
    40

    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Chabry View Post
    Well, I just ordered a wooden half plate camera from Japan so if it arrives safely to Canada, it will be the one I will take for my travels.
    Good luck, hope it works out okay.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Seattle area, WA
    Posts
    1,081

    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    How did they know that they are mahogany… declared or by inspection?

    I have two cameras and similar holders, mahogany I think, but carried them by hand from England. Nobody looked or cared. I guess I was lucky or before mahogany became an issue.
    I bet that's is. The seller is probably not very good at writing out custom forms and declared "Mahogany camera". So now customs HAS to do something.. I always just write "used camera" or "antique camera". No need to give much detail.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Canada or France
    Posts
    114

    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    How did they know that they are mahogany… declared or by inspection?

    I have two cameras and similar holders, mahogany I think, but carried them by hand from England. Nobody looked or cared. I guess I was lucky or before mahogany became an issue.
    Sorry, it looks like I missed your message.
    I have never received the package so I'm not sure what was declared but the Ebay listing did have the "mahogany" word in the title.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Posts
    27

    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Thinking a bit more about this, I am actually surprised that "mahogany" would trigger anything...back again to my guitar experience. Most of my electric instruments (and many in general...eg. Gibson, PRS, Epiphone, etc...) are either solid mahogany or mahogany body with a maple cap. Albeit, they are mostly Honduran Mahogany, Phillipine Mahogany (which is not a Mahogany), or Korina (white Limba). They are sold back and forth across the pond, and many gigging musicians have no issues whatsoever. To put it in perspective, touring musicians must list all of their instruments in detail (serial numbers and descriptions) so that when they return home, customs can verify that they get their fair (fare?) duty for an additional instruments that may find their way back....not as a check for endangered species.
    So...further to the issue at hand...specifically Mahogany. CITES is very specific/concerned about three species of Mahogany:
    Swietenia humilis (Pacific Coast mahogany)
    Swietenia macrophylla (Honduran mahogany...which is what most guitars seem to be made of...and based on the cost, I would assume cameras as well)
    Swietenia mahogani (Cuban or West Indian mahogany)

    The Swietenia macrophylla is only within scope of CITES if it is "in logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets or plywood. Finished products are out of scope."
    So...I would suspect that the confiscations are a matter of a misinterpretation of CITES on behalf of the Customs Agents at hand. To that end, I would do two things...keep a copy of CITES with my camera and highlight the scope specifically... and have proof of material at the ready (perhaps asking for written verification of the species from the manufacturer before travelling?)....or travel with a non-wood (or ivory ;-) )camera and film holders.

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