USDA OK’s Musical Instruments for Travel Under Lacey Act
What makes “intrusive government & regulation” appear to have merit? Getting in trouble for your guitar coming back to the US. Glad to see this fixed, kinda shocked that it ever became and issue.
By Randy Lewis
June 1, 2013, 7:00 a.m.
Musicians can breathe a little easier while traveling, with the submission to Congress of a U.S. Department of Agriculture report addressing provisions of the Lacey Act that protect endangered wildlife, fish and plants. The legislation had been causing snafus for musicians carrying vintage instruments made of materials protected by the act.
Since a major amendment to the century-old act was passed in 2008, vintage instruments as well as newer ones made from old stockpiles of exotic woods have come under increased scrutiny by customs officials when musicians enter or re-enter the U.S. with those instruments.
But the report addressing implementation of the amendments has in large part taken musical instruments out of the mix of problematic products made from endangered plants.
“There has … been considerable attention to issues surrounding the date of manufacture and the requirement that products manufactured after the date of enactment require compliance with the Act, even if they were made from plants harvested before the law’s enactment,” the report states. “As an example of this issue, [the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] has heard regularly from luthiers who manufacture artisan stringed instruments.