Be aware that currently you can buy from the USA, for example, the seller can obtain a US export certificate but it is highly unlikely that you will be granted a UK import certificate. Therefore the instrument could be seized by Customs and there is no chance of obtaining the coveted A10 if the instrument hits the UK, should it slip through the Customs’ net. There are certain exceptions if you do your research.
If selling to outside the EU the instrument needs a UK export certificate. Applications cannot be made retrospectively – such as when you’ve been caught out. There is every chance the guitar will be seized by Customs without relevant papers. In the USA, where many instruments entering the EU started life, there are only six nominated ports an instrument can be shipped through – this complicates matters and increases shipping costs. There are exemptions for travelling musicians but beware of an overzealous Customs official.
As of January 2017, Indian Rosewood was dragged into the CITES net, along with a few other species. Indian Rosewood is a lesser Appendix II category. Import and export (re-export) certificates are required for guitars entering or leaving the EU. There is no Article 10 required. Guitars can be freely bought and sold within the EU, over borders (for now).
It seems the impact on guitars and musical instruments was unintended or at best misunderstood by whoever drafted the legislation. APHA do enforce and Customs most definitely do. APHA are helpful and you can talk to them but they must uphold the Law.
Don’t bury your head in the sand or invest a large sum of money without the correct paperwork. If the guitar does not have an Article 10 Certificate, do not buy. This will not go away, with or without Brexit, legislation will not be amended. In the unlikely event it is, this will take many years. It took about 25 years to get this far. Ultimately, I foresee a two tier pricing system with a blackmarket in Brazilian Rosewood, albeit at a much cheaper price. Remember it is not an investment if you cannot sell it. Buy to play but never forget you or your heirs may need to liquidise your asset one day.
The import of vintage guitars from outside the EU will slowly dry up and there will be a shortage of supply in the UK. Do not try to import Brazilian Rosewood items from outside the EU, you could seriously lose out. Don’t buy in the UK without an Article 10 Certificate – if you do you are deemed to have broken the Law, along with the vendor, so chances are you will gain very little sympathy from the Powers-that-Be.
Beware the numerous web posts on this matter, unless they are specifically applicable to procedure in the United Kingdom. Many are written with reference to the lesser Indian Rosewood. We will apply for certificates for a small fee.