Gibson Justice

by Anthony Silas, attorney at law

Almost a year ago I posted an article about the raid on Gibson’s manufacturing facilities in Tennessee. The Federal Government alleged that Gibson violated the Lacey Act by illegally importing wood from India. This followed a prior raid on Gibson’s facilities regarding wood imported from Madagascar.

After spending more then $2.4 million in legal fees, Gibson decided to settle the case rather than continue fighting. Gibson posted the settlement on its websitehere

In the settlement, Gibson agreed to pay $300,000 in fines and $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Additionally, Gibson agreed to strengthen their compliance, bookkeeping, and internal controls to ensure compliance with the Lacey Act.

The Department of Justice agreed that it would not pursue criminal charges. In an important admission, the Department of Justice also acknowledged “that certain questions and inconsistencies now exist regarding the tariff classification of ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks pursuant to the Indian government’s Foreign Trade Policy.” Gibson will be allowed to continue importing wood from India, and, the government will give Gibson 60 days notice if there is a change in understanding of the law.

In somewhat related news, Taylor Guitar Company apparently decided it would be easier to comply with the Lacey Act if they completely controlled the supply chain. Bob Taylor recently reported on their website that he purchased an ebony mill in Cameroon. According to Mr. Taylor, Cameroon is the last place on Earth where you can legally harvest ebony. Along with the purchase of the mill Mr. Taylor acquired the mill’s logging permits. Mr. Taylor now controls 75% of the permits to harvest ebony in Cameroon.

The settlement of the Gibson case still does not answer the question many musicians have about traveling with their instruments out of the country.  As written, the Lacey Act can be enforced on personal travel items such as guitars.  Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that it is not focused on personal items, however, that could change.  See the Faq’s listed here.  A bill has been introduced in Congress that would exclude any instrument made before May 22, 2008 from the Lacey Act.  H.R. 3210 is titled Retailers and Entertainers Lacey Implementation and Enforcement Fairness Act (RELIEF) and can be foundhere.

As a thought, maybe guitar manufactures should start providing a detailed description of each wood component in the guitar so that the purchaser can easily complete  any customs form when leaving or entering the country with their instrument.  It is hard enough making a living in the music business to have to worry about losing your instrument because you incorrectly completed some government form.

Galleywinter

General News and Information from the Galleywinter folks

37 thoughts on “Gibson Justice

  • October 6, 2018 at 2:04 pm
    Permalink

    certainly like your web-site however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your
    posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality on the other hand
    I’ll surely come back again.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2018 at 1:53 pm
    Permalink

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive
    job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2018 at 9:59 pm
    Permalink

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keepit up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later.Cheers

    Reply
  • October 15, 2018 at 4:59 am
    Permalink

    There is noticeably a bundle to find out about this. I assume you made certain nice factors in options also.

    Reply
  • October 15, 2018 at 6:59 am
    Permalink

    ne. Si elle a elle aspire aisement, que soit l aage, en l aair

    Reply
  • October 15, 2018 at 10:56 am
    Permalink

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I ave shared your website in my social networks!

    Reply
  • October 15, 2018 at 1:10 pm
    Permalink

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We ave ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Great. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

    Reply
  • October 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    Permalink

    Very very good publish, thank that you simply lot regarding sharing. Do you happen a great RSS feed I can subscribe to be able to?

    Reply
  • October 15, 2018 at 8:33 pm
    Permalink

    This piece of writing about Search engine marketing is genuinely fastidious one, and the back links are actually very helpful to market your site, its also referred to as SEO.

    Reply
  • October 15, 2018 at 11:14 pm
    Permalink

    There is certainly a great deal to find out about this topic. I like all the points you made.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2018 at 4:55 am
    Permalink

    Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It as on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Great choice of colors!

    Reply
  • October 16, 2018 at 7:11 am
    Permalink

    You produced some decent factors there. I looked on the internet for the dilemma and located most individuals will go along with together with your site.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm
    Permalink

    This awesome blog is really awesome additionally factual. I have found many handy things out of this amazing blog. I ad love to go back again and again. Thanks!

    Reply
  • October 16, 2018 at 4:54 pm
    Permalink

    you ave got a fantastic weblog right here! would you wish to make some invite posts on my weblog?

    Reply
  • October 22, 2018 at 5:55 am
    Permalink

    Nice blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Reply
  • October 22, 2018 at 11:14 am
    Permalink

    Right now it appears like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what I ave read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.