Tip of the Week – Why can’t I get my favorite Kolinsky brush?
Have you tried to buy a kolinsky sable brush lately and noticed that they were out of stock? Perhaps you have received a letter from us stating that we cannot ship natural hair brushes to you. While we would love to ship those brushes to you, recent changes in the regulation of those items is currently preventing that from happening.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun requiring specific certification of certain products and is closely regulating the distribution, importation, and exportation of natural hair brushes that may have been made from endangered species. According to the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) “Trade in kolinsky hair is managed by the provisions set out in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Kolinsky hair comes from the species called mustela siberica. It is important to know that this is NOT AN ENDANGERED SPECIES, but because of a seldom used provision in CITES, trade in kolinsky hair requires CITES documentation.”
One of these requirements is documentation of the country of origin of the hair being used in the brush. Many of the major brush brands are manufactured in Europe, which follows different regulations and necessary documentation. While these companies and the European CITES are claiming that their version is comparative and valid, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has started refusing to allow brushes which do not come with the forms they consider to be valid from entering or leaving the United States.
Art material retailers, brush manufacturers, and art material vendors, with the help of NAMTA are working to come to an agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Services and CITES to help ensure that the necessary information and documentation can be made provided to them so that natural hair brushes can again become easily available to the artists who rely on them.
Until then, the availability of certain natural hair brushes or an inability to ship them to your location remains a possibility. Hopefully an agreement will be reached soon, however if you are interested in a specific brush that is out of stock, please go ahead and place an order for it so that it will be reserved for you. We will place that item on back order for you and ship it to you as soon as we get new inventory.
If you would like to read more about CITES, you can do so here.
For further assistance using art supplies, feel welcome to contact our Product Information Department at 1-800-933-2542 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours of operation: M-F, 8:00am-5:30pm CST.
And here is the link to CITES as it might not come through in my copy and paste.