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CITES rules end for rosewood in musical instruments, official end date announced

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by raphaeld, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. raphaeld


    Sep 19, 2012
    punchdrunk likes this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    "Today CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) issued an official notification stating that the effective date for the musical instrument exemption from the dalbergia permitting requirement is November 26, 2019.

    [It] also contains definitions applicable to the exemption. As noted upon the approval of Annotation 15, imports and exports of finished musical instruments, finished parts, and finished accessories will no longer need a CITES permit. The exception applies to all species of dalbergia except Brazilian rosewood, which remains on CITES Appendix I. As a best practice, NAMM Member companies should continue to work with their Management Authorities in their country of export/import to ensure compliance."
    davidprice likes this.
  3. bass12

    bass12 Basking Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    My question is, is the onus on the shipper/traveler to prove that the brown wood on an instrument isn't Brazilian rosewood? Because I'm going to guess that not a single customs agent is going to be able to tell the difference between one rosewood and another.
    nbsipics and MotorCityMinion like this.
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    You might want to read through the long CITES thread stickied at the top of this forum. One bullet point is that each country still has to locally change the licensing requirements, regardless of the treaty convention itself being changed. AFAIK this hasn't happened yet in the US, for instance. But as always, correction and/or clarification is welcome.
  5. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Stratosphere announced a while ago that they can now ship Rosewood necks to Canada
  6. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Maybe you can now send Rosewood over an international border, but check first that you know what, if any, official paperwork you might have to provide.
  7. PaulCISSA

    PaulCISSA Unsweetened, highly-caffeinated Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Northest New Jersey
    Well, regardless of the member states status I would suggest this is still excellent news for builders, buyers and the forest species that give us these great woods to use. Sustainability and reforestation are good things.
    Tommy V likes this.
  8. Jackcrow

    Jackcrow Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    North Dakota
    We look up the specs on the instrument to see if the manufacture lists the type of woods used. If there’s some reason think the wood may be covered under CITES and we can’t figure it out on our own, the shipper may be asked to provide some info to clarify.
    bass12 likes this.
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Given a decade or two, I'm confident that at least 80% of the customs agents will understand the new laws.

  10. Sparuto


    Sep 12, 2018
    South Africa
    If this means rosewood will be used again soon on all Fender instruments. I won’t be surprised if in say 40 years time people start ‘jonesing’ for the “legendary” Pau Ferro Fender guitars...
  11. red_rhino

    red_rhino Artful Dodger Gold Supporting Member

    Since I'll be 104 by then, I guess I would consider letting go of my (by then) 70-year-old pre-Gibson Tobias Classic with Pau Ferro fretboard. ;) (Of course, I'm sure TalkBass will still be around too. We'll probably have resolved the whole P vs J conundrum by then.)
  12. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015

    Boy, am I glad I like maple necks and fingerboards. :D
    Geri O, Spectrum, red_rhino and 3 others like this.
  13. None of my instruments have any rosewood. Its all been replaced with Marado or Pau Ferro, and stained to look like rosewood...really.
  14. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Does this mean all my "vintage" rosewood board Squiers from 2015 aren't going to be worth ten times what I paid for them in a few years?


    On the bright side, maybe now Fender can go back to making fretboards that don't look like a dusty unglazed clay pot.
    Sparuto, wizard65 and FugaziBomb like this.
  15. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    I think it's a fairly big "if". Probably Pau Ferro and other rosewood alternatives have been well enough established by now that they could well be continued to be used for fretboards for the Player models and other mid-priced basses. Price and availability will probably still be a factor, so my guess would be that rosewood will continue to be used for the higher-end models, and will become a selling point for those models.
    wizard65, ak56 and Ghastly like this.
  16. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    Like others have pointed out this also needs to be implemented in individual countries. I know for a fact that the changes have now been implemented in the EU and several non-EU European countries. Companies like Thomann have now lifted their restrictions on shipping rosewood to several non-EU European countries (I don't know about the rest of the world though).

    I've also read that the changes have been implemented in Australia and Canada but don't take my word for it. I have not found any official statement about this from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service but I have talked to US companies that have recently shipped rosewood guitars to Europe without CITES permits and everything went smoothly (but again: don't take my word for it).

    The whole thing about different countries implementing the changes at different times creates a lot of confusion. I wasn't expecting this to happes so soon in the EU to be honest. When contacting the environmental agency in my country back in November they said these kind of changes usually takes 1-2 years in the EU but in reality the changes took effect as early as December. But then again, the amendments to the CITES appendix were actually passed at the CITES convention back in August so countries around the world had about 3 months to prepare for November 26th.

    Several species of wood still need permits though and in the case of Appendix I species, like Brazilian rosewood, the paperwork required is insane, requiring proof of origin far beyond what the average musician will be able to provide. You might as well try to import/export an endagered species of gorilla.
  17. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
  18. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    What does this mean for, say, fingerboards?Is a fingerboard blank 'finished' or just a lump of wood? For sure it's not a finished instrument. Probably not a finished accessory. Finished part? Without shaping and dressing I doubt it. Incorporated into a neck? Probably a part at that stage.

    First impressions are that the intent here is to ease movement of existing items rather than re-open the road to uncontrolled or widespread use of new virgin materials.
  19. MojoPenguin


    Jul 11, 2014
    Europe Bro'
    Yep it has been removed. Though I hope Rosewood will be handled in a responsible way as are other woods, so we can all continue enjoying it in the future.
  20. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I’ve got a few very good looking Pre ban Pau Ferro boards on Fender Deluxe Jazz basses so i won’t need to rediscover how nice some of it looks or the fact i can’t tell any difference between it and more traditional rosewoods in terms of feel or tone. Wood is a natural product so there will always be variations. Disliking Pau Ferro for no other reason than it’s not the wood you are used to is as silly as my dislike of brownish sunbursts and tort. Thankfully we live in a place where such personal preference is not just allowed but is actively encouraged.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 20, 2021

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