This topic has arisen in different threads, but I thought it deserved a thread of its own, since it is so important to musical instrument makers and owners alike. CITES is the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species. The legislation from it is having a profound effect on instrument makers since it restricts their ability to source and use woods that are classified as "endangered". CITES is used to restrict the import and export of these endangered species - i.e. it legally prevents such species from crossing international boundaries. But the problem is not just with manufacturers. If you own an instrument that has any part made from any of the species listed in CITES, and you cross an international boundary, your instrument may be seized. If you live outside the US and need service to your Martin guitar (they have a lifetime warranty to the original owner), should you send your instrument to Martin it will likely be confiscated at the border if it has any Brazilian rosewood. There are a number of cited species used by instrument makers including some Cocobolo, a number of Rosewoods, Grenadillo, some Mahoganies, same Sandalwoods, some Yews an numerous others. When crossing the border, your instrument may be examined and if any of the woods seem to be a designated species, the instrument will likely be seized. Part of the problem is that it's not always easy to identify a designated species from one that is not named in CITES. Cocobolo is a good example of such a wood. Cocobolo from Panama is restricted, but that from Mexico is not. They look almost identical. The only way to tell for sure is in a testing laboratory, and to do the testing a sample of the wood must be taken. Recently some instruments were shipped to a retailer in Canada from a manufacturer in California. The top wood on these basses was Cocobolo, from Mexico - not from Panama. In order to ensure the instruments would not be confiscated at the border, the manufacturer had to prove to the authorities in the USA that Cocobolo was sourced from Mexico, and had to pay for US certification. The certificates for each instrument had to be include in the shipment. Despite that, the instruments were held at the Canadian border - because the included documentation were photocopies. The shipper had held the originals and sent the copies. Not good enough. As far as I know there is no mechanism for having your instrument officially certified free of designated species under CITES. The instruments in the case above now have certification, but that's only because the manufacturer was able to prove the source of the materials. If you don't already have such certification from the manufacturer you may find it difficult to get. Even then it may not satisfy the officials at the border. Here's a link to the USDA CITES Timber Species Manual. Perhaps it should be required reading for anyone who owns an instrument. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloads/cites.pdf Please add any information you have to this thread.