CITES are a governing environmental body that protects endangered wild fauna and flora. In 2017 they restricted the sales of Rosewood and other certain woods across international borders to crack down on illegally made furniture.
Unfortunately, that also affects the guitar market as so many models use Rosewood as a key material. So we have broken down the laws and have set up this guide to run you through the latest changes to the law and how CITES affects you as a guitar player
How Does it Affect Me?
What Can Andertons Do
We can currently ship instruments with rosewood within the EU, excluding special member state territories . Depending on the products involved and where you want them shipped to, we may be able to ship outside the EU, though CITES certificate/s will be required and fees for the certification may apply. For more information on this please get in touch. Any international order containing one of the restricted materials will have a delayed shipping time.
What You Can’t Do
Order a guitar from outside the EU without CITES certification which must state the source of the Rosewood. This certification is the responsibility of the exporter (retailer).
Sell a guitar internationally without CITES certification. The seller is always responsible for this even if it was CITES certified from the retailer you purchased it from. Failure to comply with certification can lead to forfeiture of the item and sometimes the destruction of the item depending on legal jurisdiction.
What does this not change?
Apart from buying and selling guitars, there are not any other changes unless you plan on travelling with a lot of Rosewood!
You can still travel freely with your instrument as long as you are with it and it has less than 10kg or 22lbs of regulated materials. This does not require CITES certification. Though there is some grey area on traveling to buy or sell CITES restricted guitars in different countries.
You can still buy and sell rosewood within your country (or within the EU, if you are in the EU) without any certification
Industry leaders in the US, UK and around the world are starting a discussion to lighten the rules on the smaller quantities you will find in fretboards. While there is no guarantee that this will happen, this is a conversation that is happening.
We’ll start to see manufacturers using less and less Rosewood until this can be resolved. Brands like Chapman and Dowina have already started changing their models to use Ebony boards instead of Rosewood.
Because of the cost of Ebony however we are sure to see more companies using man-made materials like Gibson’s Richlite or other alternatives like Baked Maple.
If you have any other queries or requests, submit them here.