Action protecting more than 250 species of rosewood (dalbergia), three species of bubinga (guibourtia) and kosso (Pterocarpus erinaceus) taken at the recent meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will have broad implications on the international shipments of musical instruments containing these woods including guitars, marimbas and various types of woodwinds.
The CITES delegates at the September 2016 Conference of the Parties in South Africa elected to expand the protection afforded to these tonewoods by placing select species of bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei, Guibourtia pellegriniana, and Guibourtia tessmannii,) kosso (Pterocarpus erinaceus) and 250 rosewood species on Appendix II. Only Brazilian rosewood, currently protected under a stricter Appendix I listing is excluded. The expanded listing comes with an annotation which makes the protection applicable to not only logs and sawn wood, but also what's called "all parts and derivatives," which means finished products like musical instruments.
The expanded listing, which will take effect on January 2, 2017 is applicable worldwide and will require all manufacturers and retailers of musical instruments containing one or more the aforementioned species (excluding Brazilian rosewood) to obtain a permit from the appropriate government regulatory agency (in the United States, it is the Fish and Wildlife Service) if they wish to export one or more instruments outside of the country. Domestic shipments will not require a permit.
A letter from C.F. Martin IV to John E. Scanlon,
Secretary-General, CITES Secretariat, International Environment House: