Rose­wood cites lim­its

Could rose­wood be re­turn­ing to the gui­tar mar­ket?

Total Guitar - - ACOUSTIC -

If you’ve been look­ing to buy or have just been brows­ing new gui­tars in the last two years you’ll have no­ticed some­thing is miss­ing – rose­wood. New reg­u­la­tions that took ef­fect at the begin­ning of 2017 called for ex­port per­mit doc­u­men­ta­tion when ship­ping in­stru­ments in­ter­na­tion­ally that con­tain any amount and type of rose­wood as well as cer­tain types of bub­inga. The ef­fect was im­me­di­ate and huge for the gui­tar in­dus­try as man­u­fac­tur­ers were forced to em­ploy more sus­tain­able al­ter­na­tives for build­ing acous­tics and fin­ger­boards – such as pau ferro and wal­nut. But now, for the first time since 2017, there is a sign that things might change.

The orig­i­nal reg­u­la­tions im­posed by CITES (Con­ven­tion on In­ter­na­tional Trade in En­dan­gered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) did not ap­ply to in­stru­ments shipped within the bor­ders of your coun­try or your own gui­tars car­ried for per­sonal use while trav­el­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally (up to 10kg) with the reg­u­lated woods, but for ex­ports from the Far East and USA they had a huge ef­fect on the acous­tic mar­ket. The reg­u­la­tions ex­tended the lim­its of rose­wood move­ment be­yond the pre­vi­ous Brazil­ian rose­wood to all types of the wood - in­clud­ing favoured tonewoods, East In­dian rose­wood, Hon­duran rose­wood and even co­cobolo. But a CITES meet­ing in Rus­sia last year sug­gests it could be ready to re­lax the rules for mu­si­cal in­stru­ments.

Fol­low­ing the 7 Oc­to­ber meet­ing of CITES Stand­ing Com­mit­tee in Sochi re­gard­ing the sub­ject, NAMM (North Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Mu­si­cal Mer­chants) re­leased a state­ment to re­port that an in­ter­na­tional work­ing group com­prised of mu­si­cal in­stru­ment in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives rec­om­mended a change to the CITES reg­u­la­tions to make fin­ished mu­si­cal in­stru­ments ex­empt from the rul­ing.

NAMM re­ported that del­e­gates from the CITES mem­ber coun­tries present on the com­mit­tee agreed that: “com­mer­cial and non­com­mer­cial trade in mu­si­cal in­stru­ments is not detri­men­tal to the threat­ened species of wood”. So this is all po­ten­tially good news… but there are still steps needed be­fore we can get our fin­ger­boards back on track.

NAMM re­ported that the pro­posal will need to be put in the form of a res­o­lu­tion, spon­sored by a gov­ern­ment body and be for­mally sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion at the 18th Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties in Sri Lanka in May 2019. But if adopted there, the change would go into ef­fect some­time in mid-sum­mer 2019. Here’s hop­ing!

Del­e­gates from

CITES agreed that trade in mu­si­cal in­stru­ments is “not detri­men­tal to the threat­ened species of wood”

Rose­wood: com­ing to a fin­ger­board near you soon?

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