It’s official: CITES are ending rosewood restrictions this November

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine

It’s official: CITES are ending rosewood restrictions this November

The announcement was shared today by America’s National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), who claimed in an official statement that the restrictions would be ceased this November. However, Brazillian Rosewood will remain under restriction due to the scarcity of the timber. Read an excerpt from NAMM’s statement below.


“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.”



The CITES restrictions on rosewood date all the way back to 2017 to the protest of many instrument manufacturers, who claimed the ban on importing and exporting the timber was unfairly biased and improperly regulated. This led to brands such as Fender and Gibson adopting alternative woods such as pau ferro or Richlite as a rosewood substitute, much to the dismay of many vintage purists. Hopefully we’ll see a resurgence in the availabilty of the timber on newer guitars from both manufacturers again from November onwards!


Read up on the local restrictions on rosewood trading here.