CITES Restrictions Reportedly Set to Be Lifted on Rosewood

A key CITES committee has reportedly approved an exemption lifting restrictions on the transportation of musical instruments constructed with rosewood.
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Back in 2017, guitar manufacturers and luthiers across the industry were dealt a harsh blow when CITES, the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species,” severely curtailed the importing and exporting of rosewood, often used in the construction of guitars.

However, today NPR reported that a key CITES committee approved an exemption lifting restrictions on the transportation of musical instruments constructed with rosewood.

The exemption, which was first proposed by a lobbying coalition featuring the likes of Fender, Martin, PRS and Taylor among its ranks back in February, is expected to be finalized later this week.

It remains to be seen what exactly this means for the guitar industry. Fender, for instance, announced just two years ago that it would be moving its Mexican-built models from rosewood to pau ferro in response to the regulations. 

Though Fender has reintroduced rosewood to certain, limited-edition models, it may be awhile before it - and fellow guitar giants/lobbying partners PRS, Martin and Taylor - begin bringing it back to their guitars.

Frank Untermyer, Supply Chain Director at Martin, said that CITES' impact on Martin, and music as a whole, "cannot be overstated."

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