Rosewood and CITES – new legislation

As of the 2nd January 2017, new rules have come into place regarding rosewood and related members of the rosewood family, that will have an impact on the sale of guitars that utilise such woods – Rules are instigated by CITES and supported by relevant governments and customs officials – As usual rules are complex and create as many questions as answers, but for now I will try and make it as simple as possible and how it affects me and you – So okay, here are a few key points

As the UK is still a member of the EU, until such time as Brexit and any relevant trade changes are implemented, then the EU and UK are one and the same regarding customs and free trade – Therefore this new policy does NOT apply to any new or used guitar, that is sold within the borders of the UK (or indeed the EU) – As such we can all continue to sell, buy and part exchange guitars without any issues within the UK and the EU, with NO NEED FOR CITES PAPERWORK – However, if a guitar with any rosewood, is sold, then sent via a courier, to a customer who lives outside of the EU, it will now require CITES certification

Currently Guitars4You (or indeed any other guitar business or private seller) can no longer ship any instruments containing rosewood, outside of the EU, without CITES paperwork – Therefore if you live in say Australia, the USA, or indeed any country that is not within the EU, then I can no longer sell and ship you such a guitar  – Likewise. you will no longer be able to purchase a new or used guitar directly from the USA,  be it from a dealer, or via a private sale, without an appropriate CITES certificate – If you do so, then you run a risk of the guitar been confiscated by customs officials

However, you can still travel freely with your guitar, by road or air, as long as you are with it and it has less than 10kg or 22lbs of regulated (rosewood) materials – So that effectively covers any guitar – As such you can visit the UK, buy a guitar, then take it back with you outside the EU – Likewise visit the USA and bring the guitar back on the plane with you – In either case, no CITES certificate required if the guitar is for personal use and you are traveling with it – But you can no longer have it shipped, via a courier, without CITES

So to confirm – You can still buy and sell guitars that utilise rosewood within the UK and within the EU without any certification – So no need to worry about guitars you currently own, intend to buy or sell

In Jan 2017 at the major NAMM show, leading representatives within the guitar trade, both manufactures and retailers, are meeting with officials from CITES to establish a clear picture for the future regarding the sale, purchase, and use of new guitars and second hand guitars, to make the whole process more simple to adhere to and understand – No guarantees but at least the conversations are taking place