Rosewood – fingers crossed for May 2019


Paul Mc with an update from the Music Industry International Coalition Meeting that took place at the NAMM Show

One of the (many) great things about NAMM and the NAMM Show is the International Coalition Meeting that always takes place the day before the event opens. The trade bodies from all over the world (like the MIA), and other key interested industry and educational partners meet and share current issues and lobbying efforts to create more music makers and to protect and support our industry.

A special focus was given to the forthcoming CITES meeting in Sri Lanka in May this year.

The lobbying coalition on behalf of our industry (see picture) has led to the proposal to EXEMPT ROSEWOOD INSTRUMENTS from the CITES regulatory control.

This formal proposal has already been nominally agreed, but needs the ratification at the meeting in May.

Part of this key amendment is from the recognition by the powers that be that musical instruments were (very unfortunately) “collateral damage” in the rosewood restrictions that were chiefly aimed at stopping illegal logging in the furniture industry.

Anyway, back to the proposal. The amendment is the result of a Canadian and European proposal to:

  • Exempt finished musical instruments containing rosewood
  • Exempt finished musical instrument parts containing rosewood
  • Exempt finished musical accessories containing rosewood

There is also further detail concerning repair and warranty, 10kg limit etc. If you would like more information, contact


Nothing is guaranteed in this being formally adopted (or amended), but, this clearly has the makings of a major impact on our industry.

In addition, the implications for the UK industry are HUGE in relation to Brexit and the almost unmanageable level of administration that would result if the instruments were still restricted. I attended a DEFRA meeting recently discussing plans for Brexit and one of our UK-based guitar Distributors was able to clearly spell out to the civil servants how many additional applications would be made every week in the post-Brexit ladscape! Needless to say the DEFRA team would not have anywhere near enough staff to cope with the deluge!

Anyway, fingers crossed for a positive outcome in May, we need it!

Specials thanks in all of this to Heather Noonan of the League of American Orchestras, NAMM and Michael Jousserand of CAFIM