Rosewood Musical Instrument exemptions about to be announced


We are delighted to bring you the news that the CITES meeting in Geneva have voted IN FAVOUR of allowing exemptions for musical instruments made with rosewood…

As you know, the International Coalition from our industry had made a compelling case for these changes and we are now just waiting for the final ratification, which is due in a matter of hours.

Here is the very good news about all four items that were the focus of our groups’ efforts. All of these items have completed consideration at the committee level and will be up for formal adoption by the CoP by the end of the day tomorrow.

 Prop. 52 Dalbergia Annotation #15

The proposal by Canada and the EU was accepted by consensus, with the part c exemption for finished musical instruments, parts, and accessories – and the related definitions that we supported – fully intact! Revisions were made to part b. of the annotation to expand the weight limit to 10kg per shipment, to accommodate handicrafts, both shipped and as personal effects. The proposal also includes a mandate for the Secretariat to undertake a study to assess the impact of Annotation #15’s exemption for finished products up to 10kg per shipment and finished musical instruments, parts, and accessories. If undertaken, the results of the study would be reviewed by the Standing Committee, to potentially inform an amendment proposal for CoP19. In other words, the discussions about further improving Annotation #15 will continue in the next three years.

It is of note that the Annotations Committee will also be re-established to review all annotations. And, in a separate decision, a mandate was created to study rosewood and potentially convene related workshops before CoP19.

The new exemptions go into effect 90 days after adoption.

Prop. 57 Cedrela

The proposal from Ecuador was annotated with #6 to require permits only for logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets, and plywood, with a limited application to neotropical species. This means that musical instruments containing cedrela will not require CITES permits.

 Prop. 13 Mammoth

The proposal was withdrawn by Israel, in response to objections from the Secretariat and Parties, primarily to do with the extinct species being outside the scope of the Convention. A new decision was accepted, directing the Secretariat – subject to external funding – to conduct a study on how trade in mammoth impacts trade in elephant ivory. If undertaken, the findings would be reported to the Standing Committee, which might inform proposals for CoP19.

Doc. 56 Simplified Procedures (relevant to the Musical Instrument Certificate)

A resolution was approved to initiate an new effort to streamline and simplify permit requirements for “the international movement of CITES specimens where the trade will have a negligible impact on the conservation of the species concerned.” This language was added and endorsed by the US and the EU with the intention that it will address the non-commercial cross-border movement of musical instruments, and result in a proposal for CoP19 to reduce the burdens associated with the CITES Musical Instrument Certificate.

The MIA office will naturally have further detail on all of the above for any of you that require it, contact