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Enforcement of guitar-related CITES regulations has in the past been relatively lax and in some countries non-existent.Many guitar dealers as well as individuals have been "slipping by" these regulations and simply not declaring (or mis-declaring) CITES-covered materials.
Honduras mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla, aka Brazilian mahogany or bigleaf mahogany) is much more prevalent on guitars than Brazilian rosewood, and a restriction on finished goods would all but kill international guitar trade.On the page dealing with shipments of "antiques," the only antiques specifically identified are "guitars made of Brazilian rosewood." There is also an illustration of Brazilian rosewood guitar - one of only two illustrations on the page (the other is of ivory products).On the permit application, which covers plants of all kinds, there is a special section for Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) with headings for guitar exporters and vintage guitar exporters.On the permit application Form 3-200-32) you must list all of your guitars that contain CITES-protected material, along with information about the source of that material (including Latin name of the species and country of origin), and you must list the address of the recipient, which is presumably yourself if you are a traveling musician. but to get it into another country you will need a reciprocal permit from that country.The fee for a single shipment is 0 and the processing time is up to 60 days. If you travel on to yet another country, you will need permits from the country you are leaving and from the one you are entering.Our immediate concern is the CITES proposal, because it would put pernambuco, Nicaraguan rosewood and Honduran rosewood on Appendix II and would include finished goods as well as raw lumber.
Until now, restrictions on finished goods have been on items listed in Appendix I (which includes Brazilian rosewood, ivory and tortoiseshell).
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However, it is likely that international travel will involve a CITES-signatory country, as only 27 have not signed the treaty, the most prominent of which are Korea, Iraq and Lebanon.
(Complete lists of signatory and non-signatory countries) Even if you have all the proper permits for Brazilian rosewood, if the saddle and nut on your 1965 D-28 are original, you are still in violation of CITES.
Newsletter #29, March 2007 (Please browse our newsletter archives) Endangered woods: Immediate action requested A proposal currently being considered by the board of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna) would restrict international trade in pernambuco wood and would make it virtually impossible for violinists to legally take their bows across international borders.