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Import and Export of CITES Regulated Items

International CITES regulations on certain wood items require export and import licences out of the EU.

Important update: From December 14 2019, CITES regulations do not apply to the trade of musical instruments, so the below article is now redundant. We have kept the article live for interest.

From January 2017, new international regulations came into force regarding the wood used to make some musical instruments.

Summary of CITES regulations

  • CITES-regulated products require a licence to export from the European Union
  • This export licence takes 6-8 weeks to be processed
  • You may be liable for additional import fees on CITES products: contact your local CITES office
  • Customers within the European Union are not affected

 From January 2nd 2017 new regulations were introduced concerning all forms of Dalbergia (rosewood), a genus of plants from which many woodwind instruments are made. This includes African Blackwood (Grenadilla), Cocobolo, Rosewoods/Palisander and all other woods from the Dalbergia genus.

Woods in the Dalbergia genus are used in many products, from furniture to car dashboards to umbrella handles. Illegal logging by less scrupulous individuals has resulted in rapid deforestation in some countries (mainly of palisander woods rather than grenadilla) . As a result, CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) introduced regulations, bringing the genus Dalbergia to Appendix II. More information regarding CITES can be found at www.cites.org

What does this mean?

Appendix II status that any product containing these woods require certification. Manufacturers and suppliers will need to obtain permits to import and export instruments in and out of the EU. If you are based outside the EU and buying from us, the export licence will be added to your basket. In the UK, this licence is processed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, who take around three weeks to process an application.

We will also need to keep precise records of wooden instruments we stock, and where it originates from. We have therefore updated our invoices to show this information.

Any instruments that are affected by the new regulations will be supplied by us with this style of invoice. Customers who have already purchased instruments from us can request copy invoices / documentation that shows this information if required.

What if I want to travel with my instrument?

Instruments weighing less than 10kg are exempt from these regulations if they are being shipped or carried for personal use. Instruments being shipped within your own country or within the EU can also be sent without documentation.

However, it might be beneficial to check with the relevant CITES Management Authority in the destination country to ensure no extra paperwork is required. CITES have a  list of national contacts.

The cost of the export licence will be added at checkout if applicable - please note that you may be liable for additional import costs. Further information

Last updated: 14/12/2019