“An international crackdown on illegal logging in tropical forests has ensnared the makers of some guitars and other musical instruments, whose top-end products require small amounts of rosewood, a material prized for its … resonant sound,” writes Michael Casey in Thursday’s (4/12) Washington Post. “Since new trade rules took effect in 2017, guitar makers have complained about long delays in getting permits to import rosewood and export finished instruments that contain it.… Fearful that Africa and Asia were losing rosewood forests, governments adopted the rules to stem the flow of smuggled rosewood to China’s luxury furniture manufacturers. But the restrictions have also hurt companies that use relatively tiny amounts of the wood in guitars, clarinets and oboes.” The United Nations’ Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is responsible for combating wildlife smuggling. “Agency officials previously placed trade limits on only a few rosewood species, such as Brazilian rosewood, which is especially precious. But the 2016 trade rules covered up to 300 species of the rosewood family … CITES officials say they are open to considering exemptions for certain types of instruments but fear broad exemptions would let smugglers game the system.” Click here to read the League of American Orchestras’ updated webpage about international travel with musical instruments.  

Posted April 12, 2018