Industry Coalition Seeks CITES exemption on finished musical instruments

The long awaited CITES meeting scheduled for May in Sri Lanka is looming. In May 2019, the regulations governing the use of rosewood will be considered. The industry has been lobbying for changes to the existing restrictions on rosewood in instrument manufacture to include an exemption on finished musical instruments, finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instrument accessories.

The industry has argued that severe disruption in the musical instrument trade was an unintended consequence and that use of rosewood as components of a musical instrument was never really the intended target for the CITES ruling in the first place, and that rosewood restrictions were aimed at stopping illegal logging to supply the furniture industry.

This has been the subject of an intense lobbying process by the global music industry, and is an endorsement of the role of the NAMM initiated International Coordinating Committee over the years. At NAMM this year country representatives were given an update of the progress of the efforts of many associations around the world. The Australian Music Association AMA has supported an exemption proposal for finished musical instruments from Canada and the EU along with many other trade associations worldwide, and endorsed the proposals of the coalition to our management authorities, providing the government link to advise of the industry’s challenges in management of the regulations.

To view the Canadian and European Union proposals to the 18th Conference of the Parties, proposals that have been supported by the industry coalition, please CLICK HERE E-CoP18-Prop_draft-Dalbergia-Guibourtia-#15.

The Coalition led by the League of American Orchestras has also made a proposal seeking the carriage of instruments for non commercial purposes be exempt from the permit process. You can see this proposal HERE – Musical Instrument Certificate Statement ENG 3 19

There will be more updates on the work of the Coalition, including addressing the latest consideration to Cedrela being added to the banned list of controlled species, and an updated proposal which will also be presented to Australian authorities seeking their support of proposals to the Conference of the Parties.

The Industry Coalition has finalised it’s statements to the meeting of the parties, in respect to Dalbergia species (rosewood), Cedrelar (Cedar) and Mammoth Ivory. These can be viewed here.

Musical Instruments and Dalbergia February 2019

Musical Instrument Statement on Listing of Cedrela spp in CITES II

Musical Instrument Woolly Mammoth Statement

In the meantime there is comprehensive information hosted by our partners NAMM at THIS LINK


CITES is an international treaty that aims to ensure international trade in animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species. The listing of a species under CITES means that import and export of that species is regulated through a permitting system. It does not affect domestic trade or use. More information on CITES  at