After three years of work and representation from a global coalition of companies and associations the CITES meeting in Geneva has voted in favour of allowing exemptions for trade and movement of finished musical instruments containing rosewood. Imports and exports of finished musical instruments, finished parts and finished accessories will no longer need a CITES permit. The exception applies to all species of dalbergia except Brazilian rosewood, which remains on CITES Appendix I.
Permits will not be required after 26 November, 2019. The Department of Energy and Environment have sent advice to stakeholders.
The AMA’s Rob Walker said, “in a time when pressure mounts on profitability in our industry, the removal of significant administrative requirements will be welcome news to many wholesalers and manufacturers of musical instruments.”
“The consensus reached in Geneva this week and the new policies adopted by CITES parties are the result of more than three years of collaboration among international music stakeholders, government officials, and conservation leaders,” noted Heather Noonan, vice president of advocacy for the League of American Orchestras. “Musical instrument stakeholders have a lasting commitment to the goals of CITES, will remain at the table for ongoing conversations, and are committed to educating the music community globally about how compliance with CITES requirements will support both urgent conservation needs and essential international cultural activity.”
The Coalition has made a compelling case to authorities and all four items that were the focus of our groups’ efforts were adopted. They are;
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 goes into effect after 90 days from 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.
The Cedrela listing will not have effect for 12 months from adoption.
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.