Reports suggest guitar manufacturers could become exempt from CITES rosewood restrictions

A Formal Proposal Will Be Presented This May

A monumental change to the guitar manufacturing industry could be on its way, with new reports suggesting CITES restrictions on the use of rosewood may be relaxed.

According to insight from UK trade body Music Industries Association, a proposal from a lobbying coalition on behalf of the music industry has requested exemption for rosewood instruments under CITES restrictions.


If successful, the exemption would apply to finished musical instruments containing rosewood, finished musical instrument parts containing rosewood, and finished musical accessories containing rosewood.


It argues that musical instruments were essentially collateral damage of the rosewood restrictions, which were intended to put a stop to illegal logging in the furniture industry.


The proposal will be presented at an upcoming CITES meeting due to take place in Sri Lanka this May.


The CITES regulations were announced in January 2017 to restrict the trading of rosewood across international borders. The decision has since had a significant impact on the guitar industry, with many manufacturers turning to tonewoods like ebony and Pau Ferro for fingerboards in place of rosewood.


Image via Kaitlin Duffey.