From Roger Sadowsky of Sadowsky Guitars:
You may have read that there are new regulations involving the import/export of some of the woods commonly used in guitar making, namely Rosewood (Dalbergia). I wanted to take a minute to let our customers know what this means for any Sadowsky orders and to let everyone know that there are excellent alternatives to any of the woods affected by the new regulations.
Effective January 1, 2017, the CITES Commission has placed all species of Dalbergia (Rosewood) under CITES II protection. In order for us to EXPORT any instrument containing any Rosewood of any type, we need to file for a special master permit and each instrument we export will need an individual export permit. The lead time for us to receive our permits appears to be in the 3-4 month range. Even after we receive our permits, we are not sure we will be able to comply with the requirements to export Rosewood. Shipping costs may increase dramatically as well.
As a result, at least for the next few months, we will be unable to export any instruments containing any of the 29 restricted species of Rosewoods. If you have placed any orders for instruments containing a Rosewood fingerboard, we need you to select an alternative wood for your order. We will be stocking the following alternative fingerboard woods for export.
Morado (Machaerium scleroxylon): This has been our “standard” grade rosewood type fingerboard for 35 years, even though it is not a true Dalbergia. Also known as Pau Ferro or Caviuna, it comes from Bolivia and makes an excellent fingerboard.
Chechen (Metopium brownei): A beautiful fingerboard wood that comes from the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.
Granadilla (Platymiscium spp): Also known as Macacauba. Another beautiful fingerboard wood from Central America.
These Rosewood alternatives will not sound significantly different than the various Dalbergias we use. The differences, if any, are too small to describe or articulate.
Ebony: The common black or gray mottled fingerboard wood used on guitars for centuries. It is getting increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain, but it still has no restrictions on import/export.
These restrictions would also apply to any instruments with certain top woods including Cocobolo, which is also a Dalbergia, and African Blackwood fingerboards (also a Dalbergia).
In addition to orders, we will also be unable to export any instruments from the “In Stock” page of our website that contain any of the restricted woods.
We are entering a new era where many of the traditional guitar woods are endangered and need protection. There are many sustainable alternative woods available for guitar making and we will continue to seek out the best we can.
One final note: these CITES restrictions have no effect on domestic U.S. sales. Also, the restrictions do not affect individuals traveling with personal instruments between countries and no documentation is required for that (with the exception of Brazilian Rosewood). Individuals can also ship personal instruments between countries if the documentation states that it is a personal instrument with no commercial value, though you should have musical instrument insurance and we recommend Heritage Insurance Service. - Roger Sadowsky
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