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Rosewood (including Cocobolo and African Blackwood) to be illegal to ship internationally


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I saw this on Facebook and it looks like it's legit. It's a blanket ban on shipping anything of the Dahlbergia species and a few other woods as well. I hope somebody with more knowledge on the subject can chime in, but in the meanwhile, this is the most informative article I could find:

www.reverb.com/news/new-cites-regulations-for-all-rosewood-species

Edited by Collin Miller
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I've been interested in the CITES regulations on materials since my guitar-making days in the '90's...this stuff is very controversial in guitar-making circles, where some feel that the rosewoods, ebony, blackwood, etc are basically the only woods worth using for certain components. My personal take is that domestic hardwoods are perfectly adequate for just about anything, and I've long avoided purchasing "high-end" exotic woods.

 

Sounds like the new regs will complicate shipping completed items made of these woods, but will allow it, with appropriate papers, if it's 22lbs or less. Hopefully they will drastically reduce illegal logging, as well.

Edited by Orien M
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That's going to make shipping many woodwinds a problem for the music community.

 

Doug

Mostly contrabassoons :)

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Shipping individual craft objects (besides contrabassoons, lol! :lol: ) won't be the major issue, IMHO; what will be real tricky is for companies that use large quantities of these woods to obtain sufficient materials to continue working as they have. Substituting other woods or using composites may help solve the problem, but there are plenty of people who won't buy instruments (or whatever) made of "wrong" materials.

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A big problem is that a lot of exotic woods are under danger due to over harvesting, land clearing and habitat loss. Some tropicals takes decades to reach maturity and create enough surviving saplings to be considered sustainable. At the same time, people want their pretty wood now, dang the cost or enviromental impact. Now I'm no die-hard tree-hugger. I've spilled my share of anti freeze and motor oil, but I generally try to take only what I need and what the land will sustain.

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Look I ain't a tree huger but, we got to take care of this ole world. However the problem with these kind of laws they persecute the little man. He can no longer buy the few pieces that he might use in a years time.

 

Where as the big logging firms routinely slip into the forests and cut what they are not supposed too and sell it on the black market, with little fear of reprisal! If they are caught they lose a truckload of logs and their loggers go to jail. Maybe they get them out maybe not!

 

They hire an new crew tomorrow and buy a new truck and the other loads that didn't get caught yesterday finance the Billion dollar fortune that they will make in a life time, of black marketing. The big boss is so buried, that his identity will never be found out and he could care less about how many lives get wrecked by his greed.

 

OK I will stand down off my soap box for a while, enough said!! Still hate to see this come about, it is kind of like shutting the gate after the cows have gotten out! To little to late!!

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I don't disagree that we need to take care of our planet, after all the Lord only gave us one of them ;)

My problem with the new law is that it they could have taken care of the few species that were dying out without banning the shipment of anything that looked similar! Or cut off the companies in China that were taking it all to make furniture. There are other options... they simply took the action that was easiest for themselves and didn't care how this would impact small businesses and craftsman. That's my beef.

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I don't disagree that we need to take care of our planet, after all the Lord only gave us one of them ;)

 

My problem with the new law is that it they could have taken care of the few species that were dying out without banning the shipment of anything that looked similar! Or cut off the companies in China that were taking it all to make furniture. There are other options... they simply took the action that was easiest for themselves and didn't care how this would impact small businesses and craftsman. That's my beef.

 

The problem then lies on the people in customs trying to tell the difference between Honduran Rosewood and East Indian Rosewood. Or Gaboon Ebony (which isn't CITES) versus African Blackwood. Good luck with that. I know people that are furniture makers, luthiers, and woodworkers and they have a hard time telling Rosewoods apart. So asking a Customs Official to become well versed in the 300 or so varieties of Rosewoods... that borders on impossible.

 

Rosewoods are my favorite woods bar none. And everyone else's as well. Because of this CITES addendum, I am going to adjust the way that I do things. I will not offer Rosewoods to overseas clients. There are plenty of other gorgeous woods that I can offer them. And I am also going to take the stance that protecting these resources are more important than small business people. Yes it hurts them, and I am really sorry for that. But as everyone mentions, this is the only planet we got, and as things stand currently, we are in a losing race to not turn it into a furnace like shithole. Anyhow, like Mr Craft above, I will also step off of my soapbox :)

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Can I borrow that soap box? Thanks.

 

The truth of the matter is that we cannot even hope to "save the planet". All we can do is save ourselves from turning our environment into one that is uninhabitable for humans (and other stuff). Most people don't even realize that they are destroying the human habitat along with everything else's habitat.

As Albert Einstein once said, "There are two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. Although, I'm not really sure about the universe."

 

We can't "save the planet" because we are not much more than an infectious parasite on it to begin with. This planet has a life span of more than we mere humans can comfortably conceive of and we have no real understanding of what a million years is capable of doing. This planet has shaken off all the life forms at least three times (I think?) previous to this last edition, and it will do it again. When all of that is accomplished, it will heal itself (again) and do what it is meant to do, create more life.

 

Humans are pretty adaptable creatures. Whenever we find it's too much trouble to adapt to a change in our environment, we change the environment to suit our desires. So if you really think that this ban on tropical hardwoods is going to adversely affect your business, you aren't thinking ahead of the curve enough.

After all, the first law of survival is "Adapt or perish."

 

You can have your box back now.

Edited by Joshua States
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Can I borrow that soap box? Thanks.

 

The truth of the matter is that we cannot even hope to "save the planet". All we can do is save ourselves from turning our environment into one that is uninhabitable for humans (and other stuff). Most people don't even realize that they are destroying the human habitat along with everything else's habitat.

As Albert Einstein once said, "There are two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. Although, I'm not really sure about the universe."

 

We can't "save the planet" because we are not much more than an infectious parasite on it to begin with. This planet has a life span of more than we mere humans can comfortably conceive of and we have no real understanding of what a million years is capable of doing. This planet has shaken off all the life forms at least three times (I think?) previous to this last edition, and it will do it again. When all of that is accomplished, it will heal itself (again) and do what it is meant to do, create more life.

 

Humans are pretty adaptable creatures. Whenever we find it's too much trouble to adapt to a change in our environment, we change the environment to suit our desires. So if you really think that this ban on tropical hardwoods is going to adversely affect your business, you aren't thinking ahead of the curve enough.

After all, the first law of survival is "Adapt or perish."

 

You can have your box back now.

 

Agreed, I only want to "save the planet" for ourselves. The Earth itself is fine with the temperatures going up, life will adapt and continue. And I know humankind will as well, but damn if that adaptation won't be painful. Resource wars and lots of suffering and death. I would prefer not to see that, and most certainly don't want my children to live in that kind of world. But you and I are on the same wave length.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Or instead of a punitive approach, money could be invested in sustainable growth and harvesting practices, dropping the demand for illegal harvesting.

 

I get protecting endangered animals and I get protecting rain forests etc., but there's smarter, more effective ways than dropping the supply thus raising demand. It's basic *&^%-ing economics and human nature. What happens when you make booze illegal? Duh.

 

This is a disaster for musical instruments, as different woods really do have different sound qualities, nor reproducible.

 

And just forget about traveling musicians, this happened near me a few years back... a couple musicians went to Canada for a bagpipe competition, and had proof that the ivory in the pipes predated the 1976 cut-off, but they were seized anyway. Who's going to risk it? Never mind the airplane issue...

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/05/bagpipes-new-hampshire-canada-customs-seized-ivory

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