In January 2017 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (C.I.T.E.S) prohibited the trade of rosewood due to the destruction of the resource by China. In true Chinese fashion, China has raped and pillaged a number of countries for their rosewood. This has now impacted on the rest of the world by way of restrictions that apply internationally.
For Australia the process to export any musical instrument which contains rosewood is relatively simple, however it is time consuming.
I have spoken to the Australian Department of Environment & Energy and it appears that the situation is just as much a headache for them as it is for businesses and individuals. I found the lady I spoke to to be very helpful actually.
There are two forms required to be filled by the exporter. The first is what is called a “Pre-CITES certificate” which applies to products that were manufactured with content obtained prior to a CITES restriction.
The second form is a Statutory Declaration with accompanying evidence that the rosewood content was obtained prior to January 2017. This is most easily achieved by showing the invoice or receipt for the purchase of the rosewood from the Australian wholesaler.
Most of my rosewood is around 5 years old so there is no problem with proving that the rosewood is pre-CITES restriction.
The Statutory Declaration then has to be signed by a Justice Of The Peace.
With these forms filled out, evidence attached, and signed by a JP the form then is submitted to the Australian government for processing.
I am not sure how long it will take as I have only just done the first one this month. But the good news is that the imagined disaster for the market is maybe not quite as bad as the Australian Music industry media were saying. Fingers crossed!