To protect our forests, trees that have been over harvested to the point their survival is threatened, fall under an international agreement called CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). First established in the 1970s, over 180 countries plus the European Union have joined together with a shared practice of listing plant species specific to their own country that are threatened. In 2008, the U.S.A. Congress extended the Lacey Act to include plant species, requiring accountability for the legal harvest of all trees based on the laws of the country where they grew and full compliance with CITES. Bedell Guitars respects and appreciates these global efforts to protect our forests.
In 1992 the CITES Convention listed Brazilian rosewood in Appendix I. This made it illegal to harvest or transport Brazilian rosewood across international borders, unless there is proof of harvest before 1992. Then a Guitar Passport Permit is required.
In 2016 the CITES Convention expanded Appendix II listings to include all of the world’s species of dalbergia (rosewood and cocobolo) and bubinga. This included a special accommodation that individuals can freely travel worldwide with musical instruments containing these woods as long as there is less than 10 kgs. (22.4 lbs.) of the threatened species in the contents of the instruments. So all guitars crafted with rosewood (except Brazilian), cocobolo and bubinga can travel globally without permits.
Any commercial activity, however, such as selling an instrument internationally, does require a permit.
With every Bedell Guitar we provide a list of all of the woods used to craft it and their county of origin. This way, when you travel with your Bedell, customs officials will know your Bedell is in complete compliance with all international laws and regulations.
In the case of Brazilian rosewood, it is necessary to have a U.S. Guitar Passport issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As all of our Brazilian rosewood is 100% CITES compliant with full chain of custody documentation meeting Lacey Act requirements, it is no problem to obtain this Guitar Passport. Please contact us at permits @ bedellguitars.com or call us at (888) 234-2210 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific time.