Bedell Guitars Goes to Washington, DC to Learn CITES New Regulations on Rosewood

Note from Tom Bedell | Dec. 13, 2016
Last week I traveled with my wood buyer, Angela Christensen, to Washington, DC to learn how the new regulations will be implemented regarding the Appendix II listing of all dalbergia species (rosewood and cocobolo) and bubinga.

It is all good news. With the 10 KG exclusion for consumers/musicians traveling with their instruments for non-commercial use, our/your customers will be unaffected by the expanded listing. Musical performances do not qualify as commercial use. It is only the buying and selling of musical instruments that requires CITES Permits.

We will be providing a Plant and Animal Contents Card with each Bedell we ship during 2017 that lists the species name and country of origin for all of the woods used in crafting each guitar. Although not required, this will facilitate international border crossing should a customs official make any inquiries.

When a USA retailer sells a musical instrument containing rosewood, cocobolo or bubinga internationally, a USF&WS permit is required. This is considered a commercial transaction. The Plant and Animal Contents Card will provide you with most of the information needed to apply for the permit. Additionally, Bedell Guitars can easily provide every detail based on the instruments serial number.

Ever since we began crafting Bedell Guitars in Bend, OR, we have been tracking all of our wood purchases from where the trees grew – to the instruments that are built with that wood. We call it, SEED TO SONG. We have every batch of rosewood, cocobolo and bubinga segregated by receipt so we can readily verify invoices and date of receipt in USA. It will be no problem to validate pre-listing wood (January 2, 2017) with wood we import into America after January 2, 2017. And, should you wish to apply for a commercial permit on a Bedell Guitar that was purchased years before, we can verify that it was pre-listing by serial numbers.


Everyone , for any reason, needs a Guitar Passport Permit when crossing international borders with an instrument containing Brazilian rosewood.  We provide all of the required information within the case of every Bedell Guitar we ship containing Brazilian. Not only does our Brazilian rosewood meet every USA requirement, but it is also grandfathered into the European system as we purchased our supply in Spain with verification our Brazilian was physically in Europe before the 1992 listing. Bedell Guitar crafted with Brazilian rosewood not only sound incredible and look stunning, they will grow in value as we are one of the few companies with full legal documentation in both USA and the EU.


To summarize, you can continue to buy and sell guitars crafted with rosewood, cocobolo and bubinga just as you have been. You are not required to provide any information to your customers on the provenance of the woods. If you sell an instrument internationally you will need a USF&WS Permit. You can contact Bedell Guitars for the required information on the permit application. Your customers can travel internationally without any permit or paperwork. Should your customer wish to sell the guitar internationally, he/she will need to contact us for required information for the permit application.

If an instrument contains Brazilian rosewood, permits are required for all international travel as well as conveyance. All of this information is included in the case of each instrument when we ship it to you.

I hope this is helpful.

For 2017 we will be offering six series of Bedell Guitars that contain Brazilian rosewood, East Indian rosewood or cocobolo. With our Sound Profiling and Hand Tuning the guitars sound amazing.

We do not use any Madagascar rosewood as I am convinced most of it has been illegally harvested and documentation forged. I visited Madagascar personally to investigate and after seeing what is happening to the unique fragile eco-system, placed a moratorium on the use of any wood products from Madagascar. We will be voluntarily abandoning our current inventory of Madagascar rosewood to the US Fish & Wildlife Service early next year.

Tom Bedell
Bedell Guitars
December 2016