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Great News Regarding CITES & Rosewood
Old 28th August 2019
  #1
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Great News Regarding CITES & Rosewood

CITES voted today to allow an exemption for guitars / musical instruments containing rosewood. Touring musicians and buyers / sellers can breath a little easier now.
Old 28th August 2019
  #2
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This makes sense. In Asia, they use millions of rosewood board-feet to make flooring, furniture, doors, ornamentation, etc... In the Amazon, they are burning millions of Brazilian Rosewood trees to make way for crops and cattle. While musicians couldn't even travel with instruments containing small amounts of rosewood. The world is an upside down place.
Old 28th August 2019
  #3
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Will guitar makers now be able to buy raw rosewood? I've found articles about the exemption online, but not the actual exemption itself.
Old 28th August 2019
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Will guitar makers now be able to buy raw rosewood?
Not that I understand it. This only covers transporting rosewood in finished instruments across borders.
Old 28th August 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathodeRay View Post
CITES voted today to allow an exemption for guitars / musical instruments containing rosewood. Touring musicians and buyers / sellers can breath a little easier now.
YAY!
Old 28th August 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Not that I understand it. This only covers transporting rosewood in finished instruments across borders.
Hmmm. Martin factory in Rio.
Old 28th August 2019
  #7
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Great news! I don’t know that trying to get crafty with factory placement would be a good first move, but it may work, I dunno.
Old 28th August 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Hmmm. Martin factory in Rio.
They've probably already had four meetings to discuss
Old 3rd September 2019
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Will guitar makers now be able to buy raw rosewood? I've found articles about the exemption online, but not the actual exemption itself.
They always have been able to, it just needs the correct permits and will continue to require those. Thus, we are unlikely to see a switch back to rosewood where big companies who buy wood directly (like Fender) have already swapped to something else such as pau ferro.

I think smaller builders and independent luthiers who buy from documented wood suppliers/mills will be able to return to rosewood where it was previous uneconomical to offer it for export. Companies like Knaggs, K-Line and Hahn for example who had to replace rosewood with ebony or pau ferro on export models can return to their original designs, if customers want it.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #10
What constitutional authority does CITES have over US citizens to make these decisions?
Old 3rd September 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
What constitutional authority does CITES have over US citizens to make these decisions?
To be a participating country, that country has to enact its own CITES laws. The US is one of those countries. It's not something I follow closely, but I'm not aware that the constitutionality of any of those laws has been challenged in Federal court.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
What constitutional authority does CITES have over US citizens to make these decisions?
Which of your constitutional rights is being stepped on by an international effort to stem the illegal trade of endangered wildlife?

Treaties don't override the constitution, but it's hard to see how this is a conflict of anyone's rights being that the US is fully signatory to it (it's even alternately referred to as the Washington Convention, can't get much more all-American than that...)
Old 4th September 2019
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
To be a participating country, that country has to enact its own CITES laws. The US is one of those countries. It's not something I follow closely, but I'm not aware that the constitutionality of any of those laws has been challenged in Federal court.
It's likely it has been challenged but our current court system is backlogged with a generation worth of unresolved laws here.

The SCOTUS is intentionally ignoring all these stacked up appeals court decisions. Add this one to the pile.
Old 7th September 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
What constitutional authority does CITES have over US citizens to make these decisions?
Why would being a US citizen have any bearing upon an international agreement not to make these decisions? The constitution does not say the world is yours to use as you see fit.
Old 7th September 2019
  #15
An interesting side-effect of the original ban was the need to find new woods...necessity being the mother of invention.
Old 7th September 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's likely it has been challenged but our current court system is backlogged with a generation worth of unresolved laws here.

The SCOTUS is intentionally ignoring all these stacked up appeals court decisions. Add this one to the pile.

Unless I'm misunderstanding something about the nature of the matter, I don't see how one nation's courts would have jurisdiction in this. We [the U.S.] could make a decision to not participate or levy penalties here, but not to prohibit other countries from doing so.

Is there something more to it that you are getting at?
Old 7th September 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
An interesting side-effect of the original ban was the need to find new woods...necessity being the mother of invention.
Did they find anything better? Or even as good? Not arguing, just wondering.
Old 7th September 2019
  #18
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I was hoping during the time of the ban, we'd see a lot of innovation with wood choices.That didn't really have time to happen, and guitarists are pretty resistant to changing the formulas that worked for so long. I love the idea of alternative woods and non-woods (I have a travel guitar out of bamboo, and my acoustic has a carbon fiber top).
Old 7th September 2019
  #19
These sorts of international agreements sound good on paper. In reality, acres of prime Brazilian rosewood trees are cut and burned to clear the land for cattle ranching every day.
Old 7th September 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
These sorts of international agreements sound good on paper. In reality, acres of prime Brazilian rosewood trees are cut and burned to clear the land for cattle ranching every day.
Exactly. And furniture and flooring in China. What a waste
Old 7th September 2019
  #21
I think any innovation created by the ban will take time to filter through: basically it's caused luthiers/manufacturers to think differently about the material they use and experiment. The only obvious mass-production changes have been in re-formed woods or new varieties/sources of similar woods.
Crimson Guitars YT channel has had some examples from luthiers.

Still, rosewood and ebony here...maybe a maple oneday.
Old 7th September 2019
  #22
Jtt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's likely it has been challenged but our current court system is backlogged with a generation worth of unresolved laws here.

The SCOTUS is intentionally ignoring all these stacked up appeals court decisions. Add this one to the pile.
You don’t have any idea of how lawsuits move through the federal courts do you?
Old 8th September 2019
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
What constitutional authority does CITES have over US citizens to make these decisions?
You're kind of missing the point. The point is that, for some time now, if you took your vintage instrument into another country (for example Germany) that is a member of CITES you ran a very real risk that it would be confiscated and burned with no recourse. This alteration to the treaty addresses that problem, which was a real issue for many touring musicians.

As to "Constitutional Authority", in the USA that would be Congress.
Old 8th September 2019
  #24
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I think Jim Williams may be indirectly questioning whether or not Congress has the Constitutional authority to make the U.S. a party to such an agreement in the first place.

Is that the question, Jim?
Old 10th September 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
What constitutional authority does CITES have over US citizens to make these decisions?
Yea! A guy who actually understands CITES for the baloney it really is.

Brazilian rosewood is one the great tonewoods of all time - yet it has been banned and an artificial market created by government fiat inflating the costs of brazilain rosewood astronomically.

A CA man tried to export seeds to grow more Brazilian Rosewood tress. Isn't CITES about saving the trees and growing more? https://www.fws.gov/FieldNotes/regmap.cfm?arskey=36795

You know this ban is more about money than saving trees when, instead of helping him grow more trees, the government imprisons and fines him.
Old 10th September 2019
  #26
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Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Did they find anything better? Or even as good? Not arguing, just wondering.
No, they did not.
Old 10th September 2019
  #27
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Originally Posted by Zoobiedood View Post
I was hoping during the time of the ban, we'd see a lot of innovation with wood choices.That didn't really have time to happen, and guitarists are pretty resistant to changing the formulas that worked for so long. I love the idea of alternative woods and non-woods (I have a travel guitar out of bamboo, and my acoustic has a carbon fiber top).
Gee, I think, since experimental guitars are relatively inexpensive to build, most every likely inovation of wood choice has been tried.

I don't believe you will be able to replace the great tonewoods we are all used to.

Just grow more trees!
Old 10th September 2019
  #28
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Originally Posted by CathodeRay View Post
CITES voted today to allow an exemption for guitars / musical instruments containing rosewood. Touring musicians and buyers / sellers can breath a little easier now.
I am glad Brian Adams got the media involved every time an airport agent marked up or destroyed his Brazilian instruments.
Old 10th September 2019
  #29
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Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
Which of your constitutional rights is being stepped on by an international effort to stem the illegal trade of endangered wildlife?

Treaties don't override the constitution, but it's hard to see how this is a conflict of anyone's rights being that the US is fully signatory to it (it's even alternately referred to as the Washington Convention, can't get much more all-American than that...)
In the case of Brazilian Rosewood, it steps on Americans ability to buy an affordable instrument made of the wood.

It also stepped on the right of an American who wanted to grow more Brazilian trees. He was jailed and fined for attempting to do just that.
Old 10th September 2019
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
In the case of Brazilian Rosewood, it steps on Americans ability to buy an affordable instrument made of the wood.
.
Similar to treaties that step on the rights of Americans to buy underage sex slaves, heroin, powdered tiger schlong and rhino pants at a reasonable price. All desirable, all illegal. Sigh.
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