LMI Help Center

CITES – One Year Later

CITES rules regarding East Indian Rosewood changed in December 2019. This information may be outdated but is left here as an archive.

A year ago the lutherie world was rocked as CITES, which regulates the trade of endangered species over international lines, ruled that all Rosewood species (including the staple Indian Rosewood) would now require accompanying CITES paperwork in order to be shipped internationally. Shipping Rosewood or any instrument made with Rosewood now requires lengthy (3 months +/-) paperwork processing and a fee of around $100 per shipment. No fun!

What have we learned in the last year?

  1. LMI can help you understand. Email us at  service@lmii.com and we will send you several documents that will acquaint you with the ruling, the new requirements, how to comply and how LMI is leading the industry in CITES inventory management and tracking.
  2. Everyone is learning. The new ruling gave very little time for exporters and government agencies to implement new processes. At first, the process was chaotic, but slowly things have become more predictable.
  3. Every country has different processes for import of CITES goods. This is the hard part. You need to learn the requirements of each county you are importing into. There is no standardization and no manual for this.
  4. The supply chain has been disturbed. Some suppliers (like LMI) have had to step in and help customers whose regular/prior Rosewood vendor was stalled by the new regulations. This, in turn, impacted our inventory levels. These imbalances will be worked through in the coming few months. Fortunately, supplies from India are still strong and the quality is good. Concerns about India participating in CITES have been assuaged.
  5. Builders are embracing new wood choices. Of course, as lovers of wood and has a long history of championing the attributes of ‘alternative tonewoods’ LMI sees this as a welcome phenomenon. The old tonewood orthodoxies are starting to relax! In addition, LMI has introduced several synthetic/alternative wood products with an exciting set of properties which has been enthusiastically accepted by our customers. This came as a welcome surprise. Keep a lookout for an amazing new Rosewood substitute in the coming month or so!