From January 2, permits are needed for US importers of products containing solid rosewood or rosewood veneers to show that these products are being harvested legally.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service has recently informed companies of the regulation, which falls under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It covers major rosewood and palisanders species including (Dalbergia spp.), kosso, or African rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus) and bubingas (Guibourtia spp.)
In late December, Washington–based law firm Mowry & Grimson issued an alert to its clients and the industry, and according to its letter, there is no phase-in period, and the rule covers the aforementioned species regardless of country of export. In addition, shipments without the permits could be held at the ports by U.S. Customs.
“From the effective date, the wood products containing CITES-controlled woods may not be exported or imported without the required permits,” the law firm stated. “All entries on or after Jan. 2, 2017, are subject to the new requirements even if exported prior to Jan. 2.”
The firm also said that companies should vet shipments on the water to ensure none of the products contain a CITES-controlled wood. The firm has also extended a helping hand to assist companies through this process and to ensure they are compliant.
In its letter, the Fish and Wildlife Service also advised importers to communicate with their trade partners to guarantee that their shipments are in compliance with CITES requirements. If the species was harvested before it was listed by CITES, the shipment must have a Pre-Convention certificate.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, CITES is an international treaty ratified by 182 countries and the European Union since it first went into effect in July 1975. The required permits help ensure that the wood is being legally harvested and does not threaten or endanger the species. CITES protects some 35,000 species of plants and animals by making sure that international trade is both legal and also “does not threaten their survival in the wild.”
Rosewood is commonly found in higher end furniture products including fancy face veneers seen on table tops, headboards and drawer fronts as well as the tops and sides of case pieces. It is also one of the most common woods used on the backs and sides of acoustic guitars.
Source: Furniture Today