Rosewood & Cities

Selling Brazilian Rosewood

Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra), also known as Bahia Rosewood, Jacarandá da Bahia, Brazilian Rosewood, Rio Rosewood, Jacarandá De Brasil, is threatened by habitat loss. Due to its endangered status, it was CITES-listed on 6th November 1992 in Appendix I (the most protected), and carries legal restrictions to trade.

There is a very useful and informative online article regarding the matter here – As can be seen in the article, most guitars made with Dalbergia Nigra can be sold, as long as they are sold with the correct documentation, where required. There are certain dates to take into account.

– All instruments built before 3rd March 1947 are considered antique and are not affected. These can can be sold without certification, as long as the manufacture date can be proven, usually by serial number or spec.

– All instruments built between 3rd March 1947 and 6th November 1992 (when Dalbergia Nigra was listed in Appendix 1) can be sold with a valid CITES Article 10 certificate

– All instruments built after 6th November 1992 cannot be sold, as a certificate cannot be granted. The only exception to this rule, is if documentation can be obtained by the original manufacturer to confirm and prove the age of the wood and that it is from pre registered stock.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult for the owner to tell if their instrument contains Brazilian rosewood or not. However we have handled thousands of guitars over the years and have a good working knowledge of species of wood and we are happy to advise auction sellers where we can, so we can then advise whether a certificate is necessary.

For guitars that require an article 10 certificate, sellers can obtain this certificate themselves. To most, this can be a hassle. For anyone wanting to sell a subject guitar with us at auction, we can take this hassle away and obtain the certificate on their behalf for a small fee. This fee is paid by us upfront and deducted from the sale proceeds, along with the commission post-sale.

We are aware that the majority of sellers and even some dealers are unaware of the restrictions and laws in place. It is a law that should be taken seriously and one that we will not ignore or bypass under any circumstances.

Import and Export of Brazilian Rosewood

For any buyers based outside of the UK, when shipping musical instruments that include any amount (fretboard, back, sides, bridge and even headstock veneer) of Brazilian rosewood, each one must be accompanied by a CITES re-export certificate. It is the responsibility of winning bidder to check their domestic regulations for import restrictions before bidding or entering into any transaction.

As it is the responsibility of the owner of an instrument to obtain this certificate, it will be the buyers responsibility to apply, obtain and have the correct documentation in place to include with the shipping documents. As an agent, we my be able to assist where possible and encourage bidders to ask for advice in advance.

We insist that all buyers are aware of the regulations before placing any kind of bid and are reminded of the obligation to pay for goods under any circumstance.