how cites worksOf course we all know that already countless animal and botanical species are exterminated, so without international arrangements it is apparently not at all possible to limit this unblessed trend and to provide for the continuity of those animal and botanical species.
Therefore, in 1973 an agreement which should regulate from now on worldwide trade with copies of protected kinds was signed in Washington. In the meantime, more than 180 states have ratified this agreement and have transferred and integrated it into their national law. Regularly there are meetings beeing held by the signatory's states to develop the agreement and to adapt the protective regulations.

It is the „Convention on Internationally Trade in Endangered Species of game fauna and flora“ – briefly called CITES.
In Germany 16 federal states are entrusted with the conversion of the regulations for trade within Germany or the EU.
For the granting of CITES approvals to the one or reexportation from countries or into countries beyond the EU the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) in Bonn is responsible. There are many recommendable websites on the net on CITES. Here we focus on the basics of the regulations.

Cites in 2016
At the end of September / beginning of October 2016 the signatories again have met in South Africa and have agreed to new regulations. Three months ago they come into force in the single countries, starting from the January 2nd 2017.

Nothing was changed in the status of Rio rosewood, this wood is still in the highest protective class (in the so-called appendix CITES I).
Any trade, any processing is forbidden, unless, a trader can prove that the material has been legally taken from the nature before 1992. Important to know for musicians: this is, e.g., the case if he/she has owned the wood / instrument already before 1992. This has to be prooved by bills or other legal papers to show the officials.

Any Objects of this wood – in our case instruments – may be traded not without necessary EU certificates, the transport over EU-borders and any commercial utilisation is possible only with CITES approvals or EU certificates.

In the case of any instruments affected this means that they may not even be displayed without those EU certificates commercially in any case, even for live-shows nor on images (at sales for example).
Even luthiers may also not accept such instruments for repair, except only if the owner has the necessary proof that disposes documents for the legal possession (covered to the protection of endangered species-juridical regulations).

Conclusion
Actually more question marks than facts are about that whole CITES issue. Also the written guidelines of the branch associations are mainly recommendations – which effects all these new CITES regulations will really have for musicians is still to develop.

However, it is to be assumed anyway from the facts that traders and instrument-builders (luthiers) are confronted with clearly bigger expenditure than the musicians themselfes. But this is only a supposition.
Who really want to be safe, should register all of his affected guitars, basses or other instruments etc. until january 2nd 2017. Besides, a phone call at the local nature conservation authority is recommended, to find out the responsable editor for this issue at your local Agency for Nature Conservation.

Read more on - What means CITES for musicians?


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