CITES Issues Official Notification for Dalbergia Annotation Change

Update - Oct. 3, 2019: CITES Issues Official Notification for Dalbergia Annotation Change

Today, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) issued an official notification stating that the effective date for the musical instrument exemption from the dalbergia permitting requirement is November 26, 2019.

The official notification, found on page 6 here, also contains definitions applicable to the exemption. As noted upon the approval of Annotation 15, imports and exports of finished musical instruments, finished parts, and finished accessories will no longer need a CITES permit. The exception applies to all species of dalbergia except Brazilian rosewood, which remains on CITES Appendix I. As a best practice, NAMM Member companies should continue to work with their Management Authorities in their country of export/import to ensure compliance.

"We are pleased that the CITES parties have recognized the burdens that the original listing placed on industry and governments, while at the same time acknowledging the industry's commitment to work with all parties to make sure that sustainable forestry practices are preserved," affirmed Jim Goldberg, of Goldberg & Associates, PLLC.

The notification comes on the heels of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) in Geneva, Switzerland, in August of this year, where Annotation 15 was adopted by the 182 countries and the EU. Read more in the Aug. 28 update, below.

At CoP18, NAMM hosted a gathering of more than 100 key stakeholders to gain understanding of the conservation efforts and policy complexities facing musicians and musical instrument makers which included CITES management authority officials, conservation organizations, and industry representatives including the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada; ANAFIMA - Brazilian Music Industry Association; The Argentinian Association of Musical Instruments Manufacture; Association of British Orchestras; The Australian Music Association; Bundesverband der deutschen Musikinstrumentenhersteller e.V.; C.F. Martin & Co.; Collings Guitars; Confederation of European Music Industries (CAFIM); Dismamusica; Fender Musical Instruments Corporation; ForestBased Solutions, LLC; French Musical Instrument Organisation (CSFI); International Alliance of Violin and Bow Makers for Endangered Species; International Association of Violin and Bow Makers; International Federation of Musicians; International Wood Products Association; Japan Musical Instruments Association; League of American Orchestras; Live Performance Australia; Madinter Trade; Music Industries Association; National Association of Music Merchants; Orchestras Canada; Paul Reed Smith; PEARLE*; The Recording Academy; The SOMM - Society of Music Merchants e. V.; Symphony Services Australia; and Taylor Guitars.

How to Comply

Informational Webinars:

Oct. 4, 2019: NAMM partner, the League of American Orchestras, is collaborating with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to produce updated webinars that reflect the new policies adopted at CoP18. (Stand by for time and date to be listed here soon). In the meantime, we encourage you to view the two informational webinars below, providing guidance on how to comply with the laws that regulate international trade in wildlife and plants:

  1. Hosted by the League of American Orchestras and NAMM: New rules for protected species and musical instruments. Access the following: archived webinar, a PDF copy of the slides, or download the MP4 file.
  2. Hosted by the International Wood Products Association: Guidance on commercial imports and exports of timber and timber products. Listen to the audio recording, here.

Questions and Answers

US Fish and Wildlife Guidance for Commercial Timber and Wood Products Traders; Traveling Musicians; The Sale and Purchase of Instruments by Individuals; Traveling Orchestras and Ensembles and more, can be found here.

If you have a question that is not addressed in the webinars above, or on this page, please contact or contact NAMM’s counsel, Jim Goldberg of Goldberg & Associates at

Learn more on our Endangered Species page.