CITES - Information on Buying Musical Instruments


On 2nd January 2017, all dalbergia species were brought under CITES trade controls. This includes all musical instruments made fully or in part dalbergia species. These are now controlled under CITES Appendix II (B) and require documentation to import or export outside the EU.

What/who does this affect?

The addition of dalbergia series to CITES Appendix II covers the following woods:

  • Palisander
  • Grenadilla
  • Rosewood/Tulipwood

Therefore some of our products are affected including recorders, baroque flutes, string instruments and music stands. This change only affects customers ordering these items from outside the EU. 

What does this mean?

Documentation is required to import or export musical instruments made of dalbergia species outside of the EU. Export documentation usually takes up to 6 weeks to obtain (though it can be longer) and costs £59. 

Online orders affected by CITES

If your order contains an instrument or accessory needing CITES documentation we'll contact you confirming that you want to proceed. We'll then apply for the required documentation and despatch your order as soon possible. The order then proceeds as normal - no documentation is required for receiving your order.

In-store orders affected by CITES

No documentation is required to travel with instruments or accessories made of dalbergia species as long as the weight is less than 10kg. Therefore there are no issues with purchasing musical instruments in-store and taking them back home outside the EU. It is always worth having a copy of your receipt or invoice just in case it is required at customs. 

Can I still buy these instruments?

Yes - there are no issues with buying these instruments. The only issue is a delay in despatching your order whilst the paperwork is obtained.

Possible exception to CITES for musical instruments

Last year NAMM petitioned for all finished musical instruments and accessories to be exempt from CITES Appendix II. This was successful and the proposed annotation on the dalbergia series will be formally submitted for consideration at the 18th Conference of the Parties in May 2019. It looks hopeful that this will be accepted and passed which would be very good news for the musical instrument industry! For further reading on this see here.