African Blackwood CITES Requirements


African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) has been added to the Convention of International Trade for Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II effective Jan 2, 2017.  This means that the wood is now considered endangered and all trade in the wood will be controlled and certified. 

What does this mean for sales/purchases of products with African Blackwood?

The regulations vary from country to country, so if you are planning to import or export anything containing African Blackwood, we recommend checking with the correct authorities in your country (ex. Canadian Wildlife Services, US Fish & Wildlife Service, UK management Authority Centre for International Trade).

In most countries, CITES export documents are required in order for wood or products of that species to be taken out of a country and allowed entry into another country. These permits can cost around $100 CAD per shipment. Permit fees may be added into the costs of your purchase, so you may want to confirm before purchasing outside your country. Also, some countries may require an import permit. Export and import permits must be acquired before the product is sent across the borders and will not be applied retroactively. Not having the correct documentation could result in fines and/or confiscation of the product. The permits may take a few weeks to process.

Buying and Selling African Blackwood products within your own country currently has no limitations.  For example, we can ship African Blackwood bagpipes all over Canada without requiring any CITES permits and certification.  However, to ship to the US or Internationally, we are now required to apply for a re-export permit for each shipment containing African Blackwood.  This does not mean that you can not purchase African Blackwood products from outside your own country, it just means that there could be delays and/or added costs.

Even smaller items such as practice chanters or replacement parts that contain African Blackwood will require such permits. In these cases, the cost of the permits may be more than the value of the products. Permits would also be required if you were to send your bagpipes for repairs outside your country.

We have registered all in-stock African Blackwood products with Environment Canada CITES office.  Re-Export permits for these items take approx. 2 weeks to receive.  We require the purchaser's name, address, and contact details as well as a full description of the item in order to apply for the permit.

Any new incoming African Blackwood products will have the required export permits from the manufacturer.  We are unable to apply for re-export permits until we have a copy of the CITES permit from the manufacturer which is used to bring the products into Canada. This may cause delays in turning around any products containing African Blackwood to customers outside of Canada.

UPDATE: Aug 28, 2019- at the CITES Conference of Parties (CoP18) in Geneva, an exemption was created on imports and exports of finished musical instruments, finished parts, and finished accessories. These items will no longer require a CITES permit. The new exemption took effect in November 2019. 

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