Rosewood (Shitan), Kouki and CITES

Hi, I was digging around a little bit because of the laws surrounding woods. It’s probably a little bit of old news, but the last forum posts I could find where made before this specific change in the Cites regulations.

Now, I know Rosewood was under Appendix II which prohibited trade without certificates for quite a while. According to this article and multiple other sources
this regulation ended in November 2019, as the market for instruments was seen as very minimal compared to furniture. Maybe someone with more knowledge about this topic can confirm this as well?

I was also looking for some information considering Kouki. And altough the situation is somewhat unclear, and I found some documents specifically mentioning shamisen production, the ban on this wood seems to only affect logs, wood chips, powder and extracts. Finished products are specifically not banned.

So all in all all types of shamisen should at the moment technically be completely legal to export and import however you want, if I’m not mistaken?

Hello Luke!
It should be ok regarding musical instruments. I just got an instrument (karin + ebony pegs) 2 months ago from Japan to Czech rep. and nobody asked anything.
Now I would worry only if, let´s say, you were to buy a bundle containing tortoise and ivory items. Or an instrument containing Brazilian rosewood.

If you are still really unsure about it, try to e-mail the ministry of the environment or whichever institution is on top of CITES in your country.

Hi, I’m not particularly worried about those woods, but rather interested in the current law situation. It would be useful for future shamisen buyers to know about possible problems that theoretically could occur. I also heard that practically no one ever ran into problems buying shamisen here of course :slight_smile:
But I feel like it’s important to keep an eye on those things.

Ah, ok :smile: Another factor to consider is how strict the recipient´s country is in checking packages due to import taxes and such.