This is not a post about the ins and outs of Brexit, nor is it really my opinion on the situation we have found ourselves in (good or bad you decide). All I can say is that I was one of those who felt had a lack of information to make an informed decision. To avoid backlash, I will not divulge which way I voted. But I executed my right to vote and voted in favour of what I felt was best for myself and my young family. What this post is really about is what Brexit means for the guitar market, particularly in the UK and particularly regarding the new international trade laws of rosewood (CITES)
I will skim over the £ against $ discussion. The effect this has had is obvious. It makes it more expensive for us Brits to buy from the US, Europe and the rest of the world, but on the positive side, particularly for us, we have gained more buying interest from overseas than ever before.
How we really will be affected, is with new trade laws on CITES. There are lots of ins and out on this subject, so I will try and be brief!
Brazilian Rosewood, which is used to make many guitars, cannot be legally sold without certification. THIS IS FACT. There are many sellers ignoring this law, a lot without a care. Many will even tell you that its all rubbish, its really not! IT IS THE LAW (and the consequences if caught are a frightening read!) We have a page dedicated to the subject to help buyers and sellers out. More in depth information can be found, with many resources online.
As of 2nd January 2017, import and export restrictions on ALL species of rosewood came into effect. Any guitars sold containing any amount of rosewood must have the correct paperwork when importing/ exporting outside of the sellers/ buyers economic area.
As it stands, we are not too badly affected. Most of our buyers are based in the UK and Europe, so aside from the article 10’s for Brazilian rosewood, things stay simple. Of course there will be the odd few sold to the US, Asia and Australia (Antarctica?!?!?!?!) which will involve the prolonged process of paperwork, but luckily its only a few.
Ah, but of course, Brexit! In a couple of years time, after this article 50 nonsense is finally initiated and we are a stand alone economic union (one assumes), we will suddenly find ourselves in a situation that results in us being limited to a UK market, to avoid any protracted paperwork and extra expense! Only time will tell. Maybe in 10 years time we will all being processing paperwork with ease and wondering what all the fuss was about?
If you do want to “get rid” of your collection of rosewood in the near future, now may be the time to do it. I am sat here waiting for the first guitar shop to open that sells only maple and ebony board guitars!
I could talk about this subject for hours, but I promised I would be brief!