EGB Position on CITES and related regulations

Making musical instruments in a traditional, artisanal way leads to a close relationship with the natural materials used. As a result, the way of life as a luthier means also caring deeply about our environment. As concerned parties we have a great stake in maintaining a healthy environment and in protecting the world's forests. Our very livelihood depends on a continuing healthy population of a variety of species which now fall under the CITES regulations, and we fully understand the necessity of such measures in view of the rapid degradation and disappearance of woodlands all across the globe.

The EGB therefore absolutely supports and applauds the resolutions and efforts made by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. On our end we also work to contribute towards a sustainable management of the world's forests by actively:

  • educating the public about what consequences their actions and choices have on the environment (f.i. "why buy instruments made in a sustainable manner?") -
  • disseminating information to the general public about how the CITES regulations affect them and why they are necessary -
  • raising awareness within the industry and with the public about alternate materials and resources and advocate for their use (for example through programs like the Local Wood Challenge) -
  • networking and collaborating with other organizations such as The Leonardo Research Project, various reforesting initiatives, alternate wood supplies to traditionally used woods (Thermo treatment, etc.) -

We also work with our members by:

  • providing our members with information about sustainable alternatives to traditionally used woods -
  • providing information and education to our members about CITES and its regulations -
  • supporting members in dealing with their local CITES agencies and the bureaucratic process -


Without in any way questioning the goals of CITES and related efforts, we do have some concerns regarding the implementation of such regulations. Although the musical instruments industry only uses a very small percentage of the tropical and endangered woods logged worldwide, as small entities we find ourselves heavily impacted by the regulatory requirements put in place today, some of which even threaten our very survival. We would like to be heard in this matter and to participate in finding ways in which these bureaucratic burdens could be eased - without compromising the intention and the effectiveness of the CITES listings.

To this end we would like to

  • collaborate on efforts to ease the overall bureaucratic burden for instrument makers and musicians/customers especially in crossing-borders situations or while traveling
  • network with organizations internationally for the common goal to make CITES members aware of the consequences their resolutions have on especially small builders/businesses
  • foster efforts to adapt CITES resolutions and regulations as they are implemented by member countries, so they do not threaten the economic survival of small builders due to the bureaucratic burden placed on manufacturers and customers


The EGB is supported in this position by: