Pernambuco (PAUBRASILIA ECHINATA ) Latest Situation

We are acutely aware of increased anxiety in the stringed instrument world concerning the status of pernambuco with regard to international travel. The latest situation is as follows.

The CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA will be considering the following proposal at the Conference of the Parties, Panama City (Panama), 14 – 25 November 2022. (CoP19 proposal XXX)


Transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I of Paubrasilia echinata in accordance with Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17), Annex I, Paragraph A) i) habitat where the species occurs is reducing and v) the species is suffering selective logging and Paragraph B) iii) the species is suffering selective logging and iv) a decrease in the area and quality of habitat and in the number of individuals, and with the following annotation:


All parts, derivatives and finished products, including bows of musical instruments, except musical instruments and their parts, composing travelling orchestras, and solo musicians carrying musical passports in accordance with Res. 16.8.’

Section 6.5 of the document states:

‘Actual or potential trade impacts

We currently have CITES permits issued only for bow blanks (unfinished product, prior to the bows). The transfer of the species from Appendix II to Appendix I will bring the trade of finished bows under control as well … There will be bureaucratic impacts for companies that commercialize the species products and by-products, especially in transactions involving the bows of musical instruments, which we intend to see included in the CITES controls, due to the need to obtain the export permits in the administrative agencies that issue them in each country, generating delays in commercial transactions or definitive trade barriers for cases in which there is no proof of origin, chain of custody or pre-convention certificate. It is expected that such restrictive measures will ensure greater protection for the species.’

Resolution 16.8 (rev.CoP17) referred to above suggests that parties to the convention:

‘… issue a musical instrument certificate for a pre-Convention Appendix-I, -II or -III
musical instrument or for a musical instrument containing specimens of Appendix-II or –III species acquired after the effective listing date, to facilitate the frequent non-commercial cross-border movement of musical instruments for purposes including, but not limited to, personal use, paid or unpaid performance, display or competition.’

It goes on to list rules which apply to this certificate and its issuing. We recommend anyone travelling before CoP19 to not only consult Customs and Excise but also refer to the document (16.8) in full

The transfer of pernambuco to Appendix I would change the rules – possibly with almost immediate effect – which apply to the international movement of bows and many states may choose to go beyond those recommended by the convention. (see above “definitive trade barriers”)

We will attempt to provide a summary of any new rules relating to the international movement of bows for players after that date.

This is a guide only and Tim Toft Violins accepts no liability for its accuracy and strongly urges any one undertaking travel abroad to contact the appropriate authorities for a definitive ruling.

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