The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement that aims to ensure that international trade in plants and animals does not threaten species’ survival in the wild.
At the 18th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties, several changes to the current timber regulations were agreed. The changes affect species of rosewood, cedar and African teak.
Rosewood (Dalbergia and Guibourtia spp.)
From 26 November 2019, you will no longer need CITES permits to import or export the following items made from rosewood species (Dalbergia spp., or Guibourtia demeusei, Guibourtia pellegriniana, Guibourtia tessmannii) listed on Appendix II of CITES:
- finished musical instruments, finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instruments accessories (see definitions below); and
- finished products to a maximum of 10kg of rosewood per shipment.
These exemptions apply to all trade. Existing exemptions from permit requirements for leaves, flowers, pollen, fruits, and seeds from these species remain in place.
These exemptions do not apply to trade in:
- Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra).
- Dalbergia spp. originating and exported from Mexico: only logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets and plywood require CITES permits for export from Mexico to Australia.
- Dalbergia cochinchinensis: all parts and derivatives except pollen, seeds, seedling or tissue cultures, stems, and flowers require permits for import or export.
Furniture, finished timber products containing more than 10kg of rosewood timber per shipment, raw timber, logs, sawn wood, and other timber products containing rosewood, which continue to require CITES permits for import and export.
Note: Trade suspensions are currently in place for Dalbergia cochinchinensis (except finished products, including carvings and furniture) from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; and for Dalbergia spp. from Madagascar.
Cedar (Cedrela spp.)
Logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets and plywood containing cedar (Cedrela spp.) from Neotropical populations will be included in CITES Appendix II from 28 August 2020. From this date, CITES permits will be required for import and export of these timber products.
Finished timber products (e.g. musical instruments, cigar boxes) containing Cedrela spp. will not require CITES import or export permits.
African teak (Pericopsis elata)
From 26 November 2019, in addition to existing regulation of logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets, plywood and transformed wood of African teak (Pericopsis elata) will be included in CITES Appendix II. CITES permits will be required for import and export of these timber products.
Finished musical instruments
A musical instrument1 that is ready to play or needs only the installation of parts to make it playable (includes antique instruments).
Finished musical instrument accessories
A musical instrument accessory2 that is separate from the musical instrument, and is specifically designed or shaped to be used explicitly in association with an instrument, and that requires no further modification to be used.
Finished musical instrument parts:
A part of a musical instrument3 that is ready to install and is specifically designed and shaped to be used explicitly in association with the instrument to make it playable.
Cargo transported under the terms of a single bill of lading or air waybill, irrespective of the quantity or number of containers or packages; or pieces worn, carried or included in personal baggage.
Ten (10) kg per shipment
The weight of the individual portions of each item in the shipment made of wood of the species concerned. The 10 kg limit is to be assessed against the weight of the individual portions of wood of Dalbergia or Guibourtia spp. contained in each item of the shipment, rather than against the total weight of the shipment.
Wood (including strips, friezes for parquet flooring, not assembled), continuously shaped (tongued, grooved, v-jointed, beaded or the like) along any edges, ends or faces, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed.
Getting a CITES permit or certificate
Trade in Dalbergia spp, Guibortia spp, Cedrela spp. and Pericopsis elata harvested after the CITES listing
To import CITES-listed specimens that were harvested after the species was first listed under CITES, you require a CITES export permit from the CITES Management Authority of the exporting country and a CITES import permit from the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy (the CITES Management Authority of Australia).
Both the import and export permit must be issued prior to the shipment occurring and must remain valid until the shipment has taken place.
To export CITES-listed specimens that were harvested after the species was first listed under CITES, you require a CITES re-export permit from the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy.
To obtain a CITES re-export permit, you must demonstrate that the specimen was legally exported from the last country of export and legally imported into Australia. Evidence of this may include the CITES (re) export permit from the country of last (re) export, or the acquitted Australian CITES import permit.
For exports of CITES-listed specimens, you should also contact the CITES Management Authority of the importing country to find out if they have any additional requirements.
Contact details for overseas CITES Management Authorities are available at cites.org/eng/cms/index.php/component/cp
Trade in Dalbergia spp, Guibortia spp, Cedrela spp. and Pericopsis elata harvested before the CITES listing (‘pre-CITES’)
To import CITES-listed specimens into Australia that were harvested before the species was first listed under CITES, you require a CITES pre‑Convention certificate from the CITES Management Authority of the exporting country. This certificate must travel with the shipment.
No documentation is required from the Department of the Environment and Energy, however we recommend that you provide a copy of the overseas pre-Convention certificate to the Department via email to confirm the pre-Convention certificate meets Australia’s requirements. You should keep a copy of overseas pre-Convention certificates used to import timber to Australia; should you apply to re-export the timber in the future, this certificate will be requested as evidence it was imported legally.
To export CITES-listed specimens from Australia that were harvested before the species was first listed under CITES, you require a CITES pre-Convention certificate from the Department of the Environment and Energy. Pre-Convention certificates certify that the timber was harvested before the species was listed under CITES.
To obtain a pre-Convention certificate you need to provide evidence of the age, source and legal origin of the timber. Evidence may include:
- A record of the shipment or transit of the rosewood timber item into Australia (including a pre-Convention certificate from the exporting country);
- An independent age assessment of the item demonstrating that the rosewood timber was harvested prior to the listing date;
- Receipts/invoices showing the date of manufacture of finished products
- Receipt of purchase stating the date of purchase and the country of origin of the timber; or
- A Statutory Declaration and supporting information detailing how the rosewood item was acquired.
For stockpiles of Cedrela cedar timber imported prior to the CITES listing date, we recommend you undertake an audit of the raw and worked timber you have on stock and send it to the Wildlife Trade Regulation permits team before 28 August 2020.
For exports of CITES-listed specimens, you should also contact the CITES Management Authority of the importing country to find out if they have any additional requirements. Contact details for overseas CITES Management Authorities are available at: https://cites.org/eng/cms/index.php/component/cp
How do I find out the first listing date of a CITES species?
Information about the listing date of species under CITES is available on the CITES Species + database (www.speciesplus.net/).
How do I apply for an Australian CITES permit?
Apply online at onlineservices.environment.gov.au
Information about permit fees is available at: Wildlife Trade Fees
Pre-Convention certificates are issued free of charge and are valid for six months.
Where do I find out more?
International wildlife trade or contact Wildlife Trade Regulation Section:
- +61 (0)2 6274 1900
1 2 3 As referenced by the Harmonized System of the World Customs Organisation, Chapter 92.