Guitar makers hit hard by new regulations on prized rosewood

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — An international crackdown on illegal logging in tropical forests has ensnared the makers of some guitars and other musical instruments.

The top-end products from those manufacturers require small amounts of rosewood, a material prized for its rich, multicolored grain and resonant sound.

Since new trade rules took effect in 2017, guitar makers have complained about delays in getting permits to import rosewood and export finished instruments. Warehouses have filled with unsold instruments. A bagpipe maker in New Hampshire went so far as to ask the governor to intervene after an application was lost.

Chris Martin is chairman of C.F. Martin and Co., whose guitars have been played by Eric Clapton, Ed Sheeran and Sting. He says the company’s logistics staff spends 40 percent of its time dealing with the regulations.

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