This has been discussed on some forums for a few months now, but I finally have something concrete to share.
From January 2017 (almost) all species of rosewood will have restrictions imposed on them under CITES regulations. From this announcement from NAMM
“all manufacturers and retailers of musical instruments containing one or more rosewood species (excluding Brazilian rosewood) to obtain a permit from the appropriate government regulatory agency (in the United States, it is the Fish and Wildlife Service) if they wish to export one or more instruments outside of the country. Domestic shipments will not require a permit.”
I assume that Mighty Mite/Allparts/Hosco etc will need to acquire these permits to export to their international dealers, which in itself will probably have a cost involved. I also assume the original harvesters/sellers of the rosewood will require these permits. The cost will no doubt be passed on to dealers/distributors in the form of increased cost price, who in turn will have to increase their selling price.
*EDIT> This will not only affect rosewood fingerboard necks – don’t forget that some one piece maple necks have rosewood skunk stripes.
I assume as long as the UK is still in the EU cross-border sales will be exempt but once we leave I would have to obtain a permit to sell rosewood products internationally. Depending on complexity and cost, I may not wish to go that route.
In the short term we don’t know exactly what is going to happen – probably a shortage of rosewood while the logistics get sorted out, but certainly an increase in price.
* I have confirmation from Allparts that their skunk stripes are walnut, so won’t be affected. Mighty Mite have rosewood skunk strips, but as I am not re-stocking Mighty Mite it will not be an issue.