What is CITES?

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. As a result certain wildlife are regulated and come with various restrictions based on their origin of purchase or location of delivery.

Things you should know

At Fodera, our Brazilian Rosewood and Madagascar Kingwood materials are CITES certified and as such comes with proper documentation. While the regulation of these materials only apply to international shipments, domestic customers should use caution when traveling or shipping instruments with CITES materials.

International Customers – Instruments that are sold and shipped internationally come with a CITES certificate for Customs to allow receipt of the instruments.

Domestic Customers – As CITES regulations only apply to international shipments, documentation is not provided with your instrument. In addition, we encourage customers not to travel with basses containing Brazilian Rosewood. As US laws interpret, Indian Rosewood and Madagascar Kingwood are safe to travel with. However, we strongly advise that you contact the local government of the country you will be traveling to to verify it is safe to travel with your instrument.

Alternatives to CITES materials

Despite the popularity of the materials listed above, there are some wonderful alternatives that can provide similar tonal qualities without the hassle of CITES regulation: 

Pau Ferro - Very dense and even. This material is a great middle ground between Rosewoods and Ebony fingerboards providing great articulation and warmth.

Maple - A classic material that has a very bright, punchy, and snappy tone great for slap style, soloing, and chords.

Ebony - The brightest of all the fingerboards. Very articulate with a clear bell-like quality. 

US Fish and Wildlife

What is USFWS?

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS or FWS) is an agency of the federal government within the U.S. Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fishwildlife, and natural habitats.

Every instrument containing shell product (Abalone, Mother of Pearl, etc) comes with a $125 US Fish and Wildlife processing fee. Unfortunately there is no documentation that we are able to provide customers and as such should use caution when shipping or traveling with your instrument.

In order to avoid this, we currently offer alternative materials for our butterfly logo and fingerboard inlays that are not regulated by US Fish and Wildlife:

  • Clay, White, and Black plastic (top dots, side dots)
  • Black Stone / Ebony (top dots, butterfly logo, side dots)
  • Pearloid (top dots, butterfly logo, side dots)
  • Aluminum (butterfly “F” logo, side dots)
  • Non-CITES wood materials (top dots, butterfly logo)


You may have seen the following warning label on our instruments:

“Warning: This instrument’s finish contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. These risks only exists when sanding or abrading the surface. “

While we believe our instruments are not harmful when used as intended, to play music, we provide the warning as a result of the California law.

What is Proposition 65?

The State of California has enacted the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 generally referred to as “Proposition 65”. Proposition 65 is a far reaching law and applies to any company that operates in California, sells products in California, or manufactures products that may be sold in or brought in to California.

Proposition 65 requires warning labels on any products that contains or may contain any of 700-plus elements that the California Air Resources Board considers harmful. Many of the elements listed under Proposition 65 have been routinely used in everyday consumer items for years without documented harm.

Why has Fodera Guitar Partners decided to place a label on its instruments?

The penalties for not complying with Proposition 65 are steep As a result of the steep penalties and because there is no penalty for providing the warning, Fodera Guitar Partners and many other manufacturers have elected to provide a Proposition 65 notice our of an abundance of caution in order to avoid the potential for liability.