As a result of active intervention by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and the Forest Department a resumption of trade in of some dalbergia species has become possible.
CITES notification No. 2018/031 dated 26 March 2018 details the extent of the changes agreed.
1. The Management Authority of India has informed the Secretariat that the Government of India has banned the export for commercial purposes of all wild-taken specimens of species included in Appendices I, II and III, subject to paragraph 2 below.
2. India permits the export of cultivated varieties of plant species included in Appendices I and II and has indicated that all products, other than the wood and wood products in the form of logs, timber, stumps, roots, bark, chips, powder, flakes, dust and charcoal, produced from wild sourced (W) Dalbergia sissoo and Dalbergia latifolia and authorized for export by a CITES Comparable Certificate issued by the competent authorities of India are exempted from the general ban.
Such Dalbergia sissoo and Dalbergia latifolia specimens are harvested legally as per the regional and national laws of India and as per the prescribed management (working) plans, which are based on silvicultural principles and all are covered under Legal Procurement Certificate; all the material are sold from the Government timber depots through auction or are legally procured and can be exported legally.
3. Starting on the date of this Notification, all the CITES Comparable Certificates will be issued with a footnote, stating that the wild (W) source specimens are covered under Legal Procurement Certificate as per regional and national laws in India.
4. Parties are urged to inform the Indian Management Authority and the Secretariat of any attempted violations.
5. This Notification replaces Notification to the Parties No. 1999/39 of 31 May 1999.
Analysts say that exporters are buying the logs legally from various Forest Departments and that they are delighted to see a resumption of trade.
One positive result of the dalbergia ban has been growing market acceptance of Terminalia tomentosa (Indian laurel) for musical instrument manufacture.
As a follow-up to the easing of restrictions on domestic dalbergia, the local industry has requested government inventory all dalbergia standing trees across the country to make show that India has an abundance of this species and there is no risk of extinction. It seems that a survey will be conducted through the Botanical Survey of India.