Effective June 24, 2014: Certain commodities of Yucatan rosewood (Dalbergia tucurensis), Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica) and Manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica) have been listed in CITES Appendix III and require CITES documentation for import and re-export from the United States. For additional information on this listing, please read this letter to U.S. timber importers and re-exporters.

Effective June 12, 2013: Madagascar's populations of Dalbergia spp. (Madagascan rosewoods) and Diospyros spp. (Madagascan ebonies) were listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16). For additional information on this listing, please read this letter to U.S. importers/re-exporters of rosewood and ebony.

Forests support a variety of human needs around the world. Tree species are traded internationally primarily as timber, but also for horticulture, traditional medicines and ornamental plants. To ensure that this international trade does not endanger these species, regulations were put in place to monitor and regulate the harvest and trade of woods and other tree products.

Laws & Regulations


Monkey Puzzle Tree
Credit: Duncan Brown, CC-BY 2.0

Many species of trees are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), with species listed in each Appendix based on their conservation status.

Some woods commonly traded are bigleaf mahogany and Brazilian rosewood, both listed in Appendix II of CITES. Other trees, such as the monkey-puzzle tree and Guatemalan fir, are listed in Appendix I and therefore commercial trade is prohibited.  For a list of tree species included under CITES, click here

You can also see what tree species are listed under CITES by visiting the CITES Species Database.

The Parties have adopted a resolution on CITES and timber species. The Parties agreed that before introducing a proposal to list a tree species under CITES, the proposing country should consult with other international organizations that deal with timber and forestry issues. They also agreed that any proposal to include timber in Appendix II or III should indicate what parts and derivatives of that species will be regulated.

For information on importing or exporting CITES listed tree species, including Mahogany, visit our Branch of Permits page.

For older articles and reports on timber, visit Archives page.