The new CITES Rosewood restrictions (https://reverb.com/…/new-cites-regulations-for-all-rosewood… is the best article, but the announcement dates was actually dec 10th or there abouts) has caused delays for all orders at WMI and from my sources, all other similar manufacturers.
Unfortunately a number of containers worth of ebony and rosewood have been halted due to not arriving before paperwork could be acquired. I know in the USA and Australia, this paperwork, required from jan 2nd 2017 for all imports of any deliveries including any rosewood pieces, takes approx 90 days to process (which is around now, but with everyone filing for this new paperwork, who knows).
The hold up is because some of these deliveries arrived into Korea days or weeks late, and are now waiting retrospectively for paperwork. This has had a flow in effect for all production for all brands. Because, all these containers are a mixture of woods, including rosewood.
Because WMI and most other manufacturers work on a 'just in time production system', any delay causes flow on effects. With 7000 guitars being made per month, obviously they rely on items arriving when they should (and for the most part this works perfectly).
Here is anderson's views, who own chapman, also made at WMI:
It was hoped we would bypass all this due to our orders being smaller than most.
Furthermore, any guitars featuring rosewood parts (not any of ours), have been restricted and cannot ship OUT of the factory. So there are stockpiles of guitars ready to ship, that can't, stopping new materials coming in at the volumes they usually do.
WMI don't yet have the gig bags, or bridges, but both of these are expected very soon.
Unfortunate situation, and WMI are trying to expedite ebony from other sources to get enough to complete the order. However, with paperwork due any day now, that might be a waste of time.
I've advised them to go ahead even if bridges haven't yet arrived, and Jett and I will fly up there and assist in assembly, and do QC in the factory to save time when everything arrives here. I've also discussed doing a half sized shipment to get guitars moving here, whilst the other half are still being completed, to ship faster once they arrive.
More news as it comes to hand as always. We are doing our best to get everything completed asap.
PS. With paperwork due any day, these delays shouldn't effect run 5, other than our ability to QC all of run 4 first.