they buy from PRs to sell only within USA, so they couldn’t get documentation even if they tried, so it is not possible to legally send a PRs from sweetwater out of the USA.
Spot on. What this all means is that, since 2017, virtually every guitar with rosewood made or released in the US, by any brand whatsoever and not just PRS, is legally illiquid internationally. You can’t sell the guitar intentionally.
Which is a shambolic state of affairs considering that these guitars are made with rosewood timber that was harvested compliant to CITES. It’s just the absence of a framework for traceability, post production, that hands the sack of rocks to the individual buyer.
If the guitar was made in the US, the manufacturer would not provide documentation for the timbre that contains traceability back to the individual guitar, because (I suspect) there is no framework for doing so. That is, there is no permanent certificate format provided by CITES specifically for such a purpose. Anyone can apply for an export permit, but applying for one on behalf of an unknown future customer who may have no intent of exporting his guitar ever, is probably gonna land you in trouble with the authorities. The export permit will expire anyway.
There is however a permanent musical instrument certificate (‘passport’) available from the USFWS but that is meant for non-commercial travel of the guitar ie personal use. Securing one could possible serve as documentary proof for you to obtain a CITES export permit later - however this is just my personal speculation and it’s DOUBTFUL any manufacturer could or would obtain one for you.
For guitars like the SE range made overseas and imported into the US, your guitar is saved only if the manufacturer/dealer bother to retain copies the export or import permits. I’m pretty sure even if the permits cover batch shipments there will be traceability to individual guitars - otherwise it would not get past customs.
Phew. All in all, this is a sad situation where the end user that is legally sponsoring the livelihoods of everyone down the guitar manufacturing chain, who has done no wrong, gets landed with a perfectly legal property that is illiquid internationally. This end user is penalised for the actions of others in the world who are illegally killing the rosewood.
Unless customers collectively make a stand with their wallets, flocking to the first manufacturer who can solve this conundrum, the status quo will remain. This is unlikely to occur because 99.999% of customers aren’t even aware of this dynamic, or even understand how these arcane rules work.
Its. Just. Sad.