A federal regulation on ivory imports came into force on February 25. It applies to ivory used in musical instruments.
Worked African elephant ivory imported as part of a musical instrument will continue to be allowed provided the worked ivory was legally acquired prior to February 26, 1976; the worked elephant ivory has not subsequently been transferred from one person to another person in pursuit of financial gain or profit; and the item is accompanied by a valid CITES musical instrument passport.
What this means is that every string player who has a small piece of ivory in their bow will need to get a passport for each instrument and bow. Every time you buy a new bow, you will need to register it and pay a $75 fee.
Here are some basic guidelines. It’s getting tough out there. They’ve found another way to get you.
UPDATE: WE have received the following advisory from the League of American Orchestras:
If a musician purchased an instrument containing African Elephant ivory after 1976, they are not allowed to bring it into the U.S. Even if it is certified, and even if they are simply returning from an international performance.
– The passport will only be good for up to three years, so it will need to be renewed.
– The certification requirement is not a new one. They have long been required to obtain a certification before travelling internationally.
– The existing certification requirement is likely to now be enforced much more strictly.
Our website has all the details.