How to get your instrument past the ivory policemain
The ivory ban imposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and followed by some other nations has left many musicians in a state of high anxiety about getting their instruments through airports.
Joey Grimmer, incoming principal bassoon of Kennedy Center and Washington National Opera orchestra, has compiled an indispensable guide to instruments and ivory.
From ascertaining whether you have any ivory to learning how to obtain the appropriate instrument passport, you absolutely need to read and keep this guide if you want to travel in peace.
Read Joey’s guide exclusively here. Then save it.
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If you are going to travel, you have 3 options:
- Do nothing
- Get a CITES Musical Instrument Certificate and use it every time you travel internationally
- Have the ivory removed
I know some people who have opted for option 1 and I highly discourage it. These instruments are many of our livelihoods and Congress has given the FWS the authority to seize property that contains undocumented ivory. This is no idle threat and we have seen instances of ivory being confiscated.