The MU has been made aware of new regulations in Canada which come into force on the 8 January 2024.
Older musical instruments, and particularly bows for stringed instruments, may contain small amounts of elephant ivory and have long been under strict rules for international travel and commerce. Beginning January 8, 2024, Canadian-issued import and export permits will now be required for travel in and out of Canada with ivory, in addition to the required permits already issued by a musician’s home country. Following are useful resources:
- Orchestras Canada has posted a webinar providing an overview of the permit requirements, with participation by governmental authorities from the Canadian Wildlife Service. There is a great deal of information within this webinar including a Q and A session.
- An overview of the new Canadian rules and the specific new regulations detail the permit procedures.
- Note that the U.S. already requires permits in keeping with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and travel in and out of the U.S. with CITES permits for animal material is strictly limited to designated ports where qualified U.S. authorities are available to inspect and stamp permits. Presenting a protected species permit to a general U.S. Customs official can be highly problematic.
- League guidance on the U.S. ivory rules can help you brush up on the current U.S. requirements.
The League of American Orchestras will continue to partner with their colleagues at Orchestras Canada to gather more information about how the permit application process will work for non-Canadian musicians and ensembles, as implementation begins. Further information from the League is available in the Know Your Bow guide and their overview of protected species rules for musical instruments.
The processing time for the Canadian Temporary permit is 35 days – if you are travelling to Canada within that time then be sure to make it clear to them when applying.
The MU thanks the League of American Orchestras who have shared the guidance note and related links.
Get guidance on travelling with musical instruments containing endangered species
There is much information from the MU on travelling with musical instruments containing Endangered Species, including information on how to obtain a Musical Instrument Certificate in the UK, which are still free of charge and last for 3 years.