The MU deplores the illegal trade in Ivory, and through discussions with the Government were able to secure an exemption to the Ivory ban for instruments containing Ivory that were made prior to 1975 and contain less than 20% by volume.
Since then the MU has responded to consultations around the inclusion of non-elephant ivory such as mammoth and walrus etc. The Government have rightly chosen not to include mammoth ivory which is good news as stocks of mammoth ivory are still being used in instrument manufacture and repair as a legal alternative to elephant ivory.
Musicians will need to register their instruments
Musicians wishing to trade their instruments – provided they fall under the exemption criteria – will need to register their instruments. Details of how to register have yet to be supplied by the Government.
In order to deter any illegal trade in ivory the Government have proposed a range of civil sanctions which can be imposed if an item that is banned or not registered is traded.
The Government must supply clear guidelines
The main thrust of our joint submission is to ensure the Government must supply very clear and understandable guidelines for musicians, as we are concerned that without this clarity some musicians could fall foul of the sanctions through no fault of their own.
We wait to see the outcome. We believe these sanctions are there to deter illegal activity. However we need to be sure that musicians are not impacted due to unexpected consequences.
Read the full text of our joint response with the ISM.