skip to main content

Musical Instrument Certificate (MIC)

What the Musical Instrument Certificate is for, in which cases is it needed and how musicians can apply for it before travelling.

Last updated: 23 October 2023

The following information has been supplied to the MU by the UK CITES Management Authority in Bristol – Animal and Plant Health Authority (APHA) following the UK's exit from the EU on 31 December 2020.

UK issued Musical Instrument Certificates (MICs) issued before 31 December 2020 will be accepted by the EU. This is set this out in the readiness notice in sections 2 and 4 respectively. We would still recommend double checking with the relevant Member State Management Authority(s) that it would accept them. Contact details can be found on National CITES Authorities webpage.

Purpose and uses of a MIC

  • If you are part of a touring orchestra or solo and only plan to travel with a single instrument across several borders then a MIC would be useful. If you are travelling with multiple instruments you can apply for more than one MIC which gives you maximum flexibility or you may consider applying for a Travelling Exhibition Certificate (TEC).
  • A MIC will be required if an instrument contains any Annex A, B or C listed specimen. However, there are some exemptions for musical instruments.
  • Musicians can use the MIC for the non-commercial* cross border movement of single musical instruments containing CITES listed species. This includes Appendix I or Annex A listed species commonly known as Ivory, tortoiseshell and Brazilian Rosewood, therefore instruments cannot be sold or advertised for sale whilst out of the country of issue. Please note that CITES regulations use the accurate scientific names of listed species, so it is your responsibility to check if the exact species(s) used in your instrument are listed on CITES, if not, you will not require an MIC. You can search for CITES-listed species here: Species+ ( .

*Non-Commercial, for the purposes of CITES regulations, means the movement of musical instruments for personal use, paid or unpaid performance, display, production, teaching or competition. Also, international transport of an item for the purpose of being repaired or returned under warranty.

  • As of January 2021, there is currently no fee charged by the UK issuing authority for an MIC application.
  • MIC’s can be used instead of a single import, export/re-export permits, saving time and money, without making individual permit applications for each cross border trip.
  • MIC’s are valid for three years from the date of issue, with no limit to the number of cross border movements, but the instrument must be back in the country of issue (UK) before the permit expires.
  • As these arrangements are relatively new, we recommend that Import requirements should be checked with the importing country before moving an instrument with a MIC, ensuring that it will be accepted. Contact details for all CITES management authorities’ can be found on their website.

How to make an MIC application

  1. You need the FED 0172 application for an MIC. You can go straight to the application form and download ‘FED 0172’ for your MIC as a word document or PDF. On the application page you will also find instructions on how to complete the form. Note that FED 0172 is a generic application form also used for import and export/re-export. To apply for an MIC tick the box ‘Other’ in the 'Permit/Certificate field section in the top right-hand corner of the form and write in ‘Musical Instrument Certificate’. Find the MIC application form.
  2. We have been working closely with with APHA to provide a clear set of guidance notes on how to complete an MIC application along with examples and a specimen FED0172 to assist you in the process. We also provide information regarding Ivory and the USA.
  3. Before you start a MIC application make sure it’s needed and that the CITES listed species in the finished instrument is not exempt from control.

CITES species exemptions for musical instruments

The following species which are CITES listed, are exempt from control when part of a musical instrument, and a MIC is not required for them:

  • All Dalbergia species - commonly known as rosewood, except for Dalbergia nigra, and Dalbergia Cochinchinensis
  • Guibourtia demeusei Commonly known as Red bubinga
  • Guibourtia pellegriniana or, 
  • Guibourtia tessmannii – both commonly known as Rose bubinga, Kavazingo

So you will only need to apply for an MIC where your instrument includes CITES listed species not on the above list, but you will need to apply if the instrument includes either Dalbergia nigra or Dalbergia cochinchinensis, which are not exempt from control.

Contact UK CITES Management Authority

UK CITES Management Authority for the Convention on International Trade for Endangered Species (CITES).

Telephone: 0117 372 3700
Fax: 0117 372 8206

Animal and Plant Health Agency

Centre for International Trade - Bristol
Floor 3
Horizon House
Deanery Road

For further information contact:

Member services

Contract Advisory Service

Protect yourself against unpaid fees by making sure that your tour or engagement is covered by a written contract. Have it vetted by the MU for added peace of mind.

Read more about Contract Advisory Service

Career advice