Designated Ports for International Travel with Instruments Containing Protected Species
If you plan to travel internationally with CITES permits for musical instruments that contain Brazilian rosewood, elephant ivory, tortoiseshell, or another protected animal or plant species, you must travel through specific designated ports. It is important to contact the port in advance of travel to schedule an inspection and review related requirements.
In response to requests from the music community, on May 2, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-APHIS) took action to double the number of ports through which musicians can travel with CITES permits when carrying both plant and animal material. FWS officials are now authorized to carry out inspections and credential documents when CITES permits contain both plant and animal material or if the instruments contain CITES plant material and any (CITES or non-CITES) wildlife material. Previously, such instruments could only pass through the nine port locations in which both FWS and USDA officials were present. The memorandum below verifies this helpful policy development: