Traveling with Ivory: Canada Announces New Permit Rules
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. Canada has announced that, 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 related resources:
- Orchestras Canada has posted a webinar providing an overview of the permit requirements, with participation by governmental authorities from the Canadian Wildlife Service.
- 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 will continue to partner with our 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. In the meantime, please help us spread the word about how musicians can support protected species through the League’s Know Your Bow guide and our overview of protected species rules for musical instruments.
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