CITES update – the detail


An update from Paul Mc, MIA

You will hopefully have seen the good news that the global music industry lobby group (that the MIA is part of) has secured some encouraging proposals to change the CITES regulations regarding musical instruments.

I wanted to update just a few points to be aware of regarding the coming months (with thanks to Heather Noonan of American Orchestras):

All of the hoped-for changes in relation to musical instruments would need to be ratified at the CITES 2019 meeting in May next year:

  • A key understanding has been reached that the commercial and noncommercial trade in musical instruments that contain non-Brazilian rosewood is not detrimental to the threatened species under consideration
  • A revision to the regulations will hopefully exempt:
  • All commercial and non-commercial movements of musical instruments (finished musical instruments, finished parts, finished accessories)
  • A key proposed change to the Musical Instrument Certificate is to have a different code for an individual and their instrument and one being used for instruments travelling as a group. This is already common practice among many CITES countries, and would clarify that the Certificate may be used for individuals or for ensembles.


  • The UK Government has already published a series of documents detailing what would happen regarding CITES if the UK ends up with a “no deal” Brexit
  • The key thing to be aware of here is that (as things stand), importing or exporting CITES restricted materials (e rosewood) from or into the EU will require all the import and export licenses currently needed for non-EU Countries
  • Let us hope it does not come to this and that the proposals at the top of this update come to pass!