NAMM supports free and fair trade. Review the recent informational webinar, including exemption-filing procedures and ongoing updates about the impact of the 2020 Chinese trade agreement.

NAMM Supports Free Trade

On behalf of 10,400 global members, NAMM believes that a strong and vibrant music and pro audio products and entertainment technology industry is important to the educational and cultural vitality, as well as the economic prosperity of all countries. As a trade association, NAMM will continue in our efforts to proactively engage elected officials to keep the lines of dialogue and trade open and urge U.S. and world leaders to reaffirm a commitment to such.

Ongoing updates and resources will continue to be posted to this page. Resources below include policy updates from the U.S. Trade Representative, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and The National Retail Federation.

To contact NAMM's Public Affairs and Government Relations team, email  

Latest Updates

U.S. House of Representatives approves NAMM-supported Ocean Shipping Reform Act; Call to Action.

December 8, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (HR 4996) by a bipartisan vote of 364-60. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. The legislation sponsored Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), would make improvements to the international maritime system and help address, in part, the supply chain disruptions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAMM is a member of a coalition comprised of associations, including the National Retail Federation, companies, and other leading supply chain stakeholders, urging Congress to pass this legislation. In September, NAMM was among 152 companies and organizations endorsing the bill in a letter submitted to Reps. Garamendi and Johnson.

It has been more than two decades since Congress passed reforms to provide the Federal Maritime Commission with additional authority to regulate the global ocean shipping industry. In November, the White House indicated support for HR 4996 in a blog outlining the Administration’s efforts to unclog the supply chain.

CALL TO ACTION - It is now up to the Senate to consider and pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (HR 4996) or similar legislation. Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are expected to soon introduce a bill similar to the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.

NAMM urges concerned members to contact your U.S. Senators to urge their support. Find your Senator’s contact information, here.

Suggested message: I am encouraged by the House passage of the bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act (HR 4996) and respectfully request your support of this bill or similar legislation to address supply chain challenges that are having a significant effect on exporters and importers and our nation’s economic recovery. It’s essential for my business, and for music retailers and manufacturers across the country, to get our supply chain moving and reduce port congestion so we can meet the needs of Americans during the holiday season and beyond. Again, I urge you to consider and pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act or similar legislation.

NAMM monitors trade issues and provides periodic updates on advocacy efforts and pending legislation. Please visit this page regularly.



    NAMM monitors tax reform issues and provides periodic updates on advocacy efforts and pending legislation. For up-to-date information on this issue, please visit this page regularly.

    Latest Update

    5/7/21: U.S. Dept. of Labor Withdraws Independent Contractor Rule

    The U.S. Department of Labor officially withdrew the “Independent Contractor Rule” effective May 6, 2001. The rule, adopted by the prior administration, would have made it easier for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), covered employers are required to pay employees at least the federal minimum wage and overtime compensation. These FLSA requirements do not apply to independent contractors. Independent contractors, however, typically have more flexibility to set their own schedules and can work for more than one company.

    According to the Department’s press statement, it is withdrawing the rule for several reasons, including:

    • The independent contractor rule was in tension with the FLSA’s text and purpose, as well as relevant judicial precedent.
    • The rule’s prioritization of two “core factors” for determining employee status under the FLSA would have undermined the longstanding balancing approach of the economic realities test and court decisions requiring a review of the totality of the circumstances related to the employment relationship.
    • The rule would have narrowed the facts and considerations comprising the analysis of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, resulting in workers losing FLSA protections.

    For the near term, it appears unlikely that the Department of Labor will re-examine or issue rules that could ease criteria for classifying workers as independent contractors.

    The official notice of the rule’s withdrawal is published in the Federal Register.

    CA Prop 65

    NAMM supports resolution to the “background noise” realities of Prop 65 labeling requirements. NAMM is participating in the Coalition for Accurate Product Labels, with pending federal legislation outlining clear compliance and enforcement for product components.

    Latest Update

    Update Jan. 3, 2022: Proposition 65 Notice of Modification of Short Form Warnings - Public Comment Deadline Extended to Jan. 21, 2022

    The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has modified the text of the proposed amendments to the short form Proposition 65 warning regulations in response to public comments. The modification of the proposed amendments would change provisions addressing label size, catalog and internet warnings, and other issues.

    Background: In 1986, California voters approved Proposition 65, an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. The law requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, and for businesses with ten or more employees to provide warnings when they knowingly and intentionally cause significant exposures to listed chemicals. Penalties for violating Proposition 65 by failing to provide warnings can be as high as $2,500 per violation per day.

    As reported, in March of 2021, NAMM was a signatory to the letter in support of the comments filed by the California Chamber of Commerce on behalf of its members and over 120 national and regional organizations and businesses, stating that the current proposal to amend prop. 65 should be withdrawn pending further study and consultation with affected parties. (see 3/31/21 Update below for more details)

    Information regarding current comment submissions can be found here. Concerned NAMM Members in CA are urged to comment by January 21, 2022.

    NAMM monitors this issue and provides periodic updates on advocacy efforts and pending legislation. Please visit this page regularly.

    Formaldehyde Emissions and CA Prop 65 Information and Resources

    CA Prop 65

    In 1986, California voters approved Proposition 65, an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. The law requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, and for businesses with ten or more employees to provide warnings when they knowingly and intentionally cause significant exposures to listed chemicals. Penalties for violating Proposition 65 by failing to provide warnings can be as high as $2,500 per violation per day. Prop 65 also provides for enforcement "in the public interest" by private attorneys, who typically send a required 60-day notice to prospective violators and then seek to reach settlement agreements which usually include a monetary payment (shared by the lawyers and the state) and a correction of alleged labeling violations.

    Formaldehyde Emissions

    In 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule that would regulate the amount of formaldehyde emissions from composite wood, such as hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard. Additionally, the proposed rule would regulate laminated wood products, impose more precise labeling on covered products and require compliance information to be passed down from manufacturer/importer through the distribution chain. 

    On December 12, 2016, EPA published a final rule to reduce exposure to formaldehyde emissions from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. The rule regulates laminated wood products, imposes more precise labeling on covered products and requires compliance information to be passed down from manufacturer/importer through the distribution chain. Any musical instrument made of composite or laminate wood is impacted by the new regulations. In July of 2018, the EPA suppressed a draft health assessment on formaldehyde, suggesting that current regulations protecting the public from overexposure to formaldehyde might not be stringent enough to prevent increased risks of developing leukemia, nose and throat cancer, and other illnesses. NAMM will continue to monitor developments. 

    CARB2 - California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Phase 2. CARB2 stands for the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Phase 2, a stringent standard for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, including hardwood plywood (HWPW), particleboard (PB), and medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Composite wood products are panels made from pieces, chips, particles, or fibers of wood bonded together with a resin. In the production of laminate flooring, the core board is made up of medium to high-density fiberboard. This is where the emissions concerns come from.

    Note: The formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products under the EPA final rule, and set by Congress, are identical to the California “Phase 2” formaldehyde emission standards (CARB2). EPA worked to align the other requirements of the federal rule with the California requirements. However, there are a few differences. Unlike the California requirements, among other things, the EPA rule:

    • Requires records be kept for three years versus two years;
    • Requires importers to provide import certification under TSCA beginning March 22, 2019;
    • Requires manufacturers to disclose upon request formaldehyde testing results to their direct purchasers; and
    • Requires laminated products not exempted from the definition of hardwood plywood to meet the hardwood plywood formaldehyde emissions standard beginning March 22, 2024.

    Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulations. Manufacturers exporting musical instruments to the European Union (EU), or operating within the EU, should be aware of the REACH regulation. Effective June 1, 2007, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) reg (EC1907/2006) is regarded as the strictest in the world pertaining to chemicals (e.g., glues, resins, etc.) used in the manufacture of a wide variety of products. Learn more. 


    Understanding REACH Regulations

    Compliance Guide for Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood for Fabricators and Laminated Product Producers

    Formaldehyde Updates from the EPA

    Manufacturer Frequently Asked Questions

    Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

    Rule resources and guidance materials

    EPA Fact Sheet

    EPA FAQ and Regulations re Curved Plywood

    Webinars for small entity compliance

    Find an EPA-recognized Accreditation Body

    Find an EPA-recognized Third-Party Certifier

    Endangered Species

    NAMM and global coalition achieved revisions to CITES wood listing (2019 Conference of the Parties) and has established a forum concerning sustainability in the music industry.

    CITES, Traveling with Musical Instruments, LAWGS/LACEY Act and Ivory Ban Information and Resources

    Latest Updates:

    September 1, 2021: Reminder: New October 1st Lacey Act Import Requirement Includes Drums, Clarinets, Flutes, and Piccolos

    As reported this Summer, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that implementation for Phase VI of the enforcement schedule will start on October 1, 2021. Phase VI mandates that companies importing musical instruments containing wood - including drums, clarinets, flutes, and piccolos - will be required to file a new import declaration form.  Learn how to comply with this new import requirement by viewing our short webinar.

    Since 2010, the import declaration requirement has been applicable to pianos (including player pianos, harpsichords, and other stringed keyboard instruments) defined in Harmonized Tariff Schedule 9201 and "other stringed instruments" (including acoustic guitars, violins, and harps) in HTS 9202. Beginning on October 1, 2021, the import declaration requirement expands to imported products falling within the following HTS codes:

    • 9205.90.20.00 -- wind musical instruments, bagpipes
    • 9205.90.40.20 -- clarinets
    • 9205.90.40.60 -- flutes and piccolos
    • 9205.90.40.80 -- other woodwind instruments
    • 9206.00.20.00 -- drums
    • 9207.90.00.40 -- fretted stringed instruments, the sound of which is produced or must be amplified electrically.
    • 9209.92 -- parts and accessories for musical instruments (e.g., instrument stands, tuning pins, bows)
    • 9209.92.80.80 -- parts and accessories for musical instruments, other
    • 9209.99.20.00 -- parts and accessories for bagpipes
    • 9209.99.40.40 -- parts and accessories for other woodwind instruments
    • 9209.99.80.00 -- parts and accessories for musical instruments, other

    The import declaration form must be filed electronically or in paper format by the importer although as a practical matter the information required by the form must be obtained from the product manufacturer or exporter.

    The European musical instrument organization CSFI has prepared a guidance document for European manufacturers and exporters, but it can also be helpful to U.S. importers. 

    July 6, 2021: Lacey Import Declaration Implementation Date Extended to October 1, 2021.

    On Friday, July 2nd the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a change in the date of implementation for Phase VI of the enforcement schedule, from July 1, 2021, to October 1, 2021. Read the Federal Register posting.

    Phase VI mandates that companies importing musical instruments containing wood - including drums, clarinets, flutes, and piccolos - will be required to file a new import declaration form.

    To learn the steps you must follow to comply with this new import requirement, View our short webinar..

    Since early June, NAMM has been in communication with APHIS administrators, urging an extension of the July 1 deadline, allowing the industry more time to comply. NAMM will continue to monitor this issue closely and will post updates here as they are available.

    Traveling with Musical Instruments

    During the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2013, the United States proposed a “passport” program to ease the burden on musicians traveling with musical instruments made from CITES-listed species. The proposal was adopted and as a result musical instruments with CITES-listed species may travel through a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated port with proper documentation. Individuals traveling abroad with musical instruments that contain Brazilian rosewood, tortoiseshell, elephant ivory, or any other parts or products protected under CITES or the Endangered Species Act (ESA) must obtain special documentation before traveling.

    For more information on the permit process, documentation requirements, and how to file, please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Musical Instruments website.

    Lacey Act

    The Lacey Act is a federal statute that regulates the import, export and commerce of protected wildlife, plant species and products. The law covers all fish and wildlife and their parts or products, plants listed on the CITES Appendices as well as those protected by state law. In 2008, Congress amended the law to include new provisions covering plants and plant materials.  Under the revised law and subsequent regulations,  all shipments of imported pianos and other stringed instruments (e.g., guitars and violins) must be accompanied by a declaration listing that includes, among other things, the scientific name (genus and species) of all wood and other plant material used in the imported product, as well as the country of origin of the wood. Specifically, any imported product subject to Harmonized Tariff Schedule Chapters 9201 and 9202. For more information on the Lacey Act and how it relates to injurious wildlife, visit the Office of Law Enforcement.

    Ivory Ban

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has been tasked with developing specific rules and regulations for oversight and enforcement. Along with other music and musician organizations, NAMM is actively  advocating for the development of compliance rules that assure fair and legal trade of instruments that contain ivory and that regulations are congruent with exiting requirements (CITES, etc.). The release of proposed rules and a public comment period is expected in the coming months. NAMM continues to be active in advocacy and oversight of rule development process and will advise NAMM Members of the public comment period.  NAMM Members seeking further clarification on the ivory ban can visit the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife’s FAQs.

    Updates and Resources:

    Log In to Experience Believe in Music!

    NS22 Book Hotels

    Elizabeth Dale

    In 2021, NAMM Member and audio equipment manufacturer, DiGiCo assisted in completing a major renovation project for the KFC Yum! Center, one of Kentucky’s largest live events venues. Fans can now enjoy a much-improved sonic experience for concerts and sporting events in the arena.

    The Chessington, UK based DiGiCo was established in 2002 and is now part of its parent company, Audiotonix, a multinational holding company out of London. Audiotonix was established in 2014 under the leadership of former DiGiCo CEO James Gordon and now includes the brands Allen & Heath, Calrec, and DiGiCo. In 2017, Audiotonix acquired Solid State Logic and the following year brought KLANG:technologies into the fold. This year, the company acquired Sound Devices, making it one of the premier manufacturers of professional audio equipment.

    DiGiCo’s digital mixing consoles are in numerous venues and utilized in events including live sound, theatre, broadcast, and postproduction industries. One of the most recent US-based installations was in the 22,000-plus-seat KFC Yum! Center. The arena is primarily home to the University of Louisville (KY) Cardinals men’s and women’s basketball teams and hosted the Indoor Football League’s Lousiville Xtreme. The venue is also known for its concerts, hosting artists ranging from Metallica to Alan Jackson and Celine Dion. Upon opening in 2010, the arena featured integrated scoring and video LED display systems within the arena.

    KFC Yum! Center 10-day Timelapse

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    Earlier this year, the KFC Yum! Center announced a major renovation that included upgrading the dynamic video, audio, and broadcast systems. The venue reports that the “all-new digital experience will significantly enhance the fan atmosphere and drive incremental revenue opportunities for the arena.”

    KFC Yum! Center Upgrades Promo

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    “Since 2010, the KFC Yum! Center has been an integral part of the resurgence and growth of downtown Louisville as the city’s most iconic entertainment venue. One that attracts nearly a million fans to world-class sports and entertainment events annually,” said Louisville Arena Authority Chair Leslie Geoghegan. “As we are celebrating our 11th year of operation, these upgrades allow us to give the arena a brand-new look and feel that will continue to create unique experiences for our fans moving forward.”

    As part of the renovation, DiGiCo and its S31 console was selected as the new front-of-house console, and the S21 acts as the router for a newly expanded video production facility for the arena, all of which are connected via Dante using DMI-Dante interface cards. Jack Covert, Senior Audio Design Engineer at Richmond, VA-based AJP said, “I choose DiGiCo S-Series consoles for many reasons. They offer high channel counts, remote-operation capability, and as a package, together with the stage boxes and Dante capability, it was the perfect solution here, where we’re using junction-box technology (JBT) to distribute the audio signal.”

    The addition of Dante facilitates the connection between amplifiers, microphones, mixers, processors, and speakers and eliminates the need for cumbersome analog cables that would traditionally be required to make these links. With the addition of Dante’s computer network, the KFC Yum! Center now has a more efficient, modern, and reliable audio-visual network.

    What is Dante?

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    Louisville-area AVL solutions business, Sound Ideas and owner Doug Woosley consulted on the project. Woosley reports that “Fans at the Yum Center can now be guaranteed a resilient operation for in-house events as the Digico upgrade eliminated many single points of failure over old analog wiring and transformer splitters.”

    For more information from DiGiCo and Sound Ideas, please visit them at and For more details on KFC Yum! Center, visit

    BM22 Download App

    Upcoming Webinar: Believe in Music Brand Opportunities

    Believe in Music Brand Opportunities Webinar

    Wednesday, December 8, 2021

    10 am PT

    Elizabeth Dale

    NAMM Member KHS America has donated $100,000 worth of musical instruments to Waverly Junior High and High School to revive their school music programs after a devastating flood swept through their Tennessee community.

    In August 2021, heavy rains culminated in a flash flood across western Tennessee. In 12 hours, five counties received up to a quarter of the normal annual precipitation, totaling ten to 15 inches. Much of the torrential rainfall flowed along the Trace Creek, causing swells to fall on the city of Waverly and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses, and flooding Waverly Junior High and High School. With the surge of floodwaters sweeping through the schools, officials have commented that the only saving grace of the disaster was that it had not occurred on a school day, as rescue efforts would have been nearly impossible.

    In November, KHS America, alongside 22-time GRAMMY® Award winner Vince Gill, singer/songwriter Alex Hall, and the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation, visited Waverly Central High School to present students with new instruments. The project arose from the long-standing collaborative efforts of KHS America and the CMA Foundation. The duo has worked on endeavors that supply quality musical instruments to support music education including, supporting charitable organizations like Little Kids Rock, United Sound, Save The Music, and the W.O. Smith School. When Gill heard of the efforts from the CMA Foundation, he felt it was important not only to get involved with the project but to personally meet and talk with students about the importance of music and the difference it makes in students’ lives.

    “One of the core values of KHS America is that as a company, ‘We believe that music is an essential part of life for every individual and that it provides a contribution to society as a whole.’ This donation mirrors our core value, and it is the reason we do what we do”, says Rick DeJonge, KHS America Artist and Educator Relations Manager. The relief efforts in Waverly are just one of the long list of donations KHS America and its partners have made. Past charitable projects include $15,000 worth of woodwinds to replace instruments that were destroyed by a truck, a $60,000 donation with Harry Connick Jr. to Central High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after floods destroyed their instruments; $55,000 worth of instruments provided alongside the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Foundation to schools in the Bahamas who were impacted by a hurricane; and a $40,000 endowment of instruments to Paradise, California after a fire ravished the community.

    KHS America hopes to inspire other NAMM Members to get involved with communities impacted by disasters. DeJonge offers this advice, “We encourage others wishing to provide support to partner with a local retailer. Their existing relationships will make it easier to work closely with the school and affiliated parent organizations to create a well-rounded effort for supporting music education in the community. At KHS America, this is a fundamental aspect of our ‘Academic Alliance’ program and is critical to facilitating such endeavors.”

    For more information from KHS America, please visit them at

    Images Courtesy of Stephanie McKendrick


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