NAMM Members Participate in Rule-Making Advocacy Efforts for Proposed Ivory Ban

February 27, 2014

US Fish & Wildlife Service has issued Director 210 concerning ivory imports.

NAMM provides the following comments regarding this order:

1.  It applies only to imports and does NOT impact domestic sales; check back for information updates concerning how/if it changes current rules; if needed, NAMM will host a conference call with updates.
2.  Rules regarding domestic sales will be forthcoming in the April-June period and will be subject to public comment for at least 30 and possibly 60 days.
3.  NAMM is working with violin/bow makers, orchestras, musicians union and museums in a coalition-building effort. 
4.  NAMM has requested information-gathering meetings with key FWS officials; check back for updates.
5. NAMM is working on individual Congressional staff meetings to determine who may be interested in assisting.
6. Other advocacy efforts being vetted for feasibility/effectiveness.

Please check back for periodic updates.  

February 21, 2014

The White House announced on February 11, 2014 a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking which includes new regulations impacting the commercial trade of elephant ivory. The proposed ban could potentially restrict commerce (both import/export and interstate sales) of musical instruments that contain ivory.  Links to FAQ document from US FWS provided below.  NAMM hosted a webinar outlining the proposed ban and timeline for advocacy strategy; a recording is available here: NAMM Ivory Update Feb.2014

NAMM will work with its Members during regulatory rule-making and public comment period now through June and advocate for options that allow for sale of musical instruments that have ivory elements; said commerce is currently legal via current CITES and USFWS permitting requirements. NAMM Members are urged to check back to this news item for periodic updates.  To join an info-group and receive updates directly, please send email to with subject line: IvoryInfo

Relevant Links:

National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking

White House Announcement

U.S. Fish and Wildlife F.A.Q.