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: 

July 6, 2022: CITES agenda proposed; travel and trade of musical instruments containing protected species may be affected. 
The agenda for November's meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is almost complete and NAMM and its music industry partners are studying the potential impact of proposals to protect several species of wood.  Among the species being studied is pterocarpus, which is used for marimba and xylophone keys, and khaya, used in guitars.

Especially troublesome is a proposal by Brazil to upgrade pernambuco to CITES Appendix I, which would place severe international shipping restrictions on this species, which is widely used to make violin and other string instrument bows.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to publish a formal notice seeking public comment on the position FWS should take on these proposals and NAMM will be meeting with FWS officials to get feedback on the government's stance. NAMM will also urge FWS and the CITES participants to streamline the procedures for obtaining and using the musical instrument certificate.  Similar to a passport, the certificate is designed to make it easier for musicians and orchestras to travel internationally with their instruments. NAMM will continue to monitor this issue closely and will post updates here as they are available. 

March 22, 2022: Music Products Industry Represented at CITES Standing Committee Meeting

Following two years of online meetings throughout the pandemic, representatives from more than 60 countries met in-person in Lyon, France March 7 through 11, as the CITES Standing Committee considered a full agenda of policy recommendations.

NAMM continues to represent global music interests in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as international governments arrive at a consensus on new policies that may impact travel and trade involving musical instruments containing species protected under the treaty. NAMM supported the participation of Heather Noonan of the League of American Orchestras who is leading a collaboration of instrument manufacturers and music organizations.  Music stakeholders advanced policy requests including the Musical Instrument Certificate, and ongoing special considerations for tonewood in musical instruments. These talks are a precursor to the 19th Conference of the Parties (CoP19), which will take place in Panama City, Panama November 14 through 25, 2022. CITES member parties are currently drafting proposals for resolutions and new species listing requests for consideration at CoP19, which will be announced by mid-June, after which each of the 183 parties to the Convention will develop their position on the new proposals. NAMM and its international collaborators in the musical instrument industry will continue to collaborate to advance policy solutions that support both conservation efforts and travel and trade with musical instruments. NAMM will continue to monitor this issue closely and will post updates here as they are available.

February 14, 2022: Online tool launched to facilitate travel preparations with musical instruments containing CITES-protected species

On 2/8/2022 Pearle Live Performance Europe and the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) announced the launch of their joint website Traveling with musical instruments in compliance with CITES rules. The site includes questions to help musicians and music ensembles, prepare their touring activities with musical instruments containing CITES-protected species. The objective is to help users determine whether a CITES Musical Instrument Certificate (MIC) is required when crossing international borders with their musical instruments for non-commercial purposes, such as concerts and other live performance events, competitions, teaching, and recording. Musicians, orchestras, and other music groups can also identify steps to be taken before their departure. Read the full release here

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: