New regulations on ivory continue to affect musicians

Posted on: June 13, 2014

“Strict new U.S. regulations on the sale and transport of African ivory are already having an impact in the Northwest,” writes Susan Wyatt on the website of King5News (Seattle). “When the Obama administration issued rules in February that amounted to a near-total ban on African ivory, musicians—especially traveling musicians—were among the first to become alarmed because the ban prohibited ivory imports—even if the item being ‘imported’ is a legally-acquired musical instrument with a tiny piece of ivory on it.… ‘The instrument you’ll most commonly find it in is the tip of the bow for stringed instruments,’ said Heather Noonan, vice president of advocacy for the League of American Orchestras, an organization that held its annual conference in Seattle last weekend.… Musicians, from inside and outside the U.S., were concerned that if they tried to enter the country with instruments containing ivory, they would be seized by customs…. Even though the regulations have been relaxed a bit for musicians, the League says it’s unclear what documentation will be sufficient.… Noonan said her group is optimistic there can be a solution that allows the administration to protect the species and reduce poaching while at the same time allow what is essentially legal activity.”

Posted June 13, 2014