Elephant ivory / Mammoth ivory

Ele­phant ivory [CITES appen­dix I] 

Ele­phants are threat­ened with extinc­tion, hence high­ly pro­tect­ed under CITES. Even if most of the instru­ments and bows con­tain a very small amount of ivory, a CITES cer­tifi­cate such as an MIC or TEC is required.

Due to poach­ing and ille­gal trade in ivory, strict bor­der con­trols are car­ried out by some coun­tries, in par­tic­u­lar the Unit­ed States.

EUROPEAN UNION: In Decem­ber 2021, the Euro­pean Union pub­lished a new reg­u­la­tion gov­ern­ing the ivory trade. This reg­u­la­tion was made stricter but pro­vides an excep­tion for musi­cal instru­ments and their acces­sories con­tain­ing ele­phant ivory legal­ly acquired before 1975. Under cer­tain con­di­tions, such musi­cal instru­ments or acces­sories may thus be sold/purchased on the EU ter­ri­to­ry or import­ed from a third coun­try, sub­ject to the obten­tion of an EU per­mit. Since Jan­u­ary 19th, 2022, the sale of new instruments/accessories con­tain­ing ele­phant ivory is strict­ly pro­hib­it­ed, even if the ivory used was legal­ly acquired before 1975. The remain­ing stocks of pre-1975 raw ivory may only be used for restora­tion purposes.

Mam­moth ivory

As an extinct species, the mam­moth is not pro­tect­ed under CITES, which only cov­ers endan­gered species. How­ev­er, if your instru­ment con­tains mam­moth ivory, you are not nec­es­sar­i­ly safe as cus­toms offi­cers may not be able to dis­tin­guish between ele­phant ivory (pro­tect­ed) and mam­moth ivory (not pro­tect­ed) via a mere visu­al exam­i­na­tion. We, there­fore, rec­om­mend that you car­ry with you an expert cer­tifi­cate as evi­dence that the ivory con­tained in your instru­ment is exclu­sive­ly mam­moth ivory.

In spe­cif­ic cas­es (i.e. for rare instru­ments or if prob­lems at the bor­der can be expect­ed), some CITES author­i­ties issue “neg­a­tive cer­tifi­cates”, which guar­an­tee that your instru­ment does not include any pro­tect­ed species (based on an expert state­ment). Not all CITES author­i­ties accept to issue such cer­tifi­cates, but some may accept to val­i­date expert cer­tifi­cates with a sim­ple e‑mail. Do not hes­i­tate to con­tact your CITES author­i­ty and ask for such an email before travelling.