MIC (Musical Instrument Certificate)
This CITES certificate is specifically aimed at travelling with musical instruments. It replaces a traditional CITES import and export document and is valid for 3 years (multiple uses).
The MIC must be stamped by a CITES-approved authority at each of the borders you will be crossing (regular customs officers may not be credentialed to stamp the certificate).
TEC (Travelling Exhibition Certificate)
This CITES certificate was originally created for travelling exhibitions. It was later extended to orchestras by the 16th CITES Conference of the Parties (2013), to allow the registration of all travelling instruments on one single certificate (instead of one MIC for each instrument).
As the implementation of the TEC is not homogeneous across the EU Member States, you must contact your CITES authority to ascertain whether TECs are issued in the country of departure.
Please note: The United Kingdom does not issue TECs for orchestras or ensembles. UK musicians travelling together as a group must, therefore, apply individually for an MIC before departure.
Differences between the MIC and the TEC
The MIC is issued for one single instrument. It lists all the CITES protected species it contains that are not subject to an exemption. Applications may be submitted by the owner (or the holder) of the instrument or by the ensemble/orchestra with which the musician is travelling. An instrument with an MIC may travel in the hold or as hand luggage.
The TEC is suitable for musical ensembles and orchestras. Only one TEC is needed for all the instruments travelling with the same ensemble. Depending on the country, the issuance of a TEC may therefore be cheaper than all the individual MICs combined. However, using a TEC means that all the instruments must travel together in the hold. Taking one or more of these instruments as hand luggage (or dropping out of the group and continuing the travel alone) is not allowed.
The MIC and TEC are both multi-use certificates and are valid for a period of 3 years.