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Passport Possible for Musical Instruments Under New Plan

Josh Harris • News • March 14, 2013

A new U.S. proposal to hopefully streamline customs checks for travelers carrying musical instruments by creating passports for the instruments themselves was debated at a recent global biodiversity conference in Bangkok.A new U.S. proposal to hopefully streamline customs checks for travelers carrying musical instruments by creating passports for the instruments themselves was debated at a recent global biodiversity conference in Bangkok.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife service director Dan Ashe told the delegates at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species that the goal of the program is to make travel easier by doing away with import and export permits.  The proposal may be voted on as early as Friday and would create musical instrument passports, each valid for three years.

Concern over the issue of travel with exotic and protected woods has grown in the U.S. music industry since 2011, when federal agents raided the factories of the Gibson guitar company to seize allegedly illegal ebony wood shipped to the guitar maker from India. Violin bows could cause a similar concern, which presents the need for universal certification.

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