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CITES | Musical organisations make their voice heard at CoP18

CITES CoP18 logo Dalbergia, Cedrela, Mammoth Ivory, Musical Instrument Certificate: CITES Member States val­i­date our concerns

Initially sched­uled to take place in May 2019 in Colombo (Sri Lanka), the 18th con­fer­ence of par­ties to CITES (CoP18) was final­ly held in Geneva from 16 to 28 August 2019. Member States adopt­ed four deci­sions in line with requests that have been backed for a long time by organ­i­sa­tions rep­re­sent­ing the music sector.

1. Musical instru­ments exempt­ed from the CITES cer­tifi­cate in respect of dal­ber­giae
The joint pro­pos­al of Canada and the EU with regard to Annotation 15 on dal­ber­giae, which made pro­vi­sion for exemp­tion from the CITES cer­tifi­cate for fin­ished musi­cal instru­ments, fin­ished parts and musi­cal instru­ment acces­sories, was adopt­ed by con­sen­sus with­out mod­i­fi­ca­tion. Member states admit­ted that this exemp­tion would not have any mea­sur­able impact on the preser­va­tion of dal­ber­giae and con­sid­er­ably eased the admin­is­tra­tive man­age­ment of cer­tifi­cates and con­trol pro­ce­dures. Nevertheless, the CITES Secretariat is to under­take a study on the impact of Annotation 15 con­cern­ing musi­cal instru­ments, with a view to the pos­si­ble adop­tion of an amend­ment dur­ing CoP19. Discussions on this point will con­tin­ue over the next three years.

2. Musical instru­ments exempt­ed from the CITES cer­tifi­cate in respect of cedrela
Following a pro­pos­al by Ecuador adopt­ed by the CoP, a CITES per­mit in respect of cedrela will now only be required for raw tim­ber or veneer wood. The pres­ence of cedrela in a musi­cal instru­ment no longer requires a CITES certificate.

the inter­na­tion­al trans­port of musi­cal instru­ments does not cause any mea­sur­able risk on the preser­va­tion of endan­gered species

3. No CITES pro­tec­tion for mam­moth ivory
Israel and Kenya, who want­ed pro­tec­tion to be intro­duced for mam­moth ivory, with­drew their pro­pos­al after the Secretariat point­ed out that CITES was not com­pe­tent where extinct species were con­cerned. Nevertheless, the Secretariat has been tasked with study­ing the impact that mam­moth ivory trade might have on the ele­phant ivory trade. Depending on the results of this work, the Standing Committee may decide to sub­mit a pro­pos­al for CoP19.

4. Simplification of procedures
CoP18 adopt­ed a res­o­lu­tion encour­ag­ing Member States to sim­pli­fy the issu­ing of a CITES per­mit when the impact of the preser­va­tion of species in ques­tion is neg­li­gi­ble. This res­o­lu­tion fol­lows a US and EU pro­pos­al aimed at the inter­na­tion­al trans­port of musi­cal instru­ments for non-​commercial pur­pos­es. A pro­pos­al may be put to CoP19 to ease admin­is­tra­tive oblig­a­tions where the issu­ing of Certificates for musi­cal instru­ments is concerned.

These sat­is­fac­to­ry results can be explained by the fact that aware­ness of Member States has been raised con­cern­ing the inter­na­tion­al trans­port of musi­cal instru­ments which does not cause any mea­sur­able risk on the preser­va­tion of endan­gered species. They are the result of coor­di­nat­ed and long-​term work car­ried out by organ­i­sa­tions rep­re­sent­ing the music sec­tor: musi­cians’ unions, organ­i­sa­tions of per­ma­nent ensem­bles and instru­ment mak­ers. We shall be con­tin­u­ing our efforts, includ­ing for the CoP19 (in 2022), in order to achieve sus­tain­able solu­tions that offer all the nec­es­sary guarantees.

FIM and its part­ners will soon be mak­ing an updat­ed ver­sion of the CITES prac­ti­cal guide avail­able reflect­ing the deci­sions tak­en at CoP18.

View the joint FIM-​Pearle* press release

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