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August 9, 2021 10:10 AM

Introducing Musical Instrument Certificate for Cross-border Touring Musicians

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry introduced Musical Instrument Certificate which reflects the resolutions of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on July 1. It’s expected to help cross-border touring musicians especially those players of Japanese traditional musical instruments using ivory and tortoise shell for plectrum and bridge.

Says Kyoichi Yamada, vice chairman of Association of Japanese Traditional Musical Instruments Manufacturers, “The certificate is issued for holders of guitars and bows for violin. We understand it contributes to help support musicians of traditional musical instruments and their performing activities overseas.”

CITES took effect in 1975 and Japan ratified it in 1980. Adding Appendixes I, II and III in the following years, it rules detailed endangered species to protect them from illegal crossborder trades.

As far as musical instruments are concerned, ivory once used for the natural keys of acoustic piano, and now for post, plectrum, stick, peg, and bridge of shamisen, as well as tortoise shell applied to stick and bridge of shamisen are regulated materials.

More recently in 2017 Dalbergia including rosewood and bubinga were added to the Appendix II items. However, those wood materials except Brazilian rosewood were excluded from the list of regulated items today.

Export and import traders handling musical instruments and accessories using these regulated materials were requested to obtain a CITES certificate for trade before, but the musical instrument certificate replaces it and is valid for 3 years. The term can be extended further on request.

The certificate is issued to individual professional and amateur musicians playing the musical instruments and accessories using the regulated materials touring cross-border for free or paid performance, exhibition, and competition, but not to groups. The relevant instruments and accessories should not be sold or abandoned abroad, and should be brought back to Japan even if they are damaged.

The certificate is valid in U.S.A., Canada, England, France, Germany, Spain, China and Korea.

Musical instrument certificate : Government of Japan

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