Designated Ports for International Travel with Instruments Containing Protected Species

UPDATED August 10, 2017

If you plan to travel internationally with CITES permits for musical instruments that contain Brazilian rosewood, elephant ivory, tortoiseshell, or another protected animal or plant species, you must travel through specific designated ports. It is important to contact the port in advance of travel to schedule an inspection and review related requirements.

In response to requests from the music community, on May 2, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-APHIS) took action to double the number of ports through which musicians can travel with CITES permits when carrying both plant and animal material. FWS officials are now authorized to carry out inspections and credential documents when CITES permits contain both plant and animal material or if the instruments contain CITES plant material and any (CITES or non-CITES) wildlife material. Previously, such instruments could only pass through the nine port locations in which both FWS and USDA officials were present. The memorandum below verifies this helpful policy development:

FWS Memorandum on Validation of CITES Documents for Products Containing Both CITES Listed Plants Species and Wildlife Species

ANIMAL, OR PLANT AND ANIMAL

If your musical instrument contains elephant ivory, tortoiseshell, or another protected animal-derived species, or if your CITES permit contains both plant and animal material, or if the instruments contain CITES plant material and any (CITES or non-CITES) wildlife material, you will need to travel through one of the following 18 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated ports:

  • ALASKA: Anchorage
  • CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles
  • CALIFORNIA: San Francisco
  • FLORIDA: Miami
  • GEORGIA: Atlanta
  • HAWAII: Honolulu
  • ILLINOIS: Chicago
  • KENTUCKY: Louisville
  • LOUISIANA: New Orleans
  • MARYLAND: Baltimore
  • MASSACHUSETTS: Boston
  • NEW JERSEY: Newark
  • NEW YORK: New York
  • OREGON: Portland
  • TENNESSEE: Memphis
  • TEXAS: Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • TEXAS: Houston
  • WASHINGTON: Seattle

PLANT

If your musical instrument contains a CITES-listed plant species, such as Brazilian rosewood, and no wildlife material, you will need to travel through one of the following 31 USDA-APHIS CITES designated portsNote that this list has doubled. Travelers are always advised to phone ahead to confirm that the port is prepared to accommodate travel:

  • ALABAMA: Bay Minette
  • ARIZONA: Nogales
  • CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles
  • CALIFORNIA: San Diego
  • CALIFORNIA: San Francisco
  • FLORIDA: Fort Lauderdale
  • FLORIDA: Jacksonville
  • FLORIDA: Miami
  • FLORIDA: Orlando
  • GEORGIA: Atlanta
  • GEORGIA: Garden City
  • GUAM: Barrigada
  • HAWAII: Honolulu
  • ILLINOIS: Des Plaines
  • MARYLAND: Baltimore
  • MISSISSIPPI: Biloxi
  • MISSOURI: St. Louis
  • NEW JERSEY: Linden (Covers Port of NY; Elizabeth, NJ, and Newark, NJ)
  • NEW YORK: Jamaica (JFK)
  • NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte
  • NORTH CAROLINA: Wilmington
  • OREGON: Portland* (Also handles Vancouver, WA)
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Philadelphia
  • PUERTO RICO: Carolina
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: North Charleston
  • TEXAS: Los Indios
  • TEXAS: Humble (Houston)
  • TEXAS: Laredo
  • VIRGINIA: Norfolk
  • WASHINGTON: SeaTac
  • WISCONSIN: Madison