Imports of instruments consisting of parts or materials obtained from plant or animal species listed in CITES Appendices I to III are subject to permits and inspections.
Import of instruments made from protected wood
Imports require both an import permit from the FSVO and a CITES export permit from the country of origin. In addition, a CITES inspection must be carried out on import.
Exceptions concerning protected Dalbergia species* and Bubinga (Guibourtia tessmannii, Guibourtia pellegriniana and Guibourtia demeusei):
Imports and exports of finished products to a maximum weight of 10 kg of the listed species per shipment as well as finished musical instruments do not require any permits or CITES inspection ; finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instrument accessories are also exempt.
*This does not apply to Dalbergia nigra, Dalbergia cochinchinensis and the Mexican populations of Dalbergia spp. directly imported from Mexico.
Musical instrument certificate
For holidays or short stays abroad with instruments containing parts or materials obtained from protected plant or animal species, the FSVO, as the competent CITES authority of Switzerland, may issue an instrument certificate on request. The conditions for the certificate are as follows:
- The owner of the musical instrument is resident in Switzerland;
- The instrument is taken abroad for concerts, recordings, competitions, etc.;
- The instrument is clearly identifiable;
- The instrument is carried in the luggage;
- The instrument may not be sold with this instrument certificate.
The application must be completed in full (please enclose supplementary photos), signed, and the original sent to the FSVO.
After the application has been reviewed, the instrument certificate may be issued for a fee of CHF 50.00. This document is only valid with the personal signature of the owner. The instrument certificate is valid for three years from the date of issue, after which it can be renewed for a fee.
The instrument certificate must be presented only at the request of customs.
Note: The CITES authorities in Switzerland do not issue negative certificates, known as “non-CITES certificates”.
Travelling exhibition certificate for orchestras
For orchestras travelling abroad on tour, the FSVO may issue a group travelling exhibition certificate. This is conditional upon the members of the orchestra travelling together in the same aircraft and all the instruments being transported together either in the cabin or in the hold. This only applies to instruments which are made of parts or materials obtained from plant or animal species listed in CITES Appendices I to III.
The application processing time depends on the completeness of the documents submitted.
Information regarding species of wood in CITES Appendices I-III (in french) (PDF, 180 kB, 15.01.2020)Conclusions of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP18) held in august 2019
Application for instrument certificate
Last modification 03.02.2020