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Brexit and music

Howard Jones 19 Sep 19 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Observer 17 Sep 19 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Observer 17 Sep 19 - 10:31 AM
Howard Jones 17 Sep 19 - 08:15 AM
Jack Campin 17 Sep 19 - 07:12 AM
Howard Jones 17 Sep 19 - 06:40 AM
Jack Campin 17 Sep 19 - 06:31 AM
Jack Campin 17 Sep 19 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Observer 17 Sep 19 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Sep 19 - 04:31 AM
Howard Jones 17 Sep 19 - 04:16 AM
Jack Campin 17 Sep 19 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,JoeG 16 Sep 19 - 06:34 PM
Howard Jones 16 Sep 19 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Observer 16 Sep 19 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Richard Robinson 16 Sep 19 - 08:48 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 19 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Observer 16 Sep 19 - 04:51 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 15 Sep 19 - 03:26 PM
Jack Campin 15 Sep 19 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Observer 12 Sep 19 - 09:39 AM
Rain Dog 12 Sep 19 - 07:23 AM
Howard Jones 12 Sep 19 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Peter 12 Sep 19 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Observer 12 Sep 19 - 03:17 AM
Howard Jones 11 Sep 19 - 05:52 PM
Nigel Parsons 11 Sep 19 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Observer 11 Sep 19 - 10:47 AM
Jack Campin 11 Sep 19 - 05:27 AM
Howard Jones 11 Sep 19 - 05:15 AM
Mr Red 10 Sep 19 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Observer 09 Sep 19 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Ray 09 Sep 19 - 04:48 PM
Mr Red 09 Sep 19 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 09 Sep 19 - 07:56 AM
Howard Jones 05 Sep 19 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Observer 05 Sep 19 - 04:09 AM
Mr Red 05 Sep 19 - 02:57 AM
Howard Jones 03 Sep 19 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,Observer 03 Sep 19 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 03 Sep 19 - 07:29 AM
Howard Jones 03 Sep 19 - 03:58 AM
GUEST,Observer 03 Sep 19 - 02:46 AM
Howard Jones 03 Sep 19 - 02:28 AM
GUEST,Observer 03 Sep 19 - 01:37 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Sep 19 - 04:32 PM
Jack Campin 02 Sep 19 - 10:01 AM
Howard Jones 02 Sep 19 - 08:57 AM
Howard Jones 02 Sep 19 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Observer 02 Sep 19 - 07:00 AM
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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 06:47 AM

I can't recall if I've previously posted this link to this report by the Incorporated Society of Musicians. Apologies if I have, but it's worth reading and confirms in some detail that the concerns raised during this thread are not imaginary.

ISM updated report on Brexit May 2019

I realise that for some the benefits of Brexit outweigh any of the downsides. That in itself is a valid opinion to hold (although obviously not one I share), but please don't pretend that the downsides don't exist or don't matter, or that they won't have a real impact on people's lives and livelihoods.

Of course, this may all be avoided if a new deal can be done with the EU. But until then this will be the new reality.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 08:40 PM

Mr Jones, what will happen will happen. Things will change irrevocably whether we remain or leave. I personally think that upholding democracy is a damned sight more important than a hell of a lot of things that have been discussed here regarding whether or not it is easier or more difficult for musicians to sell CDs and go on tour - If the musicians have the talent and the following they will be fine no matter what happens. If they don't then they never were going to make it anyhow - that is the reality. Always was always will be.

What has happened in the UK is that what is important now is not Brexit, leave or remain, Parliament and a group of Remain MPs have set themselves against the clearly expressed wishes of the majority of those who voted to leave the EU on the 23rd June 2016. In 2017, 86% of those MPs were specifically elected on a platform that promised the electorate that they would respect the Referendum result and that they would implement Brexit - 75% of them have singularly failed to do so - in fact they have put 1005 of their efforts into overturning the referendum decision. They clearly do not want "No-Deal" they clearly want "No Brexit" but haven't the guts to admit it. Well the LibDems have but they will get nowhere with it, as always.

I do not think for one second that most who post on this forum have any idea of how angry and how completely disillusioned the British public are with their politicians at the moment. No wonder none of those currently sitting in Parliament want a General Election to be called at the moment - most of them would be out on their arses in a trice and they know it.
The original post:
"We have other Brexit threads. Can we keep this one absolutely on topic for music related issues? - i.e. mods, can any general political posts be deleted immediately?
So if it doesn't involve music, please don't post it. Thank you - mod.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 10:31 AM

"The idea that the UK will be better connected to the outside world after Brexit is mendacious bollocks" hardly in the spirit of this thread BUT - a couple of irrefutable observations with regard to the UK's connections with the outside world:

1. Commonwealth of Nations, second largest international body after the United Nations - the UK is the founding member of this organisation which links the UK to a market of 2,418,964,000 people in 53 countries.

2. For the last nine, yes that is right NINE, years the UK has traded more with the rest of the world than it has within the EU. That trend is ongoing and increasing. There is little that we have "traditionally" bought from the EU that we cannot find from elsewhere in the world.

3. The UK's deficit trading pattern with the EU is such that if we remain in it the UK gets poorer and poorer and Germany gets richer each year. With full implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon, our annual rebate disappears, as does our veto, our contributions also increase and we have to adopt the Euro as our currency. So far 31 companies have been enticed out of the UK by the EU with EU loans and grants that the UK contributes to [We are one of the five members of the EU that back the ECB]. They have moved to countries in Eastern Europe or to countries outside the EU altogether - So in the EU the UK pays to ship UK jobs abroad. If we leave then maybe they'll have to relocate German and French companies instead.

As far as the case of Elizabeth Ford goes, she was granted Leave To Remain by the Home Office, if that was issued in error due to a Home Office mistake then her case against them is watertight and I guess the Guardian and the person who wrote the article knows that full well. Had this been a UK citizen in the USA, his, or her, feet would not have touched the ground. They are much harsher on visa infringements than the UK are [Same thing applies with regard to Canada and Australia if memory serves].


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 08:15 AM

The Elizabeth Ford case (and others like her) is an entirely home-grown problem caused by the Home Office's 'hostile environment'. It isn't a Brexit issue, except that EU citizens will now be vulnerable to similar persecution.

The US has always been difficult to enter, even as a tourist. I first visited in 1976, during it's Bicentennial Year, which was perhaps the first time it had marketed itself as a tourist destination. The message appeared not to have reached the immigration officials, who didn't seem capable of imagining that someone might come to America and nevertheless want to go home afterwards. However, from what I hear entering the UK isn't much better, especially if you come from Africa or Asia.

Brexit was sold to us on the basis that we would be able to negotiate a new and positive relationship with the EU. I very much hope that will still be possible, although we have tested their patience and forbearance severely, and that we might be able to put arrangements in place which will allow us to travel for work or pleasure with the minimum of interference. Perhaps when all this settles down the politicians on both sides of the argument will no longer feel they need to take such polarised positions and will be able to make the compromises necessary to reach a deal.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 07:12 AM

I certainly hope, and indeed expect, that in time the UK will be able to agree new arrangements with the EU and that these will include arrangements which will allow musicians to tour with the minimum of additional bureaucracy and cost.

Cases like Elizabeth Ford's, and the problems UK musicians have in touring the US, show how little the UK is able or willing to do without the EU's assistance and coercion. There will be no mitigation of the catastrophe.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 06:40 AM

The millennium bug turned out to be largely a non-event because of a great deal of work by programmers to check software and rewrite it where necessary.

The millennium bug -was it a myth?

I know people in IT who confirm this from their own experience.

The Brexit equivalent would be to leave with a deal. I've no idea whether or not that will happen, but if we don't then we can expect all the issues raised in this thread to take effect. I certainly hope, and indeed expect, that in time the UK will be able to agree new arrangements with the EU and that these will include arrangements which will allow musicians to tour with the minimum of additional bureaucracy and cost. However no one can say how long this might take, and I also expect that the needs of musicians and other performers will be a low priority compared with maintaining supplies of food and essential medicines.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 06:31 AM

Young maker of Irish-style flutes leaving England for Ireland.

Damien Thompson

He doesn't mention Brexit apart from a hint that "the time has come" - you bet it has.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 05:59 AM

Guardian story on Elizabeth Ford

And no it wasn't the EU's initiative to exile her. The idea that the UK will be better connected to the outside world after Brexit is mendacious bollocks.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 05:28 AM

As one of the main aims of Brexit is to enable the UK to trade freely with the rest of the world free of interference from the EU [A trading block that is markedly "protectionist"] it seems rather odd for those supporting Brexit to be labelled "isolationists" - Just a historical note but at no time at all in the entire history of the British Isles has Britain EVER been "isolationist" - On the other hand Europe under the rule of various conquerors has prohibited trade with Britain.

I dare say that Brexit when it happens, for happen it most certainly will, will come and go and be very much like the non-event that was "the millennium bug". Nothing stays the same - especially not the EU - In 1975 I was asked to vote for or against our continued membership in a trading partnership and on that occasion I voted for it. Neither myself or any other member of the electorate of this country was asked about that membership being transferred to any fiscal, or federalist political union [Maastricht]. The original version of the Treaty of Lisbon was rejected via referendums in three other EU member States, so the EU took it away and tweaked it and brought it back in through the back-door in a much reduce form. So if things do change then musicians, performers, etc, if they want to make a living had best change with them.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 04:31 AM

Yes my comment was a generality but I was speaking more broadly of the population rather than those on here. I think the very fact that many Brexiteers are isolationist (and a proportion are racists) suggests that they are unlikely to be interested in the music of other countries and cultures


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 04:16 AM

"Of course many enthusiasts of Brexit have no interest in the culture of other countries"

That's an easy stereotype and it may be true of some, but certainly not of others. I would expect anyone sufficiently interested in music to come onto this site to have at least some interest, even if they do support Brexit.

I can immediately think of two folk bands, Blowzabella and Topette, who play regularly on both sides of the Channel and who are made up of both British and French musicians, and presumably will face difficulties whether they are performing in the UK or in Europe. The last time I spoke to a member of Blowzabella they still had no clear idea how it was going to work out - admittedly that was a few months ago but I have seen nothing since then to suggest that special arrangements to ease these difficulties are close to being put in place.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 03:27 AM

Old article from the Guardian showing that nothing has changed in months:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/03/brexit-effects-on-british-pop-classical-music


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 06:34 PM

Very well said Howard - on your latter point I gather at least one performer has had to cancel their appearance at the superb Musicport Festival due to visa issues. I can only see it getting worse. Of course many enthusiasts of Brexit have no interest in the culture of other countries but many thousands of us do have and also recognise the benefits of engagement with different cultures from Europe and beyond.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 09:30 AM

I'm not going to get into a debate about the wisdom or otherwise of the Brexit decision because we don't want this thread to degenerate into another heated and ultimately pointless discussion about politics. This is about the practical effects on music and musicians.

When "this man"'s livelihood and that of thousands of others is put in jeopardy then he's entitled to complain about it. The difficulties of touring in the USA are well-known, and mean that for many it is not feasible. The USA is perhaps particularly difficult, but most countries (including the UK) have visa and tax requirements which apart from the fees may require professional help to obtain. When even a well-known artist faces such difficulties, how can the rest of us expect to manage? Most folk acts don't command very large fees to begin with, and for many it will become uneconomical.

There is no reason at present to believe that performing in the EU post-Brexit will be any different. On the contrary, all the guidance from the UK government and the Musicians Union suggests otherwise.

Let's not get into whether the country will be better or worse off after Brexit, after all opinions are deeply divided and sincerely held on both sides. Not all of the consequences of Brexit can be foreseen. This one can, because the systems are already in place and already apply to artists from outside the EU, and after Brexit they will apply to musicians from the UK as well. So far as I can make out, each EU country sets its own visa requirements. Freedom of movement within the EU applies only to EU citizens.

Of course, a lot of lesser-known musicians are able to get away with entering on a tourist visa. This may be fairly easy if you can get away with carrying just a guitar or fiddle, but bringing in a van full of gear and merchandise is likely to attract attention. If you get caught, then apart from being deported future visits (whether to perform or as a tourist) may be put in jeopardy. For professionals who work in Europe, and for part-time musicians with "proper jobs" (a lot of folk musicians) who have to travel for work purposes it could put their careers in jeopardy.

I say again, none of this is accidental or an unintended consequence. More control over working and trading with the EU was precisely the reason people wanted Brexit. Did you really think this would only work one-way and that similar controls would not apply in reverse?

So far this discussion has been mainly about the problems UK musicians will face if they want to perform in the EU. Let's not forget the UK already has its own requirements for rest-of-world musicians visiting the UK. In future these rules will apply to those coming from the EU. This is not just paperwork and it cannot be assumed a visa will be granted, for example artists due to perform at WOMAD have had visas refused. We can expect to see fewer visits from overseas musicians and less opportunity for international collaboration, in all genres. This can only impoverish us culturally, regardless of the economic consequences.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 09:07 AM

Thanks Richard best laugh today.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 08:48 AM

"Saying the leopard is dead doesn't let the Army off"

But it beats trying to wear a live one.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 06:18 AM

They won't continue if it's untenable. And whether people seek to play in the USA or not is utterly beside the point.

Anyone who has ever toured the Continent doing performing gigs in the pre-EU days, and actually had to use those carnet forms, will know that Knopfler is not exaggerating. There's no "Diddums" about it. So easy to dismiss the issue from the comfortable sidelines.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 04:51 AM

Very simple message for David Knopfler.

"Ah Diddums, never mind pet, your probably better off stayin' at home."

Why this man's views should overturn a democratically arrived at decision God alone knows, nobody posting to this forum can come up with an argument to convince me otherwise. However no matter what the anti-Brexit crowd rant on about, the simple truth is that it is not Brexit that they are destroying - it's democracy in the UK along with faith and belief in our system of government.

David Knopfler is totally wrong about Cameron, the Conservative Party have rubbed along having the ERG in existence since 1993 - concerns over Maastricht brought it into existence [I have been anti-EU ever since then - the Leave campaign in 2015/16 did absolutely nothing to influence my opinion of the EU]. They accounted for roughly 6% of the Party - I think it was UKIP's success in the 2014 EU Parliamentary Elections that put Cameron's feet to the fire, just as it is now the Brexit Party applying pressure to Boris. There has not been one single Prime Minister, or Government, in this country that hasn't lied about and misrepresented the European Project to the people of the United Kingdom since the days of Harold Macmillan. The EU is a slow motion train wreck that the electorate of not one of it's net-contributor member states think will still be in existence in 20 years time.

Fact remains musicians, performers, bands, etc, etc, will still continue to tour. They will all try to get the USA gig and break into that market as that is where the money is.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 03:26 PM

Worth quoting in full [ignore the inexplicable blank space after "not making a living" and keep scrolling down]

David Knopfler:

"I will say this one last bloody time to have it on record for the next person who clearly doesn’t care to understand why UK musicians are sensibly 98% in favour of Remain and not Brexit and will continue to be so until Hell freezes over.

If I am offered work as a musician, it makes very little difference to me in practical terms whether it’s a one hour plane ride to anywhere in the UK or anywhere in the EU. I jump on a plane and go to work. The local agent has some paperwork to take care of but the only difference to me personally is usually the eight seconds it takes me to show my fabulous, much beloved, and massively appreciated, blue zone European passport if passing into another EU country that these populist, reactionary, moronic, shitheads want to deprive me of. Even that little effort isn’t necessary at all within the Schengen Zone.

If however I want to play in the US it’s a completely different ball of wax. I have to prove to the US authorities that I am an “exceptional” talent, or whatever worrisome phrase it is they use, fill in lengthy forms online, attend an interview at the US Embassy in London at 7.30am to plead my case along with my band - ie an overnight stay at a London Hotel, handing over a shedload of serous money for a visa for myself and another shedload for whoever I require to accompany me - and then do it all again for the next trip where any change in lineup btw would probably scupper the enterprise. To say that this is a royal pain in the arse doesn’t begin to describe it.

Oh, and for bands with gear, and worse, merchandise, the difficulties compound. Imagine having to pay customs and excise on your CDs at every border and boundary as you arrive at them? Or have to create authorised expensive carnets of your equipment that can then be challenged at every border by customs and immigration officials. It becomes effectively impossible to tour Europe on an economic time scale and to carry CDs in your van. If playing in the US were as easy as Europe I’d have been doing regular shows there every few months for the last twenty years.

I stopped flying to the US by flying into Toronto to get to Upstate NY because there was usually a two hour queue to get across the border and a one hour delay being interviewed by US immigration officials at the border. It was less work to fly through Boston and get it all done at the airport with a 30 min queue. To imagine these kinds of difficulties and costs translated to working in Europe would mean, for 80% of gigging musicians, the difference between making a living and not making a living.

This is also where our tax authorities pick up huge wodges of cash as invisible earnings from all of our businesses that currently enjoy freedom of movement. Hundreds and hundreds of plane loads of us going in and out of the other 27 countries hourly... all being bollocked by Faragist, xenophobic, little Englander, reactionary, dogma. These revenues will be drastically hit if and when, as these insensitive, unapologetic, pro-government, sphincters intend, it all comes to a crashing end on October 31st 2019.

It was an idiotic gamble David Cameron made to nobble his ERG supporters and he lost (!) and as a result we are getting the short shitty stick and I’m mad as hell about that and will absolutely remain mad as hell until this assault on my human rights and my economic well being ends, and leaving the European Union is trashed. It can’t come a day too soon for me so please don’t dish out any of the slack litany of cobblers leave voters have been taught to parrot about this. I hope this is clear enough and is the last time I need to spell this lunacy out. All that before even considering yellow hammer or driving permits and whatever other needless fuckeries this will throw up just because Johnson wanted Cameron’s job, the utterly shameless, lying knob."


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 01:47 PM

Nothing new in this, but well put and the voice of experience.

FB post from David Knopfler


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 09:39 AM

"Not that things are much clearer after the discussion. It does illustrate how difficult it is for people to plan ahead when, after 3 years, no one is sure what you should be planning for."

Totally agree about clarity, typical BBC interview with regard to anything to do with Brexit. One of the things said regarded calls for advice to HMRC - the reason they could not give any back last February is not so surprising, as under May and Hammond, the UK was never going to leave the EU at all and Hammond in particular had deliberately prevented work being done to prepare for us leaving on a no-deal basis. They still tour abroad outwith the EU and even although they said it was a pain - they still do it, and they will continue to do it. I got the distinct impression that they were rather over-egging the pudding when stating their case, particularly about the refundable "bond" to be paid and held by HMRC for the value of the instruments. The comment about double charges for our musicians playing in France for national insurance comes as no surprise - How typical of them. With "friends" like that who needs enemies.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Rain Dog
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 07:23 AM

They had a short piece on BBC Radio 4 last night about Brexit & Music

Front Row

How will Brexit impact Classical Music? John is joined by the Association of British Orchestras director Mark Pemberton, opera impresario Wasfi Kani from Grange Park Opera and Claire Fox, The Brexit Party MEP who is on the Culture Committee of the European Parliament. They discuss whether classical musicians will be particularly affected by Brexit, deal or no deal.

Front Row - Brexit & Music

It starts at approx. 14.45

Not that things are much clearer after the discussion. It does illustrate how difficult it is for people to plan ahead when, after 3 years, no one is sure what you should be planning for.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 04:40 AM

This discussion is about the possible impact of Brexit on music and musicians. Of course we are talking about the future, because Brexit is still in the future. But when it happens, which is likely to be soon, changes will happen. Those changes aren't accidental or unintended, we are leaving the EU precisely in order to be able to impose controls on trade and visitors to the UK, but of course it works in the other direction too. This can only be avoided if an agreement is reached which will mitigate these effects. At present that doesn't seem imminent, but who knows?

Yes, some bands do manage to tour in the US and other countries, but many others find the costs and bureaucracy too much. I can speak from experience - my band was offered a tour in the US, but the costs and practical difficulties compared with the financial rewards ruled it out for us. For example, to get a working visa for the US you have to attend an interview in person at the US Embassy in London, and have a letter of sponsorship from the promoter in the US (in fairness, the UK makes it just as difficult for visiting musicians). Whereas when we had a gig in Paris last year it was no different from a gig in the UK, we just loaded the van and set off.

Plenty of bands toured in Europe before we joined, and they all faced delays and hassle over the paperwork. No one is suggesting that it won't be possible to tour after Brexit, just that it will become more difficult and more expensive, and in some cases the figures won't stack up to make it worthwhile.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 04:34 AM

Sloppy writing by Rawmusictv but the "NOW" that you emphasise comes from a quote from advice that will only apply AFTER Brexit.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 03:17 AM

"British musicians entering the EU will be subject to whatever immigration and customs controls are put in place, and the same will apply to EU musicians coming here. At present we are being told this will require visas, carnets and musical instrument certificates."

ONCE we are OUT of the EU - We are not yet OUT of the EU - Now go back and read the opening post of this thread and the title of the link provided:

UK bands NOW have to pay import duty and VAT on ALL merchandise before even entering Europe to tour

Ever tried getting into Canada, USA or Australia? Lots of hoops to jump through, but loads of artists, bands and performers do it - the rewards being well worth the effort. So when we leave the EU you just add the countries of Europe to that list. Beatles toured and worked in Europe long before we joined the EEC - where did they make their money though? Wasn't Europe, from 1964 to 1970, the Beatles had the top-selling US single one week out of every six weeks, and the top-selling US album one week out of every three weeks.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 11 Sep 19 - 05:52 PM

Observer, the free movement (of labour) as you quite rightly say allows people to move around within the EU provided they have a job to go to. However, as cannot have failed to escape your notice, following Brexit we will not be in the EU. British musicians entering the EU will be subject to whatever immigration and customs controls are put in place, and the same will apply to EU musicians coming here. At present we are being told this will require visas, carnets and musical instrument certificates.

The purpose of the Single Market is to remove such restrictions. The vote to leave the EU was a vote to restore them between the EU and the UK. Of course we were promised that we would get a new agreement which would avoid this and which would give us all the benefits with none of the obligations, but that was always a naive hope. And it is to be expected that the EU will have tried to shaft us - their aim is protect the EU's interests, not those of the UK. They were never going to give us an easy ride, and why should they?


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Sep 19 - 11:21 AM

Import duty was lowered from £35 to £15 very quietly. Thus constituting a stealth tax. But in a "no deal" Brexshit would help pay for the mess. Until people wised-up, and by then they would buy from UK sources and import duty would have been paid anyway. Win Win, but still underhand.
No, 'import duty' was not lowered. I think what you refer to was the lowering of the threshold for paying VAT on imports. That threshold is currently £15. The threshold for paying 'Customs Duty' (also known as 'import duty') is £135. For goods below that value no Customs duty is charged. There is also Excise duty which is charged on tobacco and alcohol at levels below that £135 threshold.
Tax and Customs for goods sent from abroad: HMRC


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 11 Sep 19 - 10:47 AM

Very interesting case Jack - but nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit - just an example of what happens when you encounter some complete and utter "jobsworth", arsehole of a [not so] civil servant. The Home Office will, undoubtedly lose the appeal case, The Home Office just going through the motions to waste taxpayer's money and tick all the boxes, it makes their lawyers money.

The situation as mentioned in the article linked to is covered in the GFA which in turn has got nothing to do with anyone, other than the Governments of the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It most certainly is NOT the concern of the EU, the next case to be raised will be by Lord Trimble who views the changes the EU are insisting on in Northern Ireland actually break the GFA - again makes money for lawyers.

Here, by the way, is how matters relating to the border in Ireland were viewed by Michel Barnier in a "fly-on-the-wall" TV Documentary commissioned by Guy Verhofstadt, broadcast earlier this year by the BBC. The documentary was titled "Brexit: Behind Closed Doors" the two sets of comments come from the time Theresa May was about to put her deal before the House of Commons:

Michel Barnier [October 2018]:

"Our deliberate tactic must be to "isolate" any discussion of the Ireland question to make sure there is no settlement so as to keep the UK in negotiations for the next two to three years."

Verhofstadt's PR Team [14th November 2018]:

First PR rep: "We got rid of them! - We kicked them out! It took us two years but we got rid of them on our terms and on our conditions."

Second PR rep: "We finally turned them into a colony. That was our plan from the first moment."

Anybody wants to view it the above exchanges are shown in Part Two of the Two Part Documentary, which must be classed as being one of the most idiotic things ever released as far anyone wishing the UK to remain in the EU goes. It does however give an accurate picture of how the British are viewed by those at the heart of the EU.

One great, but popular, misconception regarding EU red lines. Within the EU there is no such thing as freedom of movement - what there is - is free movement of labour. This means that you should be able to move wherever you want to within the EU provided that you have a job there waiting for you when you arrive. No problem with visiting musicians and bands who are normally on tour who are going to play at festivals or booked gigs and who can clearly demonstrate that to anyone wishing to know.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Sep 19 - 05:27 AM

The Home Office going through a truly Kafkaesque routine to fuck up an American musician's life:

Weaseling out of the Good Friday Agreement


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 11 Sep 19 - 05:15 AM

I'm not sure why Observer (who I guess supports Brexit) is so defensive. All this is an inevitable and even an intended outcome of leaving the EU. If a deal is done, now or in the future, other measures may be put in place to make these issues easier, possibly but not necessarily by replicating the current arrangements. Until then our dealings with the EU will be at arms length, which will inevitably mean more complicated and almost certainly more expensive. It's what the country voted for, apparently.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 Sep 19 - 04:34 AM

I find it remarkable that some posters kick-off on their own misunderstanding. I won't patronise by quoting the dictionary definition of caveat. But then it didn't take long for thread drift to encroach & to personolise.

Motorway signs are there to be read by all diligent drivers, unless you deall Cymraeg gwleidyddol. Personally bron dim. But for the message to be displayed like that, it must have come from deep within the corridors of power. Perhaps they are waking-up to the enormity of the chosen task ahead. The Devil is always in the detail.

And don't expect them not to resurrect new and improved PEL.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 09 Sep 19 - 08:11 PM

How remarkably observant of you Mr. Red [RE: Your Motorway sign] - What does this sign presage according to your understanding of it? I take it that you do fully understand the use and the meaning of the word "MAY", or do you like most posting to this forum expect this to happen after the sky has fallen, the first-born of every household in the land has died and after we have suffered plagues of frogs and locusts [Admittedly the time of year may be a bit out for the latter]

Guest Ray, you are 100% correct that was the purpose that Income Tax was originally introduced and let's face it, the Napoleonic Wars were damned expensive for Great Britain and after they were finished, after we had paid to keep various coalitions in the fight against Napoleon I imagine that the UK found that it was in debt and that that debt had to be paid off - Fortunately we already had a tax scheme in operation to do just that - Any idea of what the rate was and who actually paid it? Information is all held by the Government.

None of that alters a jot what I have previously stated.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 09 Sep 19 - 04:48 PM

Unfortunately, taxes have a nasty habit of being perpetuated long after their sell by date. If I remember correctly, UK Income Tax was originally introduced to pay for the Napoleonic Wars.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Sep 19 - 04:00 PM

After leaving the EU the British Government have the following choices relating to VAT:

Governments are not disposed to follow your predictions (or whatever you call them). They will do what they do and, as is being demonstrated, will do regardless of the rightness be it legal, moral, or even rational. Their only barrier is other politicians who may or may not be less reprehensible. Anyone who has favourites will always wish to paint them in a better light. But that light can be switched off by history, and so it will. I can wait.

Here's you caveat expressed by government sources - viz a Motorway electronic overhead sign:
 FREIGHT TO EU     
 PAPERWORK MAY
 CHANGE 1 NOV     


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 09 Sep 19 - 07:56 AM

Elizabeth Ford is an American musicologist who lives in Scotland and researches Scottish music. She was just told, on the same day, that her book was ready for publication and that the Home Office refused her permission to stay in the UK.

Elizabeth Ford on Twitter

I've read her work and met her. Scotland would be a better place with her still in it.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Sep 19 - 08:33 AM

VAT goes to the Treasury. It is not specifically to pay for the EU, except to the extent that it contributes to the government's general pot of money that the UK's contributions are paid out of. VAT is harmonised across the EU, but individual governments have some degree of latitude in setting the applicable rates, within the legal framework set out by the EU (and which, at the risk of getting political, the UK had a part in agreeing). It is true that after Brexit the UK government will be entirely free to set whatever rates it wishes, how that will work out remains to be seen.

What this seems to mean in practice is that post-Brexit we will now be able to purchase stuff VAT-free from businesses in the EU, including musical instruments and equipment. Great! However we will have to pay UK VAT (or whatever replaces it) together with import duty when it comes into the UK. What these rates are will depend on what deal we eventually agree with the EU, until then (as I understand it) they will be at WTO rates. Whether this works out more or less expensive for the purchaser remains to be seen, it will certainly add to the paperwork and delay in receiving your order. It will make it less attractive to buy from companies in the EU, and with less competition UK prices may then rise. It will significantly affect trading of second-hand instruments, especially by private individuals who do not currently have to charge VAT.

There's an interesting article here:

Impact Assessment: Brexit and the musical instrument market

Musicians taking CDs and other merchandise into the EU for sale will be subject to the requirements I linked to before to pay HMRC up front.

Digital sales must now charge VAT at the applicable rate in the purchaser's country, and unlike physical products there is no VAT threshold so this applies to all sales no matter how small. There is a system known as VATMOSS which was being set up to administer all this, so it would be handled through HMRC rather than having to deal with separate EU countries, but I'm not sure if this will continue after Brexit. Many musicians sell downloads through portals such as CD Baby and Bandcamp, which handle the VAT for them so the impact may be fairly small.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 05 Sep 19 - 04:09 AM

Mr Red if you are going to quote from my post's please do fully and accurately. Full quote is as follows:

"You only ever pay VAT once, that from experience is in the country where you have the CD's, Merchandise, etc., made."

VAT is the EU wide tax that basically pays for the EU. After leaving the EU the British Government have the following choices relating to VAT:

1. We retain it exactly as it is - no-one sees, or experiences any difference. The Government raises the money to continue paying every subsidy previously paid by the EU in addition the British Government retains what used to be our net-contribution to the EU's coffers [The UK after Germany is the largest net-contributor to the EU and has been for decades]

2. We retain VAT but reduce it, or we remove it on certain items to the extent that we can continue to pay every subsidy previously paid by the EU but there is now no additional money raised.

3. The UK can abolish VAT altogether and find other means (taxes) to subsidise whatever we want - Still less expensive than us paying into the EU.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Sep 19 - 02:57 AM

You only ever pay VAT once, that from experience is in the country where you have the CD's,

Only while this country are in the EU &/or have a deal. As we have found recently, governments are not bound by reason, logic, honesty or moral constraints. Only expediency in garnering revenue to 1) pay for Brexshit 2) pay for the tax brides in hopes of success at the next election/by.

Import duty was lowered from £35 to £15 very quietly. Thus constituting a stealth tax. But in a "no deal" Brexshit would help pay for the mess. Until people wised-up, and by then they would buy from UK sources and import duty would have been paid anyway. Win Win, but still underhand.

FWIW Chinese operators on E-Bay often have UK registered addresses and charge what they charge but declare cost appropriate to their loss in the event of disaster en-route direct from China. eg Shoes that retail at £24 (UK address) were declared as $6 for customs (from China). (I bought as fun Shoes until I spoke to a non-folkie wearing non-red ones).

As has been stated, in the case of music/CD there is always the internet and MP3, which in the case of modern cars is the only way to play the songs anyway. But the philosophy is "grab the money while it is fresh in their hand/mind". And physical items are the only way, there.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Sep 19 - 06:51 PM

Observer, the fact is that the international movement of instruments containing listed species of wood and other materials requires the appropriate paperwork. There are plenty of resources on the internet to support this - besides the turgid official government information, guitar, woodwind and violin journals have all carried articles, as have instrument retailers and dealers, and the MU. It is a well-known issue, in particular for travellers into the US, EU, Australia and Japan as they have the strictest enforcement measures.

Movement within the EU itself does not require this, because it is a single customs area. When we leave the EU the UK will no longer be part of that customs area, and we will need the documentation if our instruments contain the listed species. However if you believe you have found a loophole in CITES to avoid this then good luck to you.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Sep 19 - 12:38 PM

Jack the link to EU Guidance given by Howard:

Permits, Certificates and Notifications

Documents needed for wildlife trade into, from and inside the EU
   
1. WILDLIFE TRADE INTO AND FROM THE EU
   1.1 Overview
   1.2 What types of documents for what purpose?
   1.3 Which document do I need?
   1.4 Where should I apply for an EU permit or certificate?
   1.5 What are the procedures and conditions for the issuance of an EU permit or certificate?
   1.6 General derogations from import and export conditions

2. INTERNAL TRADE IN THE EU
   2.1 Overview
   2.2 General provisions for internal trade of specimens of species listed in EU Regulations
   2.3 Regarding commercial use of specimens of Annex A listed species (Art. 8.1 of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97)
   2.4 Exemptions and the use of EU internal trade certificates
   2.5 “Fast track” certificates – the use of pre-issued certificates
   2.6 Circuses and travelling exhibitions
   2.7 General exemptions and derogations for internal trade


DID deal mainly with animals and "live" animals at that. But I suppose that you would have actually have to have read it to glean that point.

Leopardskin aprons worn by Regimental Band Bass Drummers - Perhaps you should look at the age of them Jack. It is not as though orders are put in for hundreds each year. If the skin has already been cleared and is of an age that predates a certain point there is no problem with those items.

Most widely internationally travelled military band in the UK would be the Band of the Royal Marines - Bass Drummer in that wears a Tiger skin apron - no problems encountered so far.

Black Bearskins as used by Regiments of Foot Guards and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards all come from cull killed Black Bears in Canada, that cull having been authorised by the Canadian Government in accordance with advice given each year by their Wildlife Department. They would not be subject to prohibition or restriction of movement. Not one single Black Bear gets shot to provide a Guardsman with a hat - those are a by-product, the Bear would be shot in any case.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 03 Sep 19 - 07:29 AM

The British government doesn't think it means live specimens. Here's one of their advice pages:

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/souvenirs-and-endangered-species

That means the leopardskin apron the bass drummer in your regimental pipe band wears. Saying the leopard is dead doesn't let the Army off.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Sep 19 - 03:58 AM

Here's the MU guidance:

MU CITES update

MU travelling with an instrument

There have always been some relaxations for movement for personal use, including performance. What regulations apply depend on what protected species are used. In some cases a Musical Instrument Certificate is required - an "instrument passport". While we are in the EU an MIC is not required, this will change when we leave. We don't know whether the EU will be as rigorous as the US, but it would be unwise to assume they won't be concerned about it.

The regulations are about to be changed to make it even easier to move instruments, but this does not include Brazilian rosewood which is found in many guitars and other instruments.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Sep 19 - 02:46 AM

I take it that Section 2.2 applies only after compliance with what is stated in Section 2.1:

Internal trade in the EU includes trade within one EU Member State and trade between individual EU Member States. Due to the establishment of the EU single market, there are no border controls inside the EU and generally goods can be moved and traded freely inside the EU. However, this applies to specimens of species listed in Annex B, C or D only if they have been acquired and/or imported into the EU in accordance with the provisions of CITES, the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations and other legislation that may be applicable in an individual Member State. Specimens of species listed in Annex A are generally not allowed to be used for commercial purposes and their movement inside the EU is also subject to regulations

To those who are still awake - what is basically being talked about here by the EU is live specimens.

So Howard, on that clearly stipulated condition, specifically outlined by the EU Guidance I will stand by what I have said in my previous posts.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Sep 19 - 02:28 AM

Observer I note your comments but the reality is that as a general rule, no permits or certificates are needed for keeping or moving a specimen of a species listed in CITES Annex B, C or D inside the EU. See Section 2.2 of the
EU Guidance Presumably someone with greater knowledge than you and I has decided this is legal.

The UK government advises that"You will not be able to freely move or trade species listed in Annex A – D between the UK and the EU."

UK government guidance CITES after Brexit

Furthermore, you will only be able to move protected species through a designated entry point, which does not include Dover and Eurotunnel.

Yes, all this only applies if there is no new deal to cover these issues (a point I made earlier), and surely we must have a deal with the EU at some point. But it is unclear when this will be agreed or what it will say. In the meantime we are about to leave the EU and, unless things change dramatically in the next few weeks, without a deal. The likelihood is that, at least in the short term and possibly for an indeterminate period, these constraints will apply.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Sep 19 - 01:37 AM

" up to now all movements within the EU have been regarded as internal"

CITES was signed by national governments, AFAIK the EU is NOT a signatory [The EU is not a Government - although sometimes it thinks and acts as though it is]. Therefore if what you state is correct then those EU nations are in flagrant violation of the terms of this treaty [The UK certainly isn't according to the link you provided] .

The opening post contained a link which included the following statement - "UK-bands-NOW-have-to-pay-import-duty-and-VAT-on-ALL-merchandise-before-even-entering-Europe-to-tour" - Ehmmmm No they don't as far as European countries in the EU and EEA are concerned. The articles linked to to support this contention all say that this is what MAY happen in the future in which no deal is ever negotiated [UK could leave the EU on 31.10.2019 with no deal, but that does not mean that some form of a trade deal could not be negotiated at a later date].


CDs and T-Shirts appear to be neither "licenced or controlled" items as defined or detailed by the lists provided by the UK Government.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Sep 19 - 04:32 PM

So far as I am aware an ordinary consumer can't recover VAT on services abroad. This is different from purchases of goods, which can be bought VAT-free on the basis that you pay import duty and VAT on bringing it into your own country. However VAT is immensely complicated so I may be wrong.
Not quite. Goods can only be purchased VAT free (or the VAT subsequently reclaimed) by foreign travellers who will be taking the goods out of the EU (of course this will also apply to UK purchasers once we leave the EU as we will then be viewed as 'foreign travellers')


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Sep 19 - 10:01 AM

You don't have to be a very big operation to be VAT registered, and it's advantageous if you are. The point where it becomes compulsory is in the small-business range.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Sep 19 - 08:57 AM

"within the EU you can presumably claim (VAT) back if it's a business-related expense as part of your tour"

Won't that apply only if the band or musician is VAT-registered?   A very large number won't be.

So far as I am aware an ordinary consumer can't recover VAT on services abroad. This is different from purchases of goods, which can be bought VAT-free on the basis that you pay import duty and VAT on bringing it into your own country. However VAT is immensely complicated so I may be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Sep 19 - 08:51 AM

"Never, ever, have I, or any others that I know ever had to pay anything "up front" to take CDs abroad - Tours and festivals North America, Europe, Australia."

That's what is now being reported may happen, for example:

https://louderthanwar.com/post-brexit-uk-bands-may-pay-vat-import-duty-merch-leaving-country/

And here's a link to the Government guidance

"CITES is a multi-national Treaty and neither the UK's Brexit or EU Regulation has, or will have any impact on it. "

What will change is that up to now all movements within the EU have been regarded as internal and you don't require documentation simply to carry your instruments around, any more than you do within the UK. After Brexit, travelling to the EU will become a cross-border movement, and if your instruments contain protected species then the appropriate paperwork will be required.

Is there really a risk that your instrument will be confiscated? I don't know, but this article suggests that they have been in the past, although the exact numbers are unclear.

Instruments seized under CITES

There are proposals to relax the rules for musical instruments, but that won't include Brazilian rosewood. I for one won't be taking the chance.

Eventually when we get a deal with the EU (as we must) then maybe all this will be resolved. I wouldn't care to guess how long that might take.


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Subject: RE: Brexit and music
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 02 Sep 19 - 07:00 AM

"the cost and bureaucracy of having to make payments up-front would now discourage us from taking CDs abroad"

Never, ever, have I, or any others that I know ever had to pay anything "up front" to take CDs abroad - Tours and festivals North America, Europe, Australia.

Never, ever had any problem with instruments either, in fact the only time I have ever seen a guitar case opened was once on our return to the UK from the USA where all the Customs Officer wanted to check on was that the instrument inside the case was not a brand new one being brought into the country. Once he saw the obvious signs of usage he simply closed the case and we carried on through.

CITES is a multi-national Treaty and neither the UK's Brexit or EU Regulation has, or will have any impact on it. Being the older international treaty it has precedence over anything the UK or Brussel's can introduce that could be seen as altering or amending CITES.

CITES coverage


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