Entering the US with a violin, customs?

September 7, 2022, 9:16 PM · Hello there,

I'll be traveling to the US with my violin in two weeks and just remembered having read quite a couple of horror stories about customs confiscating bows and instruments because of ivory or other endangered materials - is that still the case? I wasn't able to find any current info.
Does anyone by chance have a list of requirements for entering the US with violin and a bow?
Thank you very much in advance!

Replies (2)

Edited: September 8, 2022, 9:50 AM · I think trivial amounts of ivory (i.e., not an elephant's tusk) are being waved through. I've never been approached at Customs by anyone, and I have carried a violin pretty frequently. It might help that I have Global Entry, but it seems that everyone has better things to worry about at the moment.

At some point, you might want to have someone certify either that the bow is antique or that it was made with supplies stockpiled before they became illegal. But it would be a very rare accident if you needed it this time.

September 8, 2022, 10:06 AM · Hi Stephen, thank you very much!!!
For the next time I travel I'll try to get the certificate you mentioned, it's a good idea...
Kind regards and thanks again!

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Shopping Guide
Violinist.com Shopping Guide


Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop



Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine