Few would disagree that the UK music industry’s needs were sidestepped during Brexit, although there is hope.
A cross party parliamentary group published a report in July 2022, on how musicians touring the EU are managing after Brexit. The core conclusion was that they have become a forgotten arm of UK business.
The live music industry employs 30,000 people in the UK and supports far more jobs. They are also ambassadors for their country, more people around the world would know the name of a British group, or orchestra than anything else.
Yet the committee said that post Brexit bureaucracy was “clogging the arteries of the sector and hampering competitiveness”. A number of recommendations came, to take responsibility for and improve the situation.
A Path Forward
The committee chairman stated that musicians had not been a big enough priority for the government and they proposed:
- The appointment of a “Touring Tsar”, to steer the Government’s response to the crisis across departments.
- Working with the EU to create a cultural touring agreement, exempting musicians and their crews from red tape.
- Creating a temporary support fund, to help the industry and individual performers deal with increased costs.
- Expanding the number of border points where goods passports and musical instrument certificates can be checked.
Underpinning these requirements is the unwanted cost and hassle of post Brexit admin, although some progress has been made.
The Current Position
British artists perform more in the EU than anywhere else, the fans want us there. To be able to travel to the EU, there are three areas to focus on.
Musical instruments can require a CITES certificate (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Instruments can contain materials such as ivory, or Brazilian rosewood.
A Musical Instrument Certificate (MIC) is available in the UK, normally free of charge and allows cross border travel for three years. If instruments are being shipped, rather than carried, your exporter should advise on slightly different certification.
Visas and work permits have been a barrier to date, due to cost, or difficulty. The UK government state that most EU countries have now agreed to “Offer visa and work permit free routes, for UK performers and other creative professionals.”
Evidence suggests that not everyone working in those countries is aware of this but hopefully, the situation will continue to improve.
Regardless of CITES needs, instruments and other equipment need permission to travel, in the same way any goods might. Where an instrument is carried, or in your vehicle, a simple declaration may be possible.
This has however proven to be one of the more inconsistent post Brexit aspects. By all means contact us to confirm whether or not you will require what the parliamentary committee called a goods passport.
Using An ATA Carnet
An ATA carnet is a document allowing temporary import of goods, which can include musical instruments, sound equipment, staging and much more. They are valid for 12 months and can be used for free movement across the EU.
ATA carnets are based on a long standing, international treaty. They are not subject to Brexit vagaries and all EU countries are treaty members.
Dynamic Dox have considerable experience in issuing ATA carnets for performers. Our sister company specialise in logistics for the film and TV sector, we recently joined forces with Global Critical Logistics, a specialist provider to the music sector.
There is a cost with ATA carnets for the EU but they can be used as often as you wish over a 12 month period and for more than one performer’s items.
Amidst the bureaucracy brought by Brexit, they are a stable force which are being used without hassle. If you are touring in the EU and would like an ATA carnet, or advice, get in touch with our friendly team.
Carnets are a proven system but all else is quite new, ensuring you meet import requirements in countries you are travelling to makes sense.