For reference, here is the link to the White House announcement
the link to a Q&A from Fish and Wildlife explaining important aspects of the regulations
and the NPR story
I suppose the most surprising aspect to me is the extent to which ivory is contained in some stringed instruments and their bows. I think most of us understand ivory and piano keys, but stringed instruments are much more mobile, of course, and prone to be taken by musicians on their international trips.
In a nutshell, here are the restrictions that the musicians will run into:
"Orchestras, professional musicians and similar entities will be allowed to import certain musical instruments containing African elephant ivory if the instruments qualify as pre-Convention and are not destined to be sold. Worked African elephant ivory imported as part of a musical instrument will continue to be allowed provided the worked ivory was legally acquired prior to February 26, 1976; the worked elephant ivory has not subsequently been transferred from one person to another person in pursuit of financial gain or profit; and the item is accompanied by a valid CITES musical instrument passport or CITES traveling exhibition certificate."
Should we expect that most traveling musicians know when the ivory contained in their instruments was initially "acquired", whether the instrument was subsequently resold for a profit, and whether the musician is familiar with the international agreement rules for CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)? I can just hear the interesting conversations among musicians, Fish and Wildlife, and CBP officers as they try to decide whether to seize a musical instrument at the port of entry or export.
If I were a musician planning on traveling in the near future, I would first determine where I was going to be exiting the US and what port of entry I would be returning. I would then contact Fish and Wildlife at those locations (if they have a presence there) and explain the kind of ivory containing instrument I would be carrying, and find out what the expectations will be at those ports. It wouldn't hurt to try and contact Fish and Wildlife at the national level to learn about the current and planned future rules, but individual ports of exit and entry are notoriously famous for different interpretations of regulations (understandably so) and the last experience a musician or anyone else wants to go through is an unexpected seizure of their livelihood.