They beg Angela Merkel to allow instruments through customs. The musicians describe the customs measures as a ‘great impediment’ to their careers. “Entry and exit of international artists into the European Union is an important contribution to the cultural life in Europe,” they said. “This should not be obstructed by customs procedures in a way that in the end considerably hinders our professional practice and that of our colleagues.”
The letter follows a number of customs seizures at Frankfurt airport, where performers have been asked to pay hefty customs fines to retrieve their instruments, sometimes running into tens of thousands of Euros. If the rules are relaxed, the musicians hope they will be able to carry their instruments abroad if they carry proof of ownership.