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No Deal Brexit could cost touring DJs and live artists thousands per year, new report shows

New guidelines from ISM outline the costs to DJs and live acts travelling in and out of the EU27

New guidelines from the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) are calling on the Government to cover the costs musicians and DJs will have to pay in the event of a No Deal Brexit. The costs – accrued in the form of carnets, which are "temporary international customs documents that allow instruments and sound equipment to move temporarily outside the UK" – can be up to £700 a year for DJs who use and travel with their own equipment. 

The cost is calculated by adding the price of the carnet from the government at £344.40 per year, plus a security deposit that varies wildly in price depending on the equipment in question. ISM explain: "Non-refundable security/bond quotes from the LCCI for 12 months in the EU vary from £132.30 (for an instrument worth £5,000) to £167.24 (for an instrument worth £10,000) to £269.39 (for an instrument worth £20,000) – which when added to the fee of £344.40 equates to £476.70, £511.64, or £613.79 respectively (including VAT). This means that musicians will be required to spend c. £500-700 on a carnet each year (carnet costing £344.40 plus security/bond costing c. £150-£300)"

However, this guideline is set for a musician and one 'instrument', not for DJs and/or producers who play live, who carry multiple types of equipment. That means any DJ who uses their own rotary mixer, brings their own RMX-1000 or effects pedals, modular rigs, drum machines, or even full live setups will be liable to add the value of their kit together, potentially crossing the thresholds of each bond and costing more.

ISM made it clear that music formats like CDs, vinyl and USBs, as long as it’s carried for personal use, are not considered equipment and will not be liable for the charge.

ISM have outlined two scenarios to help explain the potential situation following a No Deal Brexit:

Scenario 1:
A DJ travels to the EU27 with their equipment/decks without a customs document.

This will no longer be possible under a no deal Brexit. DJs would need to obtain a carnet in order to travel to the EU27 with their equipment.

Carnets are temporary international customs documents that allow instruments and sound equipment to move temporarily outside the UK. DJs can purchase them from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Scenario 2:
A DJ’s equipment has been transported by truck through Dover to Paris while the DJ has travelled separately. The equipment has been listed on the carnet for the truck and is therefore expected to return to the UK on the truck.

The DJ in this case, therefore, cannot take their equipment from Paris on to another location in the EU27 (e.g. to DJ at a festival) because the carnet stamps will not match, when the truck and/or DJ returns to the UK.

ISM are calling on the government to cover these potential costs, but has yet to get a response.