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U.S. Comprehensive Ivory Ban Now in Place

Mar 13, 2014 4:17 PM   By JVC
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Press Release: The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has received information from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) that the comprehensive ivory ban announced by the White House as part of their new National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking goes into effect immediately. The White House has stated that this ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild.

The comprehensive strategy includes:

1. All commercial imports of African elephant ivory, including antiques, are prohibited.
2. All commercial exports are prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, certain noncommercial items, and in exceptional circumstances permitted under the Endangered Species Act.
3. All sales of ivory across state lines are banned, except for bona fide antiques. Sales within a state are also banned, unless the seller can demonstrate an item was lawfully imported prior to 1990 for African elephants and 1975 for Asian elephants.
4. To qualify as an antique, an item must be more than 100 years old and meet other requirements under the Endangered Species Act. The burden is now on the importer, exporter or seller to demonstrate that an item meets these criteria.
5. Individuals are limited to importing two African elephant sport-hunter trophies per year.  (Previously, this was unlimited.)

The current rules for Asian ivory remain in place. Asian elephant ivory trade is permitted, with proper permits from and declaration to USFWS, only if it is a bona fide antique, or if it is pre-convention (removed from the wild prior to June 14, 1976, has not been commercially held, and is accompanied by a pre-Act affidavit.  Pre-convention Asian elephant ivory can only be sold intrastate).

Any questions on current imports and exports of plant and wildlife products can be directed to Sara Yood, sara-at-jvclegal.org, or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at www.fws.gov. To keep up to date with JVC updates and events, be sure to follow us on Twitter @jvclegal and visit our website, www.jvclegal.org.


Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), founded in 1917, is a not-for-profit legal trade association fulfilling its mission to maintain the jewelry industry’s highest ethical standards. JVC offers dispute mediation and arbitration services for trade and consumers, compliance monitoring and precious metals testing, among many other services. JVC, long considered the industry’s guardian of ethics and integrity, is a resource for the entire jewelry industry and its customers as well as an industry representative before government agencies, media and adjunct fields. For more information visit, www.jvclegal.org.

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Tags: ivory ban, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Jewelry, JVC, regulations
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