EU bans ivory trade – with a few exceptions

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) – The trade in ivory is largely prohibited in the European Union (EU) in the future. On Thursday, the responsible European Commission adopted a legislative package with measures that severely restrict imports, exports and intra-EU trade in white gold.

Exceptions for raw ivory should therefore only be made for repairs to ancient artifacts. Processed ivory may only be traded if the objects are older than 1947 and have a corresponding certificate. The year 1975 is the limit for musical instruments. However, some of the objects and instruments may only be sold to museums.

“Thousands of elephants are killed each year and their ivory is often sold internationally. To reverse this global trend and protect biodiversity, we have to do our work at home,” said Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius. The Commission stated in its communication that an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 African elephants are killed for their ivory each year.

The measures were adopted after consultation with the EU countries and the European Parliament and tighten previous EU rules on ivory trade. They come into force after their publication in the Official Journal of the EU, probably on December 22nd.

Internationally, the commercial trade in ivory has actually been banned since 1989 by the Washington Convention on Cites. Numerous exemptions, however, offer opportunities for fraud and violations. / Dub / DP / zb

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