No more than 200 grams of ivory may be present in any item. Exemptions apply to items that are at least 100 years old, but you must be able to give proof of age. The ivory in the item is derived entirely or partly from an endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Items containing a mixture of legal and illegal ivory will be confiscated by law enforcement officials. There are no exceptions based on age or value.
Illegal ivory includes material that is imported or exported without documentation showing that the importation or exportation was permitted under federal law. It also includes domestic ivory obtained through unlawful means, such as killing wildlife in violation of state laws or international treaties.
Legal ivory includes material that is imported or exported with documentation showing that the importation or exportation was permitted under federal law. It does not include domestic ivory obtained through unlawful means, such as killing wildlife in violation of state laws or international treaties.
You can provide documentation showing that the item was created before 1972, if that information is not readily apparent.
If it is not exempt, then it's illegal. The legal definition of "ivory" is any part of a tusk or tooth of an elephant, hippopotamus, or walrus. However, most ivory on the market today is from elephants and comes from Africa. There is also some illegal ivory from other animals such as rhinos and lions.
Legal ivory has two different classes: antique ivory and historic ivory. Antique ivory is defined as having been carved before 1915, while historic ivory is carved after this date. Carvings made from antique or historic ivory may be sold without restriction or with a license. Licenses are required for carvings made from more recent ivory.
Ivory that is at least 100 years old is allowed to be sold without a license if it is from a large animal such as an elephant or a whale. These items are called "antiques". Items less than 100 years old require a license to sell.
Licensed dealers must comply with specific requirements set by federal law.
It's critical to note that merely owning ivory is not unlawful, nor is passing it on to your heirs. Pre-existing ivory-made objects, such as musical instruments used in orchestras, furniture, and guns weighing less than 200 grams, are excluded. The legal status of ivory varies from country to country.
In most countries, importing ivory means you have consent to trade it. Legal exports are allowed, while illegal imports can result in fines or imprisonment. Ivory is banned in many countries as industrial raw material for tools, ornaments, and jewelry. It is also banned in some religions as an offering to God.
Illegal trading of ivory affects both local and global populations. Local communities lose their access to income from ivory sales, which often leads to poverty. Global poaching levels are high, with about 50,000 elephants killed annually for their ivory. This represents a loss of approximately 10% of all African elephant population every year.
The future survival of the elephant depends largely on whether or not current poaching rates decrease. If governments take action now by banning international trade in ivory, there is hope they can stop the slaughter of innocent animals and protect this amazing creature.
Is it legal for me to retain my ivory from elephants? + Yes. Federal wildlife rules and regulations like as CITES, the ESA, and the AfECA do not ban the possession or exhibition of ivory if it was obtained properly. Owners of ivory who have not violated any law by buying or trading in their item should have no problems.
In fact, under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), it is illegal to sell or trade items that are listed on the endangered species list. However, this does not apply to items that were taken before December 28, 1998. So if your ivory came from before then, you are fine. Items taken after this date can only be sold or traded with a license from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
Items that are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) cannot be sold or traded internationally. But again, this only applies to items that were taken before December 29, 1999. If your ivory comes from after this date, it is legal to own it.
Finally, under the American Fisheries Society's Conservation of Atlantic Sea Turtles (AFCST) guidelines, it is illegal to import, export, transport, or sell any part of a sea turtle. This includes their ivory.