Implementing the Ivory Act – opening of the ivory service

posted 01 March 2022, 4:45 pm
For members’ information, the following email is from the Defra Ivory Policy Team and addressed to the British Antique Dealers Association, with whom we are in touch and who have kindly kept us informed. 
Any questions should be covered in the websites mentioned below or if not may be directed to me.
Derek Stimpson

Subject: Implementing the Ivory Act – opening of the ivory service 
On 24th February 2022 the digital ivory service has launched. This service enables people to register and certify exempted ivory items ahead of dealing in them.
We encourage dealers of ivory items to begin registering or certifying their exempted items as soon as possible so that they can become familiar with the process and register or acquire an exemption certificate for their items before the ban comes into force.
Ivory Ban Exemptions
Anyone who wants to deal in ivory (under one of the 5 exemptions of the Act) must use this service to register their item or apply for an exemption certificate. 
There are 4 standard exemptions: 
    • Pre-1947 items containing less than 10% ivory by volume
    • Pre-1975 musical instruments containing less than 20% ivory by volume
    • Pre-1918 portrait miniatures with a surface area of no more than 320 square centimetres
    • Sales to, and hire agreements with, qualifying museums
There is also an exemption for pre-1918 items with outstanding artistic, cultural, or historical value
The ivory ban is due to come into force in spring 2022. From this time, it will be illegal to deal in an ivory item unless it is first registered or has an exemption certificate. You could be fined a maximum £250,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment if you are found dealing in ivory that is not registered or has an exemption certificate once the ban is in force.
We have also published guidance to assist understanding of the requirements of the Ivory Act. You can find the guidance here:
We are looking forward to working with you as we move to implement the Ivory Act. We recognise that the new requirements will be a big step for many, and we welcome your views throughout this process. We will be listening to your feedback as we seek to ensure these new regulations are fully understood and complied with.