The Ivory Act 2018

Introduction


All of us at Constantine Cannon fully endorse the fight against the trade in modern ivory and elephant poaching. However, as a result of the Act, numerous dealers and collectors across the UK will be prevented from conducting their business and/or collecting unique cultural objects which happen to contain ivory.

Practical guidance and key documents


The implementation of the Act has been delayed by more than 12 months already. Dealers and collectors who have not already put steps in place to mitigate the impact of the Act or to understand the complexities of its application and what this means internationally, must act now. We have set out further guidance and information to those specifically interested in this topic below. However, the trade and cross-border movements of antique ivory are an immensely complex topic and given that violating such legislation carries criminal penalties, it must not be taken lightly. You should seek the advice of specialists, particularly when considering the extra territorial application of the Act and moving your collections abroad.

‘Dealers and collectors must act now’

We represent a wide number of clients in the art industry, and the Act is not relevant to all our clients. If you would like to hear more on the practicalities of the restrictions once in force, or discuss the steps you can take to mitigate the impact of the Act on your collection or business, please contact us at: info@constantinecannon.co.uk

Consultations


UK Ivory Consultation

Further guidance on the interpretation of certain key provisions of Act is expected from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This guidance is anticipated to clarify which items qualify for the exemption for objects ‘of outstandingly high artistic, cultural or historical value’. A government consultation on these topics is anticipated and updates on this process will be posted here.

EU Ivory Consultation

At the European Union level, a consultation by the Environment and Trade Departments of the European Commission in 2017 aimed to compile information and views on the extent, structure and main features of legal and illegal trade in ivory in and from the EU, as well as on the priorities that the EU should follow in its approach against ivory trafficking. The history of, and latest updates on, the steps taken by the European Union to close the EU ivory market can be found in this section.

European Commission Consultation