The new French law, adopted in May 2017, will continue to allow the sale of pre-1947 ivory objects, but with a licensing process for objects made entirely of ivory or containing more than a certain proportion of ivory. Ivory products manufactured after 1947 and 1975 can still be sold in France, provided that the ivory they contain weighs no more than 200 g. [Please note that from January 2022, restrictions on the sale of ivory within the EU (see above on this website) have changed as a result of the introduction of licenses for all commercial ivory sales within the EU.] Musical instruments from the period before 1975, when the ivory volume of the instrument is less than 20% of the total volume of the material that makes up the instrument. This will not include anything that, although it can be played as a musical instrument, was not primarily designed for this purpose. These include bows, picks or other things made to play a musical instrument. (a) whether the ivory it contains falls under the “worked antiquities exemption” (i.e. ivory from the period before 3 March 1947 that has been “processed”). According to CITES Resolution 10.10, “processed ivory” is one that has been wholly or partially carved, shaped or treated, but does not include entire tusks in any form, unless the entire surface has been carved. Previously, EU directives were posted on the UK`s Defra websites (now deleted), which was a slightly different interpretation, noting that “edited” meant ivory that was significantly carved or engraved on at least 90% of its surface. or references to ivory in this guide mean the ivory of an elephant. With the passage of the Ivory Act, the UK government boldly introduced some of the strictest restrictions on ivory trade in the world, confirming Born Free`s long-standing claim that only by banning the ivory trade can we hope to end the industrial poaching of elephants for their tusks. For items with ivory inserts (thin pieces of ivory on the surface of an object), it can be difficult to determine the depth of the ivory. You can measure the area of ivory inlays as a proportion of the total surface of the object.
Even if the ivory inlay area is more than 10% of the total area, the percentage volume of the inlay can still be less than 10% of the total element if the inlay is flat. The eight-week consultation will gather views on the registration and certification process and fees for exempt items. People only have to register and certify items to trade in items containing ivory. Those who own ivory items but do not intend to sell them do not need to register and certify them. (b) where the goods are accompanied by a certificate of commercial activity, commonly referred to as `Article 10`. The latter are rarely granted for ivory objects. Britain has been a trading nation for hundreds of years. It is therefore inevitable that this has led to a number of historical objects encompassing hundreds of thousands of ivory works of art.
These objects already exist in museums and in the private homes of many people. The main reason why ivory antiques are bought and sold here is due to their historical attributes and the cultural interest they generate, as well as the craftsmanship applied to their creation. For this reason, a modern ivory jewel can be sold for a few books, while a medieval devotional sculpture of the same volume can bring in a much higher price. Without their historical attributes and incomparable workmanship, ivory-colored objects would arouse little or no interest for antique lovers. Unlike the situation in the Far East, there is no appetite in the British public for modern ivory jewelry. This means that from that point on there will be a ban on the sale of any form of ivory in the UK, unless ivory falls into certain exemption categories as follows: Louise Paterson, an art lawyer at London-based firm charles Russell Speechlys, told Artnet News in an email that “it will likely take some time, until the effects of the new prohibition can be assessed objectively`. She added that “there is still a risk that the ban will simply shift the ivory trade to other shopping malls and encourage illegal exports to jurisdictions where the ivory trade is less tightly controlled.” The announcement was made on 3 April 2018 by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in response to a consultation on a ban on ivory sales in the UK completed in December 2017. However, these exports must be seen in the context of the size of the Chinese market. In the same year, 602 tusks from around the world were legally exported to China and Hong Kong; this corresponds to 60,000 carved objects. Not only did these tusks in themselves represent a much larger contribution to the ivory retail market in China than imported carvings, but the fact that the tusks can be legally imported into China is generally accepted as a cover for the illegal import of raw tusks derived from elephants recently killed in Africa. Once implemented, the Ivory Act, which has been an important obligation of the government, will introduce an almost total ban on the import, export and trade of items containing elephant ivory in the UK, regardless of age, with only a narrowly defined set of permitted exceptions. This means that most commercial exports of ivory antiquities from the UK to the EU can no longer be made, although goods already present in the EU can be sold.
But the Born Free Foundation, a wildlife charity, is calling for the ban to be extended to ivory of other species, saying unscrupulous sellers might otherwise pass off elephant products as derivatives of unprotected mammals. Another respondent argued that banning the ivory trade in these species would harm “small businesses, private collectors, museums, researchers and students, from antiques to antique dresses for ladies without receiving endangered animals.” Therefore, the use of terms such as “UK domestic ivory market” is misleading. What we have in the UK is a national antique market, and some of those antiques contain ivory. To suggest that the legal purchase and sale of authentic antiquities are somehow “related to the global illegal trade” in modern poached ivory is not supported by substantial facts. Some examples of ordinary objects and their volume as a percentage of ivory: From time to time, small sculptures of poor quality ivory from the late 20th century may be in circulation that have been artificially aged. We don`t know of any examples of ivory tusks imported into the UK to make these objects, so these artificially aged objects may have been imported as sculptures at some point in recent decades. Compared to the large number of actual antiques that contain ivory, the amount of ivory that has mistakenly aged in this way is very small. The experience of the professional antique trade is that aging techniques have been applied mainly to poorly manufactured and inferior items.
Although general dealers or auctioneers cannot pick up such items, experienced art market professionals or museum curators can recognize them relatively easily.