Commission proposes new measures to ban trade in ivory

The Commission has today published draft measures aimed to effectively ban EU trade in ivory and is submitting them for public feedback. While the EU is not identified as a region of concern regarding illegal ivory trade, the revision of the existing EU rules on ivory trade reaffirms and delivers on the EU’s commitment to take further action against elephant poaching and ivory trafficking globally. This also follows the commitment made in the EU Biodiversity Strategy to further tighten the rules on EU ivory trade. Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said: The world is losing wildlife populations at an incredible speed. To reverse this global trend and to protect biodiversity, we must also do our work at home. With the new rules, the European Union will send a clear signal that ivory is not a commodity and that we must ban its trade.”  Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius added: “Thousands of elephants are killed every year for their ivory. This is an unacceptable situation. Illegal ivory trade is an international problem and we are committed to lead by example and play our role in solving this global problem. Today’s proposal for stricter rules reflects this ambition.” The Commission proposal effectively bans the trade in ivory with limited exceptions only for musical instruments legally acquired before 1975 and for internal EU trade in antiques, which will only be possible with a permit. The proposal simplifies the rules and facilitates the work of enforcement agencies, with the aim of ensuring that the very limited remaining legal trade in ivory in the EU does not contribute to poaching or illegal trade. The proposal is put forward after thorough consultations with Member States and stakeholders which included a public consultation attracting more than 90,000 responses. The draft Commission regulation and guidance are now open for final public feedback before final adoption by the Commission. The period of public feedback will last until 26 February 2021 starting today. More information in the news release