The UK is leading global efforts to close legal domestic ivory markets that can contribute to poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. The UK does not authorise the sale of, or other commercial trade in, raw elephant ivory of any age. We have recently consulted on proposals to go further and ban all ivory sales in the UK subject to limited exemptions. At the EU Environment Council meeting on 5 March the UK, alongside France, called on the EU and its Member States to ban, as a first step, the commercial trade in raw ivory within the EU as soon as possible.
The UK supports the European Commission’s guidance, issued in May 2017, which recommended that, as of 1 July 2017, EU Member States should suspend issuing re-export certificates for raw ivory from the EU except in exceptional cases. This is in line with UK policy which has been in place over a decade.
The European Commission has recently consulted to gather information and views on ivory trade within the EU to help inform what further steps the EU might take regarding ivory trade. The UK Government has not responded to this public consultation, as in April 2017, we responded to a European Commission questionnaire to EU Member States examining options for possible restrictions on ivory trade in and from the EU.