Friday, February 27, 2015

China bans ivory imports for 1 year

Chinese authorities on Thursday announced a one-year ban on imports of African ivory carvings acquired after the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) took effect in 1975.

In a brief statement on its website, the State Forestry Administration said it would halt administrative approval for the imports until Feb. 26, 2016.

The agency said the move is to protect African elephants, and the one-year timeframe is designed to assess the effects.

Ivory carvings and their sales are legal in China if the activities conform with certain regulations. Imports of ivory and its products must be permitted by the State Forestry Administration.

According to the rules, raw elephant ivory and its products should be processed at designated places, sold at fixed shops and tracked on an individual item basis. Each legal ivory product can be tracked through a unique photo ID and is recorded in a database.

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