In 2014, the Obama administration announced a new National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking initiative, effectively banning the commercial sale of elephant ivory. As a result the White House has directed federal departments and agencies to Prohibit Commercial Import of African Elephant Ivory: All commercial imports of African elephant ivory, including antiques, will be prohibited.
Prohibit Commercial Export of Elephant Ivory: All commercial exports will be prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, certain noncommercial items, and in exceptional circumstances permitted under the Endangered Species Act.
Significantly Restrict Domestic Resale of Elephant Ivory: Finalize a proposed rule that will reaffirm and clarify that sales across state lines are prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, and will prohibit sales within a state unless the seller can demonstrate an item was lawfully imported prior to 1990 for African elephants and 1975 for Asian elephants, or under an exemption document.
Clarify the Definition of “Antique”: To qualify as an antique, an item must be more than 100 years old and meet other requirements under the Endangered Species Act. The onus will now fall on the importer, exporter, or seller to demonstrate that an item meets these criteria.