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    ‘We need action across all 28 member states to stop the current purge on elephants.
    Let’s act now before it is too late.’
    Catherine Bearder, MEP

    EU consultation on implementation of ivory ban

    Guidance for completing survey

    The European Parliament voted by a very large majority to support the fight against wildlife trafficking. Included in the text of the adopted resolution was a call for The EU to introduce a ‘full and immediate’ ban on the trade of ivory within the EU.

    The ban ‘calls for the full and immediate ban at European level of trade, export or re-export within the EU and to destinations outside the EU of ivory, including ‘pre-Convention’ ivory, and rhino horns; calls for the establishment of a mechanism to assess the need for similar restrictions for other endangered species’ (EU Parliament Resolution on the EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking, Clause 58).

    The European Parliament sent this to the European Commission which has responded to Clause 58 of the resolution by commissioning a consultation on a possible ban on the ivory trade both within and outside the Union’s borders. All EU citizens and other interested parties are invited to take part in the Consultation via an online survey.

    This is a great opportunity to become involved in forging European legislation that can be of great benefit to saving elephants from extinction in the wild. The European Parliament is fully (almost unanimously) supportive of this measure, so let us support them to end this cruel trade.

    Please add your voice to this historic step for elephants – let’s end the ivory trade in the EU!

     We encourage everyone to take part in the consultation!  This is our chance to persuade the European Commission government that this ban is critical for the future of elephants, and that EU citizens support the Resolution voted on by the European Parliament. Success at this level will be a very important part in ensuring that the global ivory trade can be ended for good.

    We need to ensure that the ban is enacted with no room for loopholes, no ambiguities in interpretation, and is backed up with the funding and resources needed to implement it. It also must ensure that penalties are severe enough to act as a credible deterrent to these crimes.

    Remember that the opposition (the antiques trade) will be presenting strong countering arguments to maximize exemptions and special allowances for antiques containing ivory.

    The Consultation only accepts responses via the online survey, which can be completed in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

    Click here to complete the online survey now!

     Don’t forget – the deadline is 8th December 2017. ACT NOW!

    The completed questionnaire below provides answers and guidance – you can use as much or as little of it as you like (you can copy and paste), and also feel free to add your own comments.

    * Please encourage your friends and family to submit responses to the consultation. Every response counts!

    * Write to your MEP and urge them to make their own submission to the consultation.

    Other guidance

    MEPs4Wildlife Help Sheet

    International Wildlife Bond Guidance

    Humane Society International (Europe)

     Reports and studies

    MEPs’ Report on the EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking

    European Commission – EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking

    Commission Notice Guidance Document, EU Regime Governing Intra-EU Trade and Re-export of Ivory

    ‘Ivory Seizures in Europe, 2006 – 2015,’ IFAW, September 2017

    ‘Ivory – The Grey Area’, Two Million Tusks, October 2017

    ‘Illegal trade seizures: Elephant ivory in Europe’, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

    Status of Elephant Populations, Levels of Illegal Killing and the Trade in Ivory: A Report to the CITES Standing Committee

    Decline in the Legal Ivory Trade in China in Anticipation of a Ban. Save The Elephants, 2017

    Articles

    MEPs call for ‘Full and Immediate’ EU Ban on Ivory Trade, The Parliament Magazine, 2017

    Now is the Time for an EU-Wide Ivory Ban, The Parliament Magazine, 2017

    What Has The EU Got To Do With Elephant Protection? New Europe Magazine, 2017

    EU Set to Ban Raw Ivory Exports From July, The Guardian, 2017

    Traders are openly selling illegal wildlife products on e-commerce sites like eBay, Scroll, 2017

    EU Ivory Trade Kills Elephants, IFAW

    China’s Ivory Ban Sparks Dramatic Drop in Prices Across Asia, The Guardian, 2017

     

    Guidance for completing consultation survey

    Section C

    1. In your experience, what is the scale of illegal trade in invory to/from/within the EU, compared to legal trade in ivory to/from/within the EU?

    Illegal trade is much larger in scale than legal trade

    Illegal trade is slightly larger in scale

    About the same

    Illegal trade is slighly smaller in scale than legal trade

    Illegal trade is much smaller

    Don’t know

    Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion.

     

    I/we believe that illegal trade is a large proportion of the total trade. It is difficult to fully answer this question due to the lack of official published data on the illegal sales. This data should be published by the relevant authorities within the EU.
    2. In your experience, what is the scale of illegal trade in ivory to/from/within the EU, compared to international ivory trafficking?

    Illegal EU trade is much larger in scale than international illegal trade

    Illegal EU trade is slightly larger in scale

    About the same

    Illegal EU trade is slightly smaller in scale than international illegal trade

    Illegal EU trade is much smaller

    Don’t know

    Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion.

    I/we believe that illegal trade from the EU is certainly significant even when considered as a distribution hub for organised gangs working in the range countries. As such it should be seriously considered as a significant part of the international trade and should not be considered separately.

    Again the EU has not published collated data on this so quantification is difficult to make and no comparison is currently possible.

    3. In your experience, what proportion of ivory illegally traded to/from/within the EU comes from elephants which have been illegally killed in the last ten years?

    The majority of ivory traded illegally to/from/within the EU comes from elephants which have been illegally killed in the last ten years

    A minority of ivory traded illegally to/from/within the EU comes from elephants which have been illegally killed in the last ten years – the rest is old ivory items

    A small proportion of ivory traded illegally to/from/within the EU comes from elephants which have been illegally killed in the last ten years – most of it consists of old ivory items

    There is no illegal trade to/from/within the EU from elephants which have been illegally killed in the last 10 years

    It is impossible to say/don’t know

    Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion.

    It is likely that most illegal ivory passing through the EU is of recent origin (up to 10 years old).
    4. In your experience, what are the main ivory items involved in illegal trade in ivory in/from the EU that you are aware of? Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion.
    Raw ivory constitutes one area of concern but it is likely that the greatest area of concern is the amount of worked ivory that is exported. Much of the worked ivory will have been illegally altered to mask its true age, younger rather than older.
    5. In your experience, is the illegal trade in ivory more widespread:

    Within the domestic EU market

    In imports TO the EU (international trade involving the EU)

    In re-exports FROM the EU (international trade involving the EU)

    In transit through EU airports or ports from one 3rd country to another one

    All the above

    Don’t know

    In my experience the largest element of illegal trade is from the EU via re-exportation of items that have been altered. Allied with this is  the use of EU countries as part of an international supply line. Most of these exports are destined for Asian countries.
    6. In your experience, what are the links, if any, between the legal ivory trade in the EU and illegal international ivory trade? Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion.
    The links are twofold: firstly the use of EU countries as a transit point on the international supply lines for the illegal trade. There are advantages for the criminals in attempting to route their goods through non-range countries. Secondly, the export of worked ivory from recently poached elephants – masquerading as legal pre-convention ivory – is perhaps a safe bet for the traffickers due to the current lack of accountability of the antiques trade and its inability to self-regulate.
    7. What do you consider the most important problems, if any, in relation to the illegal trade in ivory in or from the EU? Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion.
    The most important is the use of the legal trade as a means of laundering illegal ivory. This is exacerbated by the lack of efficient enforcement of the current regulations, particularly by the antiques trade itself.

     

    Section D

    1. Which of the following do you think should be the priorities for the EU and EU Member States in relation to tackling the illegal trade in ivory within/to/from the EU? Please tick the appropriate boxes.

    This should be the main Priority Action

    This should be pursued together with other priority actions

    This should not be a priority

    Don’t know

    Better enforcement of the existing EU regulations and guidelines for the trade in ivory

    Educating and raising awareness on the existing EU regulations and guidelines among ivory traders/customers to promote legal trade

    Banning all ivory trade to, from, and within the EU                                                       

    Banning raw ivory trade to, from and within the EU

    Banning trade in ivory within the EU, with well-justified exemptions

    Banning (re-)export of ivory from the EU, with well-justified exemptions

    If none of the above:

    Other

    Tackling illegal ivory trade in the EU should not be a priority for the EU

    If you selected “Other”, please specify here: 

     
    2. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    “Illegal trade in ivory in the EU represents a marginal problem compared to the global ivory trafficking problem. Rather than changing the EU rules on ivory trade, the EU priority should be to provide support for actions against ivory trafficking in other regions (in particular, Africa and Asia), which are more important as countries of origin and destination markets for illegal ivory trafficking.”

    Strongly agree

    Slightly agree

    Neither agree nor disagree

    Slightly disagree

    Strongly disagree

    Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion.

     
    3. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    “The current EU regulations are sufficient to ensure that the EU domestic elephant ivory market does not contribute to illegal international trade in elephant ivory. Rather than changing the rules, the priority should be that people are fully aware of these rules and that they are better enforced”.

    Strongly agree

    Slightly agree

    Neither agree nor disagree

    Slightly disagree

    Strongly disagree

    Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion. 

     
    4. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    “The current EU regulations are not sufficient to ensure that the EU domestic elephant ivory market does not contribute to illegal international trade in elephant ivory. Further restrictions on ivory trade should be put in place at the EU level to address the problem”.

    Strongly agree

    Slightly agree

    Neither agree nor disagree

    Slightly disagree

    Strongly disagree

    Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion. 

     
    5. In your opinion, should the EU further limit intra-EU trade in elephant ivory? If so, what should such restrictions consist of? Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion. 
    It is my opinion that the EU completely limit the intra-EU trade in ivory. If exemptions are to be made then they should be very restricted and regulated with sufficient resources and funding to ensure EU-wide compliance.
    6. In your view, which of the following ivory items should be exempt from any further regulations or guidelines regarding trade within the EU? (Select all that apply)

    Antique (pre-1947) worked ivory items

    Musical instruments

    Small worked ivory items (e.g. weighing less than 200 grams)

    Items containing a small amount of ivory but not made completely of ivory (e.g. furniture with ivory inlay)

    Pre-Convention (acquired between 1947-1990) worked ivory items

    Raw ivory items

    Other items (please specify below)

    None of the above – all ivory items should be restricted

    If you selected “Other items”, please specify here:

    I/we would prefer a total ban but would support properly regulated exemptions for those highlighted. The reasoning behind this is that the value of the items concerned have little to do with their ivory content.
    7. In your opinion, would it be reasonable and proportionate for the EU to take steps to tighten the regulations on control of ivory trade within the EU, for example by requesting that all ivory traders are included on public registers or that intra-EU trade in antique items be subject to the issuing of certificates or declarations? What would be the impact (e.g. financial, logistical, environmental) of such measures? Please provide reasons and any relevant evidence on impacts you may have to support your opinion.
    The EU should ban all ivory trading. Important and historical pieces should be registered on a central database which should include their carefully documented provenance. Museums holding such items should also be identified and registered as the legal owner of such items.
    8. In your opinion, should the EU further limit elephant ivory trade TO and FROM the EU? If yes, what should such restrictions consist of? Please provide any relevant evidence you may have to support your opinion.
    Yes, there should be a total ban on extra-EU trade of ivory and its products.
    9. In your view, which of the following, if any, ivory items should be exempt from any further regulations or guidelines regarding the re-export of worked ivory from the EU to countries outside the EU? (Select all that apply)

    Antique (pre-1947) worked items

    Musical instruments

    Small ivory items (e.g. weighing less than 200 grams)

    Items containing a small amount of ivory but not made completely of ivory (e.g. furniture with ivory inlay)

    Pre-Convention (acquired between 1947-1990) items

    Other items (please specify below)

    None of the above – all ivory items should be restricted

    If you selected “Other items”, please specify here:

     

    Items containing small amounts of ivory could be exempted but this should be limited to not more than 200 grams and up 5% volume of furniture and 270 grams and 20% for musical instruments.
    10. In your view, which of the following, if any, ivory items should be exempt from further regulations or guidelines regarding the import of ivory to the EU from countries outside the EU? (Select all that apply)

    Antique (pre-1947) worked items

    Musical instruments

    Small ivory items (e.g. weighing less than 200 grams)

    Items containing a small amount of ivory but not made completely of ivory (e.g. furniture with ivory inlay)

    Hunting trophies

    Pre-Convention (acquired between 1947-1990) items

    Other items (please specify below)

    None of the above – all ivory items should be restricted

    If you selected “Other items”, please specify here:

    Again these should have limiting weight/volume criteria as per Q9.

    11. What impact (e.g. financial, logistical, environmental) would possible further EU regulations or guidelines on import, re-export and/or intra-EU trade of ivory have on you or your organisation?

    Substantial negative impact

    Moderate negative impact

    No impact

    Moderate positive impact

    Substantial positive impact

    Don’t know/not applicable

    Please provide any additional comments below:

    Hopefully ending this trade within the EU and with trade to other countries will send a stark message to those who kill and sell elephant parts including ivory. It is a statement that they have no legal market into which to launder their wares.
    12. What impact would possible further EU restrictions on import, re-export and/or intra-EU trade of ivory have on elephant poaching and international illegal trade of ivory?

    Substantial negative impact

    Moderate negative impact

    No impact

    Moderate positive impact

    Substantial positive impact

    Don’t know/not applicable

    Please provide any additional comments below:

    Please refer to the answer to Q11.

    Section E

    1. Please provide details of any studies (published or ongoing) you are aware of relating to ivory trade relevant to the EU.

    Please feel free to upload a concise document such as a position paper.

    Please note that the uploaded document will be published alongside your response to the questionnaire which is the essential input to this open public consultation. The document is an optional complement and serves as additional background to better understand your position.

    Ivory Seizures in Europe, 2006 – 2015‘, IFAW, September 2017

    Ivory – The Grey Area Two Million Tusks, October 2017

    Illegal trade seizures: Elephant ivory in Europe EIA

    2. Are there any final comments relevant to this subject that you would like to convey?
    A large part of the solution to the poaching problem is that without legal markets for ivory the demand for it will drop. A drop in demand to near zero will result in the poaching itself becoming uneconomical for the organised criminal gangs and terrorist organisations to gather funding from this activity.

    To this end it would also be advantageous to encourage bans on trophy hunting that a small number of countries still permit. The EU can also pave the way in this by prohibiting the transport of trophies into the EU or in transit through the EU.

     

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