Smuggling business: Despite new EU regulations: ivory trade continues

Despite new EU regulations, the trade in ivory continues in the EU.

Smuggling business: Despite new EU regulations: ivory trade continues

Despite new EU regulations, the trade in ivory continues in the EU. This emerges from a report prepared by the independent research company MK Wildlife Consultancy on behalf of the animal and species protection organization IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare).

It analyzed the amount of ivory offered on online platforms in seven EU member states: Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands and Spain, as the organization announced.

Still a lot on offer

Since 2022, trade in raw and processed ivory in the EU has been significantly restricted, with very limited exceptions for antiques and musical instruments. “The results of the investigation show that significant quantities of ivory are still being offered online in the EU,” said Robert Kless, IFAW regional representative for Germany

“None of the 32 unprocessed ivory specimens found were accompanied by proof of legality,” said Kless. This raises the suspicion of illegal trade, as the commercial import, internal trade and export of raw elephant ivory from the EU are only permitted under very strict exceptions with proof of legality. This was provided for only 10 percent of the processed ivory and presumably processed ivory specimens.

“Online trading continues and we must ask everyone involved to take a closer and closer look to ensure that the new requirements are adhered to,” said Kless. It is particularly important to close any remaining loopholes. There is no obligation for providers to attach relevant proof of legality to the online offer.

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