SAR to phase out ivory trade, increase penalties for illicit endangered species trade from May (Hong Kong)


The Standard

Date Published

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An amendment ordinance will take forward a three-step plan to enhance regulations on import and re-export of ivory and elephant hunting trophies and to phase out the local ivory trade, the government said today.

The Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 will come into effect on May 1, according to an official statement. Maximum penalties on smuggling and illegal trade in endangered species will also be increased to HK$10 million fine and 10 years of imprisonment to provide stronger deterrent effects on the same day.

Species listed in the Appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) are regulated under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance in Hong Kong.

“As the first step of the plan, we will ban the import and re-export of all elephant hunting trophies and the remaining post-Convention ivory items from May 1, for which their import, export and re-export are currently permitted under the CITES,” a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said.

 “For the next step, the import and re-export of pre-Convention ivory will be banned and the commercial possession of pre-Convention ivory in local markets will be subject to licensing control on August 1, and lastly, banning the commercial possession of all ivory.”

The whole process will be completed by December 31 in 2021, he said, and the local trade in all ivory, except antique ivory, will be completely closed down.