New Federal African Ivory Regs to take Effect July 6, 2016

Matt Quinn of Quinn's Auction Gallery sent me notice of upcoming publication and effective date for new African Ivory regulations as written by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The new laws are to be published in the Code of Federal Regulations on June 6, 2016 and will take effect on July 6, 2016. The PDF of the new regulations is over 100 pages long.

This new rule applies only to African Ivory.

For a 12 page Q&A on the new rule, click HERE. (I highly recommend all appraisers print this Q&A.

According to a preliminary review Matt, who is still studying the new CFR final rule which retains the 200g de minimus exemption, and stated "Effectively all ivory carvings made from 1916 rolling forward will become illegal to sell, and while there may be intra-state trading, it would seem reasonable to assume value will plummet to very little and effective $0."

The 200g (about 7 ounces), according to the Q&A will cover the veneers on an 88 key piano, "What does 200 grams of ivory look like? A piece of ivory that weighs 200 grams is slightly larger than a cue ball. The 200-gram limit is large enough to accommodate the white key veneers on an 88-key piano. Click here for photographs of ivory items of various weights."

More to follow as the new rule is studies.

Follow the source link below for the full PDF of the new rule to be published in the CFR
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are revising the rule for the African elephant promulgated under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), to increase protection for African elephants in response to the alarming rise in poaching to fuel the growing illegal trade in ivory. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) was listed as threatened under the ESA effective June 11, 1978, and at the same time a rule was promulgated under section 4(d) of the ESA (a “4(d) rule”) to regulate import and use of specimens of the species in the United States. This final rule updates the current 4(d) rule with measures that are appropriate for the current conservation needs of the species. We adopted measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the African elephant as well as appropriate prohibitions from section 9(a)(1) of the ESA.
 From the Q&A on th de minimis exemption
What is the de minimis exemption?
The final rule provides an exemption from prohibitions on selling or offering for sale in interstate and foreign commerce for certain manufactured items that contain a small (de minimis) amount of ivory that meet the following conditions:
A. If the item is located in the United States, the ivory must have been imported prior to January 18, 1990, or imported under a CITES pre-Convention certificate with no limitation on its commercial use.
B. If the item is located outside of the United States, the ivory must have been removed from the wild prior to February 26, 1976.
C. The ivory is a fixed or integral component or components of a larger manufactured item and is not the primary source of the value of the item, that is, the ivory does not account for more than 50 percent of the value of the item.
D. The ivory is not raw.
E. The manufactured item is not made wholly or primarily of ivory, that is, the ivory component or components do not account for more than 50 percent of the item by volume.
F. The total weight of the ivory component or components is less than 200 grams.
G. The item must have been manufactured before the effective date of the final rule.
What types of items are likely to qualify for the de minimis exception?
When we proposed the 200-gram limit we had a particular suite of items in mind. The following types of items may qualify for the de minimis exception: many musical instruments (including many keyboard instruments, with ivory keys, most stringed instruments and bows with ivory parts or decorations, and many bagpipes, bassoons and other wind instruments with ivory trim); most knives and guns with ivory grips; and certain household and decorative items (including teapots with ivory insulators, measuring tools with ivory parts or trim, baskets with ivory trim, walking sticks and canes with ivory decorations, and many furniture pieces with ivory inlay, etc.). However,
to qualify for the de minimis exception, all of the above criteria must be met (either A or B and CG).
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the full CFR rule

Source: for the full Revisions to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Special Rule for the African
Elephant Questions and Answers (12 pages)

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