Pre-ban Ivory Certificate

If you are selling, buying, shipping out of State or out of the country or importing works of art or other types of items made of ivory or comprising ivory parts or uncarved trophy tusks you should or must -as the case might be- obtain documentation or a certificate that confirms the age of the piece. We determine the age of ivory pieces and we produce reports presenting our conclusions and explaining how we reached them. Whenever possible pictures of recorded pieces of the same age are included in the report. Here, courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are answers to frequently asked questions:

Can I sell African elephant ivory items...

within a state?

Under Federal law, you can sell your African elephant ivory within your state (intrastate commerce) if you can demonstrate that your ivory was lawfully imported prior to the date that the African elephant was listed in CITES Appendix I (January 18, 1990). This documentation could be in the form of a CITES pre-Convention certificate, a datable photo, a dated letter or other document referring to the item, or other evidence.

You do not need to obtain a permit from the Service for sales within a state. However, if you are offering African elephant ivory for sale, you should be prepared to provide appropriate documentation to the Service, if asked. We would also suggest that you pass along all documentation to the buyer of your elephant ivory items.

Some states have laws prohibiting or restricting sale of ivory. Check to make sure that you are also in compliance with local and state laws. Contact the state to check on their requirements.

Can I sell African elephant ivory...

across state lines?

The sale of African elephant ivory items across state lines (interstate commerce) is prohibited, except for items that qualify as ESA antiques and certain manufactured or handcrafted items that contain a small (de minimis) amount of ivory and meet specific criteria.

Interstate commerce is always prohibited for the following:

sport-hunted trophies

items imported under the exception for a household move or inheritance

items imported as law enforcement or scientific specimens

To qualify for the ESA antiques exemption, an item must meet all of the following criteria [seller/importer/exporter must demonstrate]:

A: It is 100 years or older.

B: It is composed in whole or in part of an ESA-listed species;

C: It has not been repaired or modified with any such species after December 27, 1973; and

D: It is being or was imported through an endangered species "antique port."

Can I export African elephant ivory items...

for noncommercial purposes?

If you wish to export worked African elephant items for noncommercial purposes you will need to be able to demonstrate that your ivory meets one of the following:

It qualifies as an ESA antique:

To qualify for the ESA antiques exemption, an item must meet all of the following criteria [seller/importer/exporter must demonstrate]:

A: It is 100 years or older.

B: It is composed in whole or in part of an ESA-listed species;

C: It has not been repaired or modified with any such species after December 27, 1973; and

D: It is being or was imported through an endangered species "antique port."

I have an antique ivory figurine. Can I sell it online?

If you can demonstrate that it qualifies as an ESA antique, you can sell it. However, state laws and online retailer policies may further restrict or prohibit ivory sales. Always consult with your state and the retailer to determine their requirements.

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Next to the photo upload form, please include these two points:

Please provide a set of photos of the item and at least one photo must contain a tape measure showing the size of the item.

If you know when the item came to the US and from where, share this information with us

To find out more, please contact us by email at [email protected] or phone 646-846-2857