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Amnesty scheme for items made from endangered species

Tuesday 10 October 2017

We've partnered with Border Force on a new initiative to remove endangered species items which lack provenance from circulation in a responsible manner.

Participation in the scheme is a pro-active demonstration that you fully support the various initiatives in the UK and worldwide to preserve elephants and other endangered wildlife.

The scheme is designed to remove items that are made from or include ivory or other endangered species material such as rhinoceros horn or tortoiseshell (marine turtle). With a focus on the items that cannot legally be sold.

Unscrupulous traders buy or otherwise obtain, ivory items (including broken or other unsaleable items) and illegally export them to countries where they can be reworked and sold on for profit. An item sitting forgotten at the back of your warehouse could fit the bill!

You could simply throw the item in the bin but there is no guarantee that it will not be recovered by someone. This scheme ensures this cannot happen and provides you with a receipt for your records just in case your client comes back later asking about the object.     

While Border Force is happy to accept most items including unworked elephant tusks they would prefer that members do not send large pieces of furniture or pianos! If you have a large object where the ivory or other material can be removed easily, for example, inlays or piano key flats, they will happily accept the removed elements.

If you are unsure about an item (or have a question about a CITES matter) please feel free to contact the Border Force CITES Team and they’ll be happy to advise you.

The scheme aims to be as user-friendly as possible with the minimum amount of paperwork.

This is how it works:

Download the form, fill it in and send it together with whatever items you wish to dispose to the Border Force CITES Team (the address is on the form). If you have more items than can be listed on one form, please complete a second form for the extra items.

In return Border Force will send you a letter with a legal notice. Don’t panic - you do not have to do anything with it (unless for some reason you wanted any of the items to be returned to you). Then, a month later you will receive a further Notice of Seizure for your records and the matter is concluded.

Although Border Force are required to record the matter you will not be recorded as having committed any offence, in fact you will be recorded as having made a worthwhile contribution to conservation.

Download the form

Pictured - First three scheme submissions from NAVA Propertymark salerooms