Ivory Ban Information

On July 6, 2016, a near-total ban on commercial trade in African elephant ivory went into effect in the United States. The information on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services information sheet is intended to provide guidance for those who wish to buy, sell, or otherwise trade in elephant ivory. It’s important to note that the new regulations do not restrict personal possession of ivory. If you already own ivory – an heirloom carving that’s been passed down in your family, or a vintage musical instrument with ivory components, those pieces are yours. We know those items created long ago aren’t threatening today’s wild elephants.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services information sheet, which is full of valuable information, will assist museums in understanding the regulations and the affects on their museum collections.


For more detailed information on trade in African elephant ivory see the Endangered Species Act final 4(d) rule for the African elephant, our CITES implementing regulations (50 CFR part 23), Director’s Order 210, and the African Elephant Conservation Act. In addition to the information provided on this webpage, you must also comply with any relevant state laws and all imports and exports must be accompanied by appropriate CITES documents and meet other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) import/export requirements.