Changes to the African elephant ivory regulations went into effect on July 6th, 2016. This is a federal regulation effecting sales OVER state lines. There are 2 categories that elephant ivory items falls into, either antique (100 + yrs of age) or de minimis. The simplest discussion of the rule along with a table describing enforcement and all of the criteria for exceptions can be found at http://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/questions-and-answers-african-elephant-4d-final-rule.pdf. 
 As stated in  the FWS press release that accompanied publication of the rule, their goal is a “Near-Total Elephant Ivory Ban.”
Key highlights include:
•	The Rule reaffirmed Director’s Order 210 which banned international commercial import of antique ivory;
•	The Rule explicitly shifts the burden for the trade of antique ivory items on to the seller to prove that it is more than one hundred years old, has not been repaired or restored with ivory after December 27, 1973, and for some items, were imported through an endangered species “antique port”;
•	The rule makes it illegal to trade ivory in interstate commerce if it is less than one hundred years old.  There is a 200 gram “de minimis” exception to this rule for “Pre-Convention” ivory that is further narrowed by six other criteria.  There are also some special provisions for musical instruments.

For my purposes here I will only discuss de minimis. Please note that The Service indicates that all of the de minimis exception’s criteria will be strictly enforced together, and that failure of one criterion means the exception does not apply.  

To qualify for the de minimis exception, manufactured or handcrafted items must meet ALL of the following criteria:
• The ivory was imported into the United States prior to January 18, 1990, or has a (CITES) pre-Convention certificate with no limitation on its commercial use;
• If the item is located outside the United States, the ivory was removed from the wild prior to February 26, 1976;
• The ivory is a fixed or integral component or components of a larger manufactured or handcrafted item and is not in its current form 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;
• The ivory is not raw;
• The manufactured or handcrafted 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;
• The total weight of the ivory component or components is less than 200 gram
• The item was manufactured or handcrafted before the effective date of this rule. ( July 6, 2016)
The only type of ivory regulated under this final rule is African elephant ivory.
Nothing in this final rule impacts a person's ability to own or possess legally acquired African elephant ivory. No jewelry less than 100 years old can qualify as legal under the de minimus regulations. Gun grips and knife handles are an integral part of a larger piece. And are therefore allowable if the criteria is met.  

My understanding of this new law is that I can legally add my artwork to your ivory, without violating any of the statute. Shipping over state lines for this reason is allowable. The example of a piano being sent to another state for repair was used and as long as the repairman does not add any ivory to the piano he can be paid for his work and the piano can be shipped back to it's owner. 

FWS refused to create any “safe harbors” or binding criteria that a seller could rely upon to be certain an item qualifies as an antique or under the de minimis rules.  Instead, it is up to the discretion of enforcement personnel whether proof or documentation in any given case is sufficient to prove whether an item is an antique or meets the de minimis exception.  The Service said that more guidance would be forthcoming.
Changes in effect, July 6 2016
Changes to the African elephant ivory regulations went into effect on July 6th, 2016. This is a federal regulation effecting sales OVER state lines. There are 2 categories that elephant ivory items falls into, either antique (100 + yrs of age) or de minimis. The simplest discussion of the rule along with a table describing enforcement and all of the criteria for exceptions can be found at http://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/questions-and-answers-african-elephant-4d-final-rule.pdf.
As stated in the FWS press release that accompanied publication of the rule, their goal is a “Near-Total Elephant Ivory Ban.”
Key highlights include:
• The Rule reaffirmed Director’s Order 210 which banned international commercial import of antique ivory;
• The Rule explicitly shifts the burden for the trade of antique ivory items on to the seller to prove that it is more than one hundred years old, has not been repaired or restored with ivory after December 27, 1973, and for some items, were imported through an endangered species “antique port”;
• The rule makes it illegal to trade ivory in interstate commerce if it is less than one hundred years old. There is a 200 gram “de minimis” exception to this rule for “Pre-Convention” ivory that is further narrowed by six other criteria. There are also some special provisions for musical instruments.

For my purposes here I will only discuss de minimis. Please note that The Service indicates that all of the de minimis exception’s criteria will be strictly enforced together, and that failure of one criterion means the exception does not apply.

To qualify for the de minimis exception, manufactured or handcrafted items must meet ALL of the following criteria:
• The ivory was imported into the United States prior to January 18, 1990, or has a (CITES) pre-Convention certificate with no limitation on its commercial use;
• If the item is located outside the United States, the ivory was removed from the wild prior to February 26, 1976;
• The ivory is a fixed or integral component or components of a larger manufactured or handcrafted item and is not in its current form 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;
• The ivory is not raw;
• The manufactured or handcrafted 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;
• The total weight of the ivory component or components is less than 200 gram
• The item was manufactured or handcrafted before the effective date of this rule. ( July 6, 2016)
The only type of ivory regulated under this final rule is African elephant ivory.
Nothing in this final rule impacts a person's ability to own or possess legally acquired African elephant ivory. No jewelry less than 100 years old can qualify as legal under the de minimus regulations. Gun grips and knife handles are an integral part of a larger piece. And are therefore allowable if the criteria is met.

My understanding of this new law is that I can legally add my artwork to your ivory, without violating any of the statute. Shipping over state lines for this reason is allowable. The example of a piano being sent to another state for repair was used and as long as the repairman does not add any ivory to the piano he can be paid for his work and the piano can be shipped back to it's owner.

FWS refused to create any “safe harbors” or binding criteria that a seller could rely upon to be certain an item qualifies as an antique or under the de minimis rules. Instead, it is up to the discretion of enforcement personnel whether proof or documentation in any given case is sufficient to prove whether an item is an antique or meets the de minimis exception. The Service said that more guidance would be forthcoming.
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