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Ivory Ban – Latest Update

The Government has announced a registration process for items containing Ivory.

Photo ofDave Webster
By Dave Webster Published: 04 March 2022 | 5:21 PM
Close up of Harpsicord key made out of ivory.
The ivory ban is due to come into force in spring 2022. Image credit: Shutterstock.

On Thursday 24th February the Government launched the digital ivory service. This service enables people to register and certify exempted ivory items ahead of dealing in them. If you have a musical instrument that contains less than 20% by volume of Ivory and was made before 1975 you will need to register for a certificate, should you wish to trade that instrument.

We strongly recommend you take time to read the links within this notification and use the registration tool. You can access the Official Gov service to do this here

The ivory ban is due to come into force in spring 2022. From this time, it will be illegal to deal in an ivory item unless it is first registered or has an exemption certificate. 

The Government has also published guidance to assist understanding of the requirements of the Ivory Act. You can find the guidance here:

Group Registration

If you are thinking of registering more than 3 items as a group, the Government has provided the below guidance. 

For group registrations there is now a form available and copies can also be obtained from APHA at This form can be used to register groups of ivory items (3 to 20 items) under one of the standard exemptions and the fee to register a group of items is £50.

Each item in the group needs to individually meet the same exemption. The subsequent dealing of the items must be in a single group and as a single transaction i.e., from a single owner to a single buyer/hirer. For example, a group of five pre-1918 portrait miniatures may be registered as a group but must be sold or hired out as a single transaction from one owner to one buyer/hirer.

We encourage dealers of ivory items to begin registering or certifying their exempted items as soon as possible so that they can become familiar with the process and register or acquire an exemption certificate for their items before the ban comes into force.

You could be fined a maximum £250,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment if you are found dealing in ivory that is not registered or does not have an exemption certificate once the ban is in force.

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