The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is seeking feedback from the public on a proposed ban on sales of elephant ivory and ivory products in Singapore.
2. Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), parties to CITES, including Singapore, have banned the international trade on all forms of elephant ivory products since 1990.1 However, domestic trade is permitted if traders can prove that the items are imported prior to 1990 or acquired prior to the inclusion of the relevant elephant species in CITES Appendix I.2
3. That said, there have been increasing calls for countries to consider banning domestic trade as well. The CITES Conference of the Parties in 2016 urged parties to close their domestic markets for trade in raw and worked elephant ivory. Major jurisdictions such as China, Hong Kong, the United States, and the United Kingdom have taken action or announced plans to ban/restrict domestic trade in elephant ivory. In Singapore, the Government announced in March 2017 that AVA was studying the implementation details of a domestic ivory ban. The proposed ban is in line with Singapore’s broader commitment to tackle the illegal elephant ivory trade and support elephant conservation. It also sends a strong signal that Singapore is committed to curb demand for ivory products despite our small and inactive domestic market.
Proposed Ban on Sales of Elephant Ivory in Singapore
4. AVA proposes to implement a total ban on local elephant ivory sales in Singapore under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act.3 This means that local businesses and individuals will no longer be able to buy or sell all forms of elephant ivory products in Singapore. Public display of elephant ivory and ivory products will also not be allowed, with the exception of display for educational purposes e.g. museums or the zoo.
5. A grace period of up to three years will be provided to the affected stakeholders to decide what they wish to do with their existing stocks of elephant ivory and ivory products. Local businesses and individuals who own ivory can consider keeping, donating, or destroying the ivory.
Invitation to Provide Feedback
6. AVA invites views and comments on the proposed ban on sales of elephant ivory and ivory products in Singapore. Please submit your feedback by 27 December 2018, 12pm in any of the following ways:
a. Via Email to AVA_CITES@ava.gov.sg
b. Mail to
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (Headquarters)
JEM Office Tower, 52 Jurong Gateway Road
#14-01, Singapore 608550
(Attn: QIG/Wildlife – Public Consultation)
Please provide your personal particulars so that we can contact you for further clarifications, if necessary. We will not release your personal particulars without your prior consent. The results of this public consultation will be anonymised and aggregated before publication.
1The import and re-export for non-commercial purposes (e.g. movement of personal effects) is allowed, with the requisite documents.
2Species in Appendix I are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species for commercial purposes. Asian elephants and African elephants were included in CITES Appendix I in 1975 and 1990 respectively.
3Singapore has similarly banned the local sales of all rhinoceros and tiger specimens under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act since 2006.