China has expanded its ban on ivory imports to protect African elephants, the State Forestry Administration announced today.
From March 20, 2016, to December 31, 2019, China will forbid imports of ivory and ivory products acquired before the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora took effect in 1975.
Two one-year bans imposed last year will be extended to the end of 2019.
On October 15 last year, China levied a one-year ban on imports of African ivory acquired as hunting trophies. It came after another one-year ban made on February 26 last year, which prohibited imports of African ivory carvings acquired after CITES.
The trade and sale of ivory carvings are legal in China if the activities conform with certain regulations. Ivory may only come from two sources: items imported before the country joined CITES in 1981, and 62 tons of raw-ivory stock bought from four African countries in 2008, as permitted by CITES.—Xinhua