Singapore to ban domestic trade of ivory products from September 2021
From September 2021, sale of elephant ivory and ivory products, as well as public displays of these products for sale, will not be allowed
Domestic trade in ivory products will be banned in Singapore from September 2021, the National Parks Board (NParks) said in a press release yesterday.
This means the sale of elephant ivory and ivory products, as well as the public display of these products for sale will be prohibited in Singapore.
The public display of such products for educational or religious purposes will still be allowed.
Similarly, musical instruments and personal effects like bird cages that contain ivory can still be used in public.
The NParks announcement came on World Elephant Day and the significance was not lost on Dr Leong Chee Chiew, the Director-General of Wildlife Trade Control.
He said: "It is timely that we are announcing the domestic ban of trade in ivory on World Elephant Day. NParks, as the national authority that enforces the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) in Singapore, is committed to stopping the trade of elephant ivory and its products for the conservation and protection of the world's elephants."
Singapore is a signatory of Cites, a treaty to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Cites banned the international trade of ivory in 1990, but ivory acquired before 1990 could still be traded in Singapore.
This raised concerns as the World Wide Fund for Nature said recently-poached ivory could be passed off as old ivory.
Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported last year that there were more than 40 brick and mortar shops in Singapore, as well as online stores, that sold ivory products, with many claiming they were dealing with pre-1990 ivory.
This year, 37 tonnes of pangolin scales and nearly nine tonnes of elephant ivory have been seized by the authorities here.
After the ban comes into effect in 2021, traders can donate their stock to institutions for educational purposes, or they can keep them.
They can use the two-year grace period to adapt to the changes and decide what to do with their stock.
Those who flout the rules from September 2021 may be charged under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, which carries a fine of up to $10,000 per specimen, not exceeding $100,000 in total, and/or a jail term of a year.