The Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has issued a customs noticed stating that raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn are prohibited from being imported into Canada, unless the proper permits are obtained.

These permits will be issued only for specimens destined for a museum or zoo, used in scientific research, or used in support of law enforcement activities. Permits are also required for the import of all items of worked elephant tusk (ivory) or worked rhinoceros horn, including those that are personal effects or household effects, and will be issued under subsection 10(1) of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (APPRIITA).

Raw elephant tusk (ivory) and rhinoceros horn includes the whole tusk or horn, polished or unpolished and in any form, cut pieces, polished or unpolished and changed from its original form.

Worked elephant tusk or rhinoceros horn has been carved, shaped or processed, including items such as musical instruments, jewelry, game pieces, cutlery handles, and sculptures. This does not include whole tusks or horns in any form, except where the whole surface has been carved.

Hunting trophies that are or contain raw elephant tusk (ivory) or rhinoceros horn are  prohibited from importation into Canada. Import permits will no longer be issued for these items, regardless of when they were hunted or obtained.

ECCC’s new restrictions on the import and export of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn have been implemented via amendments to the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations(WAPTR) by adding the following Elephant tusk and rhinoceros sections 12.1, 12.2, and 12.3.

If you started the process of importing after Nov. 22, 2023, you are required to apply for the necessary permits. If it can be shown that importing or exporting was in process before Nov. 22, 2023, ECCC will not apply the new requirements even if they arrive to the border after the coming into force date.

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