Since 1989, the US government has cracked down on the ivory trade. A combination of activism and an alarming rate of disappearance of elephants has made enforcement of ivory laws even more stringent. Still, there are ways to import ivory legally. Read on to follow these steps to bring ivory into the country in a legal manner.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Import antiques. One of the most clear cut ways to import ivory legally is by importing antique goods. Antique ivory goods that are more than 100 years old can be legally brought into the country. The key to the importation of antique ivory is that you have proper documentation to prove the age of the antique pieces.
Find previously acquired pieces. Ivory that was legally acquired before February of 1977 can be legally imported into the US. The difficult with this case of importation is finding and providing legal documents that prove the date of original purchase and method of purchase of the ivory. However, if you can provide these documents you can import the ivory.
Import non-elephant ivories. Ivory restrictions are mostly designed to protect elephants from extinction. This being the case, alternative sources of ivory, such as the tusks of mastadons frozen in the ice of Siberia, are still legal. Warthog tusks, which are similar to ivory, can also be legally imported to the United States.
Bring ivory as trophies. It is still legal to import elephant tusks as hunting trophies. You need to prove that the tusks came from a sanctioned and properly permitted hunt and that the tusks are free from harmful and restricted bacteria. If you can prove these things than you are free to bring the ivory into the country, provided you don't sell the tusks.