Hong Kong Bans Ivory Sales

Hong Kong Legco has passed the Endangered Species of Animals and Plants (Amendment) Bill 2017 (Ivory Ban Bill) on January 31. Local trade will be phased out over the next 3.5 years.

China shut down all commercial processing and sales of ivory at the end of 2017. From USD2,100/kg in 2014, the price has dropped to USD766/kg with paperwork, or USD383/kg for black market smuggled ivory. As prices fall, laundering opportunities are eliminated and ivory is no longer openly on sale, poaching is widely expected to decline.

Japan is now the largest open market for ivory, and Thailand is considering a ban. The global illegal wildlife trade is valued at between USD5-20 bil per year. It is the 4th most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans and arms trafficking.