The British Antique Dealers Association (BADA), The Association of Art and Antique Dealers (LAPADA), together with the auctioneer body the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers (SOFAA) were advised by counsel ahead of the third reading of the Ivory Bill in the House of Commons, on Wednesday, July 4, and before it passed to the House of Lords for debate, that they should wait to challenge the government’s plan for a near-total ban on the sale of ivory in the UK until after the Bill had received Royal Assent. The aim had previously been to challenge the bill before it became law.
Legal advice suggested two potential areas of challenge: one being property rights under the Human Rights Act 1999; the other free movement of goods under EU law.
Now as part of their preparation for a request for judicial review of certain elements of the Act when the Act comes into law, the consortium has commissioned an independent research company to conduct online survey to gauge the financial impact of the Act on anyone with an interest in antique ivory. Collectors, dealers and auction houses have been encouraged to participate.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has also launched an online survey to try to establish the anticipated volume of ivory items which will fall within the Act’s four exemption categories that will be subject to self-regulation in the vent of sale.
Meanwhile, although those involved in the trade of items that require Article 10 certificates under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations 2018, need to be aware that it is essential to include certificate reference numbers alongside any catalogue description, listing or advertisement for sale. It does not satisfy the regulations merely to state that a licence has been obtained or applied for.