Register Now To Avoid Interruption To Your Business

Sustainability is ablaze with activity, and we have recently shared information on some associated issues which have direct impact on the MI industry.  I have some updates to share on the most imminent one…

UK Ivory Act 2018 – More You Need To Know

Member engagement on this since my two blog posts (here and here) and the drop-in we ran has been very strong, and it has been great to hear from so many of you.  I’ve been in direct contact with APHA (Animal and Plant Agency) by email, and just this afternoon I’ve taken part in an online discussion with APHA and DEFRA ((Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) about the Act and its implications. As a result of this and further reading of the small print, I can answer more of the enquiries you’ve made.

If you have been dealing in any instruments containing ivory, you will be familiar with Article 10 registration, required for any instrument made from 1947 onwards, containing material from endangered species.  One member wasn’t sure whether this would still be enough on its own.  The answer is that it won’t.

A10 relates to international CITES regulations and represents the minimum that is legal, but individual countries are being encouraged to go further, something that Michael Gove latched onto as long ago as 2014.

The CITES regulations must still be met and A10 certification sought, but the tougher regulations of the UK Ivory Act must also be met for any commercial transaction to take place.  One member recently asked about a very high quality 1979 piano in their possession with ivory keys.  The retailer has A10 certification for this instrument, but the UK Ivory Act 2018 means that it now cannot be offered for sale unless the ivory key facings are stripped and replaced with synthetic alternatives.  There are no exemptions available for this instrument because it was made after 1975.

As for the registration process itself, I can happily confirm that once you complete registration for an instrument you will receive an email confirming a registration number for that specific instrument.  At this point in the process the system trusts that as an expert you have accurately assessed the instrument as meeting the standard exemption criteria.  There will however be spot checks and it has become apparent to me that as the Musical Instrument pre-1975 exemption is one of a very small number, there will be quite some focus on our industry.  It therefore isn’t worth ‘risking it’, as many of you could be sitting targets.

Here’s the rub: the Act will be enforced from 6th June onwards.  If you have any instruments containing ivory in your stock you need to register each one before 6th June.  If you don’t, even offering them for sale or hire/rental (display in-store, website listing, printed listing) is illegal.  Register them now to avoid interruption to your business.


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