Ivory Ban In Effect (since June 30, 2017)


With the signing of Senate Bill 2647, Hawai‘i passed the most comprehensive U.S. state law targeting illegal wildlife trade.

The law was passed by the Legislature in June 2016 and its effective date was June 30, 2017.  Individuals and businesses with wildlife products in their possession only had until June 29, 2017 to lawfully dispossess of the items (sale, gift, or transfer). Since then it is generally illegal to sell ivory (and other covered items) within or from the Sate of Hawaii. The law does provide some exemptions for bona fide antiques, musical instruments, guns and knives, and traditional cultural practices.

Private possession of ivory that was legally acquired remains legal, even though ivory commerce is generally prohibited as ofJune 30, 2017. For elephant  ivory to have been legally acquired it generally must have been imported prior to Federal bans beginning in 1975. Retailers should be careful not to display private collections of ivory as the bill includes a presumption of intent to sell clause.

Refer to the State of Hawaii website for details: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2647_HD2_.htm

This post by the Hawaii Jewelers Association is for information purposes only. It has not been reviewed by an attorney and should not be used as the basis for legal guidance.