This IFAW research indicates that the EU plays a significant role in the global ivory trade. Between 2011 and 2014, member states detailed seizures of around 4,500 ivory items reported as specimens and an additional 780 kilograms as classified by weight. EU countries are key transit points for illegal ivory, either exported to other countries or kept within Europe, under the guise of ivory items acquired legally or as reported antiques, with some items being stained to appear as antiques. By exporting ivory items which are antique and legal to South-East Asian markets, European countries are fueling the demand for ivory and helping to create a desire to own it. Between 2003 and 2014, 92% of EU exports of pre-Convention tusks went to China or Hong Kong.
This report looks at each European country in turn, where data is available, highlighting key cases of ivory seizures as well as the largest volume of ivory seized by the authorities. Finally, the report puts forward a number of key recommendations for the EU.