China will phase out all ivory processing and trade in all designated workshops and marketplaces by the end of 2017, with the first step to end such business in some designated places by March 31, according to a State Council notice on Friday.
To strengthen protection of elephants and crack down illegal ivory trade, the General Office of the State Council, China's cabinet, released the notice to inform all ministries and provincial-level governments of the two steps of eliminating such trade.
The State Administration of Forestry was required to determine and publicize specific lists of these workshops and marketplaces, and meanwhile, the industry and commerce authorities will no longer accept any registration applications from enterprises related to commercial ivory processing and trade, the notice said.
Inheritors of ivory carving techniques are encouraged to work in museums while the techniques will be filmed as cultural records, the notice said.
In addition, the notice prohibited display and trade of ivory products in real marketplaces or online platforms, but allows exhibition of ivory products made from raw materials from legal channels at noncommercial places such as museums and art museums.