Thailand’s National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department has instructed local ivory traders to beware of involvement with the illegal ivory trade.
Deputy Director-General Theerapat Prayoonsit presided over a meeting of 60 local traders to educate them about the new regulations in order to prevent illegal ivory trade.
The department asked for cooperation from ivory traders not to sell ivory products to foreigners as the goods may be shipped to other countries and the action is against the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Mr Theerapat said 277 foreigners bought ivory from Thailand and were arrested in other countries, so the kingdom was branded as the centre of ivory trade and a transit route of African ivory trade.
Under the new regulations, ivory traders need to have certificates of origin to verify their products as well as commodity lists to report the amount of ivory and the products which are made from it. Sellers also have to keep record of their customers and have their papers identifying them.
The department will instruct traders across the country before February 21, when department officials will start inspecting traders’ operations.
If they fail to follow the regulations, legal action will be taken against them.