Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (08/08/1988)

(Measure passed House, amended)

African Elephant Conservation Act - Declares it to be the policy of the United States to assist in the conservation and protection of the African elephant by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of the African countries and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat.

Title I: African Elephant Conservation Assistance - Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior (the Secretary) to provide financial assistance to the African Elephant Conservation Fund for approved projects for research, conservation, management, or protection of African elephants.

Allows African government agencies, the CITES Secretariat, and organizations or indivuals experienced in African elephant conservation to submit project proposals to the Secretary. Sets forth requirements for such proposals, procedures for their review, and criteria for their approval. Requires entities receiving assistance for such projects to report periodically to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Establishes in the Treasury the African Elephant Conservation Fund (the Fund). Requires to be deposited in the Fund: (1) subject to appropriations, all specified penalties which are not used to pay rewards under title II; (2) donations received; and (3) other amounts appropriated to the Fund to carry out this title. Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) use amounts in the Fund to provide assistance under this title; and (2) accept and use donations to provide such assistance, transferring such donations to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit into the Fund. Limits to three percent of appropriations to the Fund for a fiscal year the amount that may be used for Fund administration.

Directs the Secretary to report annually to the Congress on the Fund and the status of the African elephant. Sets forth requirements for such reports.

Title II: Moratoria and Prohibited Acts - Directs the Secretary, within one month after enactment of this Act, to issue a call for information on the African elephant conservation program of each ivory-producing country by: (1) publishing a notice in the Federal Register requesting submission of such information by all interested parties; and (2) submitting a written request for such information through the Secretary of State to each such country. Directs the Secretary to review each such program and, within one year after enactment of this Act, issue and publish in the Federal Register a determination of whether or not each such country meets specified criteria. Authorizes the Secretary, upon finding insufficient information, and explaining such finding, to delay issuing the determination until no later than December 31, 1989.

Directs the Secretary to establish a moratorium on the importation of raw and worked ivory: (1) from an ivory-producing country immediately upon determining that it does not meet all the specified criteria; (2) from any ivory-producing country for which there is insufficient information for a determination by January 1, 1990, unless, on the basis of new information, the Secretary concludes before that date that the country meets all the specified criteria; and (3) from an intermediary country immediately upon determining that the country violates specified criteria relating to such importation. Provides for suspensions of such moratoria, and for petitions to establish or suspend such moratoria. Allows individuals to import sport-hunted elephant trophies they have legally taken in an ivory-producing country that has submitted an ivory quota. Prohibits the Secretary from establishing a moratorium prohibiting import of such trophies legally taken by the importer or the importer's principal.

Sets forth prohibited acts relating to import or export of ivory. Sets forth civil and criminal penalties for violations. Directs the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to enforce this title in the same manner as they enforce specified provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, upon the recommendation of the Secretary, to pay a reward to any person furnishing information leading to a civil penalty or criminal conviction under this Act. Limits the amount of any such rewards. Makes Federal, State, or local officers or employees ineligible for such rewards if they furnish such information or render such service in the performance of their official duties.

Title III: Miscellaneous - Amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require all commercial importers and exporters of ivory in the United States to obtain permission of the Secretary to engage in such business and to meet certain recordkeeping, inspecting, and reporting requirements. Prohibits the Secretary from varying the requirements for obtaining such permission on the basis of the value of amount of ivory involved.

Declares that the Secretary's authority under this Act is in addition to and shall not affect the Secretary's authority under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 or the Lacey Amendments of 1981.

Deems a country, for purposes of Federal law known as the Pelly Amendment, to be diminishing the effectiveness of an international program for endangered or threatened species if the Secretary finds in administering this Act that such country does not adhere to the CITES Ivory Control System.

Directs the Secretary, within three months after the completion of the 8th Conference of the Parties to CITES, to determine whether this Act, together with the CITES Ivory Control System, has substantially stopped the importation of illegally harvested ivory into the United States. Directs the Secretary, upon determination that such importation has not been substantially stopped, to recommend to the Congress amendments to this Act or other necessary actions, including the establishment of a complete moratorium on the importation of elephant ivory.

Authorizes appropriations to the Fund and the Secretary for FY 1989 through 1993 to carry out this Act.