THE controversial Treasury-led proposals to radically increase CITES licence charges will not come into effect until next year at the earliest. In some cases CITES permits, required for the export outside the European Union of antiques incorporating ivory and other elements of endangered species, are to rise from £7 for each permit (among the lowest in Europe) to as much as £59 (the highest).

Britain’s antique dealing associations are hoping to force a compromise, pointing out that the permit required for the export of an ivory chesspiece to America is the same document required should a big cat be brought to Europe as part of an international breeding programme.

DEFRA officials told ATG last week that the proposed starting date of October 1 would not be met for introducing new charges, which means that the earliest that it could come into effect is April 6.