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In addition, it suggested that the trade of antiques be regulated by a passport system and that the best solution is for government to enforce existing legislation by giving more resources to the UK Border Force.

Colin Young, NAVA president and managing director of Golding Young & Mawer Auctioneers, said: “I chaired the Personal Property & Chattels Committee meeting of NAVA at which a collective of experienced professionals debated as a group each and every question in depth.

“Ultimately, we disagree with the introduction of new legislation, therefore the focus of our submission reflects and explains that.

“In the event that this legislation is actually passed, we also have given our opinion on exemptions should these become the necessary integral part in future.”

In NAVA’s submission to Defra, it argued that if the government does bring in a de minimis exemption, it should be set at 50% ivory content in an object or less.

It argued that de minimis is already an implied term in the UK tax system at 50% and that Defra should be consistent and reflect existing terminology