Importing Hunting Trophies, Ivory, Game, Fish and Wildlife

Submitted by Kim (hope this helps everyone) on 7/23/06 at 8:06 PM. ( KMikules@ABCustomTaxidermy.com ) 69.171.240.121

Importing Hunting Trophies, Ivory, Game, Fish and Wildlife

If you plan to import game or a hunting trophy, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before you leave at (800) 358-2104. Currently, 14 ports of entry are designated to handle game and trophies; other ports must get approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to clear your entry.
Depending on the species you bring back, you might need a permit from the country where the animal was harvested. Regardless of the species, you are required to fill out a Fish and Wildlife Form 3-177, Declaration for Importation or Exportation.
Trophies may also be subject to inspection by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) for sanitary purposes. General guidelines for importing trophies can be found on APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) Website under the APHIS Import Authorization System (IAS); or by writing to USDA, APHIS, VS, NCIE Products Program, 4700 River Road, Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; or by calling 301-734-3277.
Also, federal regulations do not allow the importation of any species into a state with fish or wildlife laws that are more restrictive than federal laws. If foreign laws were violated in the taking, sale, possession, or export to the United States of wild animals, those animals will not be allowed entry into the United States.
There are many regulations, enforced by various agencies, governing the importation of animals and animal parts. Failure to comply with them could result in time-consuming delays in clearing your trophy through CBP. You should always call for guidance before you depart.
Certain fish and wildlife, and products made from them are subject to import and export restrictions, prohibitions, permits or certificates, and quarantine requirements. You should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before you depart if you plan to import or export any of the following: Wild birds, land or marine mammals, reptiles, fish, shellfish, mollusks, or invertebrates.
This also includes any part or product of the above, such as skins, tusks, bone, feathers, eggs, other products or articles manufactured from wildlife or fish. Please see "The Law: Feathers and parts) in this book.
Endangered species of wildlife, and products made from them, generally may not be imported or exported. IVORY: You will need a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to import virtually all types of ivory, unless it is from a warthog. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has so many restrictions and prohibitions on various kinds of ivory—Asian elephant, African elephant, whale, rhinoceros, seal, pre-Endangered Species Act, post-CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), and many others—that they urge you to contact them before you even think of acquiring ivory in a foreign country. You may contact them at (800) 358-2104.
You may import an object made of ivory if it is an antique. To be an antique the ivory must be at least 100 years old. You will need documentation that authenticates the age of the ivory. You may import other antiques containing wildlife parts with the same condition, but they must be accompanied by documentation proving they are at least 100 years old. Certain other requirements for antiques may apply.
If you plan to buy such things as tortoiseshell jewelry, or articles made from whalebone, ivory, skins, or fur, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Law Enforcement, P.O. Box 3247, Arlington, VA 22203-3247, or call (800) 358-2104 or visit www.fws.gov ( U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ) . Hunters can get information on the limitations for importing and exporting migratory game birds from this office as well. Ask for their pamphlet, Facts about Federal Wildlife Laws.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have designated specific ports of entry to handle fish and wildlife entries.
Some states have fish and wildlife laws and regulations that are stricter than federal laws and regulations. If you are returning to such a state, be aware that the stricter state laws and regulations have priority. Similarly, the federal government does not allow you to import wild animals into the United States that were taken, killed, sold, possessed, or exported from another country if any of these acts violated foreign laws.

General Guideline for the Importation of Ruminant Trophies from around the world.
(Remember that hunters are the target audience)
For U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspections Services,
Veterinary Services purposes, a trophy is part of the animal carcass that can be used as a
Remembrance/souvenir of "the hunt) that is suitable for mounting and for personal use
only, no further distribution is allowed.
For basic guidance, trophies consist of bones, antlers, skulls, horns and hoofs (with or without bony attachments).
1. Leather, tanned, and flint-dried hides and skins are allowed unrestricted entry.
2. Unprocessed hides, skins, and horns (without bony attachments) are allowed entry if consigned to an approved establishment.*
3. Clean, dry hoofs (without bony attachments) may be imported if they meet USDA requirements for disinfection and are accompanied by a certificate issued by the country of origin.**
Trophies (bones, antlers, skulls, and horns and hoofs with bony attachments) derived from ruminants originating from regions classified as affected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) are allowed importation into the U.S. provided they meet the following criteria:
1. The trophies (bones, antlers, skulls, and horns and hoofs with bony attachments) are fully taxidermy finished and completed.
2. If the trophies (bones, antlers, skulls, and horns and hoofs with bony attachments) are not fully taxidermy finished, but are clean, dry, and free from undried pieces of hide, flesh, and sinew and are offered for consignment to museums.
3. The trophies (bones, antlers, skulls, and horns and hoofs with bony attachments) are not fully taxidermy finished but are clean, dry, and free from undried pieces of hide, flesh, and sinew and are not offered for consignment to museums; are manifested as a trophy and consigned to an approved establishment.*
A copy of the hunting license or other documentation that conclusively demonstrates lawful possession of a game animal from the country of origin issued by the foreign government is
presented at the U.S. port of entry. The hunting license or other documentation that conclusively demonstrates lawful possession of a game animal from the country of origin shall identify the animal
species and correspond to the number of animals harvested.

Trophies (bones, skulls, and/or attached horns, antlers, and hoofs) derived from ruminants originating from regions classified as free from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) are allowed importation into the U.S. provided:
1. Trophies (bones, skulls, and/or attached horns, antlers, and hoofs), are allowed unrestricted entry provided the trophies are fully taxidermy finished.
2. Trophies (bones, skulls, and/or attached horns, antlers, and hoofs) that are not fully taxidermy finished, but are clean, dry, and free from undried pieces of hide, flesh, and sinew and are offered for entry as trophies are allowed entry if consigned to an approved establishment* or if for consignment to museums.
3. Trophies (bones, skulls, and/or attached horns, antlers, and hoofs) that are not clean, dry, and free from undried pieces of hide, flesh, and sinew and are offered for entry as trophies are allowed entry if for consignment to museums or consigned to an approved establishment* are allowed entry.

Note: Full taxidermy finished refers to the prepared, stuffed, and/or mounted part of the dead animal for exhibition as completed by a taxidermist.

*The approved establishment shall handle these trophies in such a manner to guard against the dissemination of anthrax, foot-and-mouth disease, and rinderpest.

**Disinfection includes one of the following methods:
(1) Dry heat at 180`F (82.2`C) for 30 minutes.
(2) Soaking in boiling water for 20 minutes.
(3) Soaking in a 0.1% chlorine bleach solution for 2 hours.
(4) Soaking in a 5% acetic acid solution for 2 hours.
(5) Soaking in a 5% hydrogen peroxide for 2 hours.

Special Note: As you know or may surmise, using some of the methods described above would ruin and destroy capes, skins and hides! However, most dipping stations or places of business known as "dip and ship) simply immerse the skin, hide or cape into a pickle solution (number four above) with a ph of 1.0 for several hours and this will meet the requirements of the federal government. The skin, hide or cape must be properly fleshed anyway and the acid bath or pickle solution is a basic tanning step which will help set the hair and preserve the skin or leather. Of course, you then have to neutralize the skin, hide or cape and then drain, salt and allow to air dry. Some "dippers and shippers) do not salt again and only allow the skin, hide or cape to dry. There are other little incidentals that need to be done to insure safe preservation of any skin and hopefully your PH (Professional Hunter) will make sure all goes well.

Return to The Taxidermy Industry Category Menu


with all due respect

This response submitted by cb on 7/24/06 at 12:52 AM. ( ) 72.45.3.153

nothing that I read above is any different than the proceedures that have been used to import game into the US for years. As far as dipping is concerned, and USDA, you forgot to mention, that it is acceptable for trophied to be dipped in sodium bi floride, or a molar salt solution. Neither of those cause any ill effects on flint dried hides or capes.Only restricted products, must go to a USDA Approved Establishment. Entry via designated port has always been the rule, but a Port of Acception Permit allows entry via a non designated port. I am still trying to figure what is new news or laws, in your post, that has not been protocal for years?


This is for those of us that DON'T Know... but want to.

This response submitted by Kim on 7/24/06 at 3:37 AM. ( ) 69.171.240.121

Just info NOT available in the orange search zone.

The dip solution and requirements/formula could change as to the desire of the Vet/Dr. in charge of the program and what is needed to,... shall we say, head off any forseeable problems.

Some things remain the same and other "things" change as needed.


Ivory ?

This response submitted by Harry Whitehead on 7/24/06 at 7:17 PM. ( ) 152.163.100.199

Ivory from cetain countries do not need a CITES import permit. Zimbabwe is one of those countries for instance. You may still need an export permit but any outfitter worth his salt will have all of the permits for export already done before you arrive to hunt. Look up CITES on the web site and it will give you a list of the CITES animals that are restricted. Jewelery and other trinkets that are made of Ivory must be accompanied by a CITES export permit or they are not allowed into the US. Don't be scared of all the paperwork and use a knowledgeable expiditer to clear your trophies and you will have no problems.


Return to The Taxidermy Industry Category Menu