Beware of What You Bring Home

There are many that feel that shopping is an important part of the holiday, as well as bringing back mementos from the holiday. But, when it comes to buying souvenirs made of plant or animals and pirate copies, you should beware of the issues behind.

In many countries, souvenirs made from animals and plants are on sale, and in some countries living plants and animals as well. If you are about buy any of these, you should be aware that many species are protected by international regulations, and may require a permit to be taken out of the country. This may likewise apply to shells and coral.

Most countries will also protect their culture and history, and the majority of all artefacts are illegal to take out of the country.

The sale of pirate copies, or counterfeit, provides a large and profitable market in all parts of the world. This could be bags, clothes, shoes, watches, films or computer games. Pirate copies are often of dubious quality, and always illegal. The easiest method of determining whether the object you are about to buy is a pirate copy or not, is a look at the price. If the price is far less than that of the original, then you are in all likelihood about to buy a pirate copy.

You should always contact the relevant authority when buying souvenirs or other goods, in order to find out whether they are legal and if a special permit is needed to bring them out of the country and into your country of residence. Otherwise you may be detained at customs both at the country of departure and on coming back home, as well as having to pay extra fees or fines.

Enforcement Agencies

Established in 1973, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) ensures that the international trade in wild animals and plants is not posing a threat to the survival of any species.

CITES today has more than 160 member states, with regulations covering more than 30 000 plants and animal species prohibited in trade, or under regulations demanding special permits.

Bear in mind that although goods may be allowed to bring out of the country of your visit, it is not necessarily allowed to bring into your country of residence.

Visit CITES to learn more: