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  1. #1
    JHG
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    Question Returning from US with "animals"?

    Hi all,

    Has anyone ever visited the US and brought back corals, fish or inverts? I was reading the www.cites.org page, however I'm looking for a more practical experience with how this works for an individual buying these "pets" in the US and bringing them back to Canada.

    I'd greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide.

    Thanks,

    J
    Marine Aquarium Society of Nova Scotia
    www.masns.ca

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    the way i think of it.. what ever they don't know

    no seriously though... i heard of alot of people go down by way of niagra, to thatfishplace, and bring back live animals, whats the regulation on that?

  3. #3
    JHG
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    I believe that fish aren't such a big deal, however, I'm wondering about corals and inverts. I'm going on a collecting trip in the Gulf off of Texas and want to ensure I can legally bring the Peppermint shrimps I'll be collecting back into Canada.
    Marine Aquarium Society of Nova Scotia
    www.masns.ca

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    u can't collect livestock without a permit.

    and u probably wouldn't wanna try to bring shrimps if u were gonna go all the way down there

    i'm pretty sure theres a law against collecting wildlife and transporting the internationally

  5. #5
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    Whatever you do, don't try and smuggle animals across the border. The penalties are very severe. I think that there are severe limitations of what can be taken from the Gulf region (even things washed up on shore are restricted). Certainly, all hard corals, LR, and at least some fish (e.g. sea horses) are restricted under CITES. The cost and effort of getting the right paperwork in place to import marine animals makes it very unattractive for individuals to try and import animals. Plus, even with the right paperwork, customs officers can hold up stock long enough that they can die waiting for permission. All in all, paying a LFS $30 for a Peppermint Shrimp looks pretty reasonable.
    Nick

  6. #6
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    You can't bring back livestock LEGALLY into canada if you don't have proper papers. Geeze your not even allowed to bring fruit into the states :speedbana
    Don't even try, not worth it.
    10.G Nano Reef
    40.G Reef (ITW)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickb
    Whatever you do, don't try and smuggle animals across the border. The penalties are very severe. I think that there are severe limitations of what can be taken from the Gulf region (even things washed up on shore are restricted). Certainly, all hard corals, LR, and at least some fish (e.g. sea horses) are restricted under CITES. The cost and effort of getting the right paperwork in place to import marine animals makes it very unattractive for individuals to try and import animals. Plus, even with the right paperwork, customs officers can hold up stock long enough that they can die waiting for permission. All in all, paying a LFS $30 for a Peppermint Shrimp looks pretty reasonable.
    nickb and FLIP are right on the money...don't attempt to bring back CITES listed wildlife of any description. I've been with Customs enforcement for 28+ years and can tell you that you may get away with it once, maybe twice, but odds are you will be caught, and the repercusions are not worth the few dollars you may save.

    Coral is listed in CITES Schedule II and the illegal trade in this particular marine product is taken very seriously by the countries of origin and the country that it is be being illegally imported into.

    I encourage anyone interested to attend the OVAS meeting this month. I've arranged for a the person responsible for Canada's CITES program to speak about all aspects of the import and export of marine corals, fish and inverts.

    I'll be posting more details next week.

    Nelson

  8. #8
    JHG
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    Just to clarify a few things...

    I would never smuggle anything into any country -- period. I'm just asking about the legalities of bringing livestock back into the country, whether collected, purchased from a hobbyist or even a LFS. I know a hobbyist who recently, legally, brought freshwater fish into Canada from Germany. I believe everything was listed and he said that the Agriculture Canada officers at the airport knew what they were looking for and things went quite smoothly. ("Also many thanks to the fine folks at Agriculture Canada working at Customs at Toronto Airport, who knew their business and knew exactly what they were looking at when I showed them the fish.")

    So if the fish are not CITES listed then they can be brought into Canada? Nelson, could you direct me to some specific links that will help me sort out what can and cannot be brought back into the country?

    Thanks in advance,

    J
    Marine Aquarium Society of Nova Scotia
    www.masns.ca

  9. #9
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    If it is not on CITES you should be OK. Soft corals, fish and anenomes are not listed. It is only the "reef building" hard corals that are protected. You may still want to call ahead and tell customs what you plan to do in case there is some rule other than CITES that applies.

    I actually tried to get a permit to move my tank from the U.S. to Canada. I found it was almost impossible to comply with all of the requirements as an individual. You basically have to document the origin and propagation of every piece of coral. It then takes about 2 months to clear the paperwork.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHG
    I would never smuggle anything into any country -- period. I'm just asking about the legalities of bringing livestock back into the country, whether collected, purchased from a hobbyist or even a LFS.
    My comment wasn't directed at you but rather at the general idea that 'what you can away with' is fine.

    In terms of what you can bring and how, I wrote direcetly to the Canadian group managing CITES when I was looking at trying to import some sponges. They were very prompt in replying and gave me very useful information (basically, it wasn't possible). Nelson's OVAS seminar shoud be very useful. In terms of collecting in the Gulf, etc., you'd probably need to contact the US agriculture department and perhaps a number of the state groups. Or, contact some of the marine club groups on RC. You might also look at the resources on www.reefs.org (they have a number of industry fora) or contact the 'experts' (e.g. Ron Shimek or Eric Borneman) on the Marine Depot forum (http://www.marinedepot.com/FORUMS/)
    Nick

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