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e-CFR data is current as of May 13, 2021

Title 50Chapter ISubchapter BPart 23Subpart B → §23.15

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
Subpart B—Prohibitions, Exemptions, and Requirements

§23.15   How may I travel internationally with my personal or household effects, including tourist souvenirs?

(a) Purpose. Article VII(3) of the Treaty recognizes a limited exemption for the international movement of personal and household effects.

(b) Stricter national measures. The exemption for personal and household effects does not apply if a country prohibits or restricts the import, export, or re-export of the item.

(1) You or your shipment must be accompanied by any document required by a country under its stricter national measures.

(2) In the United States, you must obtain any permission needed under other regulations in this subchapter (see §23.3).

(c) Required CITES documents. You must obtain a CITES document for personal or household effects and meet the requirements of this part if one of the following applies:

(1) The Management Authority of the importing, exporting, or re-exporting country requires a CITES document.

(2) You or your shipment does not meet all of the conditions for an exemption as provided in paragraphs (d) through (f) of this section.

(3) The personal or household effect for the following species exceeds the quantity indicated in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through (vi) in the table below:

Major groupSpecies (Appendix II only)Type of specimenQuantity1
Fishes(i) Acipenseriformes (sturgeon, including paddlefish)Sturgeon caviar (see §23.71)125 gm
Fishes(ii) Hippocampus spp. (seahorses)Dead specimens, parts, products (including manufactured items), and derivatives4
Reptiles(iii) Crocodylia (alligators, caimans, crocodiles, gavial)Dead specimens, parts, products (including manufactured items), and derivatives4
Molluscs(iv) Strombus gigas (queen conch)Shells3
Molluscs(v) Tridacnidae (giant clams)Shells, each of which may be one intact shell or two matching halves3 shells, total not exceeding 3 kg
Plants(vi) Cactaceae (cacti)Rainsticks3

1To import, export, or re-export more than the quantity listed in the table, you must have a valid CITES document for the entire quantity.

(d) Personal effects. You do not need a CITES document to import, export, or re-export any legally acquired specimen of a CITES species to or from the United States if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) No live wildlife or plant (including eggs or non-exempt seeds) is included.

(2) No specimen from an Appendix-I species is included, except for certain worked African elephant ivory as provided in paragraph (f) of this section.

(3) The specimen and quantity of specimens are reasonably necessary or appropriate for the nature of your trip or stay and, if the type of specimen is one listed in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the quantity does not exceed the quantity given in the table.

(4) You own and possess the specimen for personal use, including any specimen intended as a personal gift.

(5) You are either wearing the specimen as clothing or an accessory or taking it as part of your personal baggage, which is being carried by you or checked as baggage on the same plane, boat, vehicle, or train as you.

(6) The specimen was not mailed or shipped separately.

(e) Household effects. You do not need a CITES document to import, export, or re-export any legally acquired specimen of a CITES species that is part of a shipment of your household effects when moving your residence to or from the United States, if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The provisions of paragraphs (d)(1) through (3) of this section are met.

(2) You own the specimen and are moving it for personal use.

(3) You import or export your household effects within 1 year of changing your residence from one country to another.

(4) The shipment, or shipments if you cannot move all of your household effects at one time, contains only specimens purchased, inherited, or otherwise acquired before you changed your residence.

(f) African elephant worked ivory. You may export or re-export from the United States worked African elephant (Loxodonta africana) ivory and then re-import it without a CITES document if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The worked ivory is a personal or household effect that meets the requirements of paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section and you are a U.S. resident who owned the worked ivory before leaving the United States and intend to bring the item back to the United States.

(2) The ivory is pre-Convention (see §23.45). (The African elephant was first listed in CITES on February 26, 1976.)

(3) You may not sell or transfer the ivory while outside the United States.

(4) The ivory is substantially worked and is not raw. Raw ivory means an African elephant tusk, or any piece of tusk, the surface of which, polished or unpolished, is unaltered or minimally carved, including ivory mounted on a stand or part of a trophy.

(5) When you return, you are able to provide records, receipts, or other documents to show that the ivory is pre-Convention and that you owned and registered it before you left the United States. To register such an item you must obtain one of the following documents:

(i) U.S. CITES pre-Convention certificate.

(ii) FWS Declaration of Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife (Form 3-177).

(iii) Customs and Border Protection Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad (Form 4457).

[72 FR 48448, Aug. 23, 2007, as amended at 73 FR 40986, July 17, 2008]

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