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Souvenirs from abroad must be chosen and bought with care: many animal and plant species are subject to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) or are protected by national legislation. The export and import of live specimens or products of such species is either completely prohibited or subject to a permit.
Tourists are often not aware that behind a souvenir there may be an animal or plant-based product that comes from a protected species. It does not matter whether the products in question were bought or found on the beach (e.g. corals or conches) or in the forest (e.g. feathers).
The import or export of the following souvenirs is either completely forbidden or subject to a permit:
|Caution is called for when choosing a souvenir. Dealers in such goods only rarely draw tourists' attention to the need for a permit. Specimens of protected species without the required documents are not allowed through customs. If these documents cannot be furnished, the product is impounded. If the specimens were not declared when entering the country, this may also lead to criminal proceedings.|
Souvenirs made of animal or plant products do not necessarily require a permit. If you are unsure, it is advisable to contact the responsible authorities in the country of your travel destination or the FVO in order to avoid difficulties later on at customs. With a few exceptions, live protected and unprotected animals always need at least an import permit.
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