Saturday, December 1, 2007

What You Should Know Before Buying Souvenirs Abroad

Going abroad? Think twice about the souvenirs you buy.
You’ll find many wildlife and plant products for sale around the world. As an international traveler, you can support conservation worldwide by asking questions and learning the facts before you buy any wildlife or plant product. Just because you find an item for sale does not mean it is legal to import. Some of these products may be made from illegally taken animals or plants and may not be exported or imported. Others may require permits before you can bring them home to the United States. By making informed choices, you can avoid losing your souvenir or paying a fine.
Most countries protect their native animals and plants under national laws and through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Signed by more than 160 nations including the United States, this treaty supports sustainable trade in wildlife and plants while protecting species at risk.
In addition to international agreements, U.S. laws provide even stronger protections for such animals as marine mammals, elephants, and wild birds. If the country you’re visiting bans the sale or export of a species, you cannot legally import it here.

No comments: