Importing taxidermy into the USA

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Kidder, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Kidder

    Kidder New Member

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    I recently experienced what will no doubt be the first of hopefully many hunts in Africa and was hoping someone could walk me through the process of importing taxidermy into the US. I've read all the fish and wildlife websites and still don't know where to begin. Can someone walk me through step by step on what needs to be done to get my trophies home? Thanks in advance.
  2. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    I will presume your PH will drop the trophies off at the taxidermist over there for mounting or dip and pack, correct? If you have the mounting done there you will be able to have the "finished" trophies sent directly to your house, with the help of an "import agent" who can also arrange truck shipping from the port of entry to your house. If you dip and pack your horn and hides will be processed by drying hides, cleaning skulls and horns and packaged for shipping to you taxidermist. You "might" save 15% over all by doing your mounting there. Pros and cons of doing mounting over there, you can read all about it here on this forum. If you hunted South Africa I can highly recommend Bullseye Taxidermy there. They did 4 mounts for me and I am very pleased with their work.
    If you want to have your own taxidermist do it here you will still need an import agent here to receive your dip and pack animals, clear them with a couple of agencies here and then ship them to an "approved" taxidermist first for retreating if your taxi is not "approved" to receive them. Your taxi will then mount and ship to your home or you pick up.
    Basically your billing will be:
    taxidermist over there to mount or dip and pack
    shipping from there to a port of entry here in the USA
    import agent here
    fees to US Customs, etc.
    shipping to an approved taxidermist and then your own and then mounting.
    You'll find many import agents by digging on this website and I'm sure others will chime in.
    Make sure you get quotes for everything before you agree and keep good contact with the taxidermist there and here and the import agent. They all have to coordinate but a good import agent will do all that for you. They will also make sure all the paperwork is correct before it gets shipped here to avoid losing your trophies to fish and wildlife for improper documentation.
    Welcome to the forum!
  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Presuming your having the mounts done in Africa and specifically RSA, it's actually not that complicated a process. First up will be after your taxidermist has completed the work the trophies will need to be picked up by a shipping agent. The shipping agent is responsible for making sure all paperwork is in order for both getting the trophies out of the country and into the U.S. The shipping agent will typically pick up your trophies at the taxidermist and get them to Johannesburg for air shipping. Or to whatever the appropriate city is for ocean shipping.

    When the trophies reach the USA, they will have three gov't agencies to "clear" through. Those being the Dept. of Agriculture, Customs and USFWS. This is where a broker comes into play. For a fee, the broker will see that your trophies clear these agencies. You can avoid this fee by doing it yourself. However that involves going to the airport or docks. Is it worth doing it yourself? That all depends on whether or not you live in reasonable proximity and how much time you have on your hands.

    Once the trophies clear the U.S. gov't agencies, you're home free. The trophies are now ready for pick up by you or to be trucked to your home.

    The one and only time I've done this I used the folks at Hunter's International to handle clearing my trophies and they also handled the communications with the shipping agent in RSA. I would highly recommend you give Maria Felix there a call.

    Hunter International Brokerage Services, Inc.
  4. Kidder

    Kidder New Member

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    Thanks for the input! That answered my question perfectly - get a broker. As my hunt was at the very start of the season (first week in February) the taxidermist has indicated that our trophies are ready for shipment. I used Highveld Taxidermy in JNB - we'll have to see how they turned out.

    On a related question - does anyone have any input on the how to import process into Canada? My Dad went along with me and lives in Canada. Would it be straight forward to import them into the USA and then one of us drive them across the border or would it be easier just to do a separate shipment? Nothing requires a CITES permit. Thanks again.

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