Picking your trophies up at the airport?

matt85

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my trophies should arrive on Monday and I cant afford a service to collect them up for me, so this means im on my own. the trophies are two euro mounts a warthog and a cape buffalo and the work was done in RSA.

can you guys please explain what im going to need to do? also, how long should I expect it to take? (I have to do it before work)

thank you!
-Matt
 

rookhawk

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@matt85 if I'm not mistaken, you're a few steps from retrieving your animals. You need a customs clearing company to store the trophies in a bonded warehouse at about $40 per day. They then create the required paperwork to get them through customs. They then retain the animals for days to weeks until USFWS, USDA and other agencies authorize their release to you. At that point, you pay them for their services (typically $500-$1000 plus storage daily fees) so you can take possession directly at the airport OR pay to have them freight forwarded to your door for additional shipping charges.
 

matt85

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if I need to pay another $500+ then they can keep my trophies. these trophies aren't even worth the money I already have in them. im over $2000 into these two euro mounts at this time which is more then I was prepared to pay for two simple skulls.

I could already go on a decent hunt for what I have into two skulls... im thinking it will only be photos for now on.

-matt
 

rookhawk

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I hear you. Customs Clearance, USFWS, CITES and USDA permits and approvals are expensive. So is the mandatory storage while you wait on slow government agencies to get around to looking at the stuff and signing off before it leaves the impound warehouse. You'll pay the same fees for the above typically for one euro mount as you would for a 20 animal import because the charges are fixed, not variable.

I don't know RSA so someone else can correct me if I'm wrong. I know this would be the case if you imported from Zim or elsewhere, however.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Matt,

I have shipped my critters to the US and used Coppersmith to clear them in Seattle and then they get ground shipped to the tannery or taxidermist in Montana. I found a helpful document on the Port of Seattle's website and it details all or most of the things that need to be done and this info is probably the same for all US Ports of Entry. I've attached the doc. Hope it helps.

Just as a fyi........back in April I shipped 3 PG animals that had been tanned at Collete's in Bulawayo. Since these were tanned, they didn't incur any storage or inspection fees. The fees to get these cleared were about $379. Breaking down that $379, Coppersmith's fee is a flat $300 per shipment and they lined up the ground freight and get it on the truck, $60 airport transfer fee and $19 accounting fee.

Another shipment of 4 PG animals that were just dipped and packed in Namibia went through about 6 months earlier. That cost about $518, as it incurred some storage cost ($50), airport transfer fee($50) and FWS CITES inspection fee ($93), accounting fee ($25) and the $300 to Coppersmith.

Dave
 

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  • General_Shipping_Questions Seattle import FAQ.pdf
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Buckdog

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matt85 you can import the trophies yourself and it isn't that hard. it is just pushing and filling out paperwork and working with USDA and USFWS. BUT the kicker is to do it yourself works best if you are near a official port of entry airport and that is the airport the trophies are going to. the trophies must enter and be claimed by someone at a official port of entry airport. fortunately for me I am 1.5 hrs from one and the USFWS and USDA there are nice and I have worked with befrore. It is way way cheaper as the import service charge too much in my opinion to fill out paper work!!! you can check online with USFWS to see which airport your stuff is coming to it must be one of the official ports of entry. and you can find out online how the whole process works, but trust me it is just paperwork and some emails and phone calls with govment types.
 

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Matt,

I think @sestoppelman does it himself, and in Seattle. He might be able to provide some pretty specific guidance?
 

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matt85

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matt85 you can import the trophies yourself and it isn't that hard. it is just pushing and filling out paperwork and working with USDA and USFWS. BUT the kicker is to do it yourself works best if you are near a official port of entry airport and that is the airport the trophies are going to. the trophies must enter and be claimed by someone at a official port of entry airport. fortunately for me I am 1.5 hrs from one and the USFWS and USDA there are nice and I have worked with befrore. It is way way cheaper as the import service charge too much in my opinion to fill out paper work!!! you can check online with USFWS to see which airport your stuff is coming to it must be one of the official ports of entry. and you can find out online how the whole process works, but trust me it is just paperwork and some emails and phone calls with govment types.

im in the same situation, im only about an hour away from the main international airport in WA. if they are going to my state then they will arrive at the customs office at that airport.

-matt
 

sestoppelman

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No they wont. They will arrive at the warehouse of the shipper, like Delta Cargo. You go there first upon notification, to get the paperwork, then go to FWS down the road a mile or so by appointment!, and hope it all goes well there, and if it doesn't well that's another story. If all goes well with those pencil heads, you then go next door to customs where you hand over the papers to those guys who are much less apt to be a PITA, get signed off from them, then go back to the shipper and retrieve your stuff. There will be a storage fee which varies depending on how long your stuff was there, but its not much. I have done it a few times, I wont do it again!
 

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well that sota right but not totaly correct I bet our sponsor SSI can give you the details, but sestoppel you did it the hard way. I filled out the forms online at usfws site uploaded the required documents from africa or whereever. I think it is form 3-177? emailed them and a phone call i never had to see them at all they inspect and sign off wouldnt be surprised if USDA has to inspect and sign off too. If it is as i think it will be the cargo will be pulled on put on hold at the 1st place the plane lands in the USA for USDA to check and clear. then travel in bond to the port of entry. there USFWS will clear. then you are right you go to airport in bond storehouse get paper work go to customs they sign off back you go to wharehouse. they collect some money not much load you up and away you go. this is of course all in a perfect world and all your paper work is in order, etc. I have done it and am doing it again for myself and my buddy (he is getting charged a bottle of 18 yr old single malt) but not in your airport and diff airports can be diff sets of govmt fun!
I assume you have the paper work from africa, the airway bill and number, etc? its all paper work dot the Is and cross the Ts and be nice to our government friends goes a long way i found (y)(y)
PS I found delta aircargo to be bigger PIA than usfws and usda.
 
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sestoppelman

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Yes, I guess some of it can be done online now, take your word for it. I am probably as right as your spelling "sota"o_O for the rest of it. Never had any issues with the cargo places, its FWS that can be a royal pain if there are any issues at all. Customs guys much less so. How I described it above is exactly correct btw. Maybe some of it can be done online but certain criteria still have to be met. If its possible to not have to meet the FWS folks then mores the good. I learned my lesson last time out. No more messing with those guys again.
 

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OK guys, let's go back to the very first post:

Matt, the trophies are finished products, correct? You had the taxidermy work done in Africa, so I think (???) you don't need a USFWS inspection. I could be wrong here, especially since you have warthogs and they seem to be a special case. My tanned skins, along with the horns and skulls did not incur USFWS fees or inspections, at least according to my invoice from Coppersmith. So you also avoid a transfer fee and a storage fee, while waiting for the USFWS inspection.

As per the doc I attached in my prior post, these are the steps to clear your own shipment:

To clear your goods with Customs you will need to provide:
 Arrival notice from shipping company who issued your bill of lading
 Bill of lading (can be “original,” “seaway,” or “express”), airway bill, or carrier’s
certificate (naming you as consignee)
 Commercial invoice (should show value and description of goods)
 Entry manifest, Entry/Immediate Delivery, or other required Customs forms
 Packing list and other supporting documents which will be used by Customs to
determine whether merchandise should be admitted into the USA

If you need assistance determining your classification number, please call
U.S. Customs and Border Protection at (206) 553-0203 and ask to speak to
an Entry Specialist
 

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I must have it made dealing with the fine USFWS folks at Baltimore/ Washington airport. I just call them to give them a heads up that my trophies are arriving soon and by the time I get to the airport they have all the paperwork filled out and ready to go for me. Then I go over to customs, pay them a small fee and from there over to the freight warehouse, pay them like $40 for handling my crate and I'm on my way home.
 

sestoppelman

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USFWS still has to sign off on it. My last load was all completed stuff as well, I still had to deal with the shrunken skulls at FWS - SEATAC.
 

enysse

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Matt is just learning about how pricy it is to ship skulls home, it ain't cheap any way you cut it. I find it hard to stomach. Everyone wants their share along the way.
 

sestoppelman

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:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:I meant the shrunken skulls of the FWS folks!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::whistle::whistle: As in small brains!
 

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Matt what a wonderful education on the joys of the government and fun of trophy importation you are getting my friend;););)
from what we are all posting we have all been thruogh this before and our experiences seem to be different by which airport is the port of entry aka are the govment folks naughty or nice depends it seems on the port of entry. lucky for me mine are way nice louisville sounds like duckhunter says they are nice in baltimore too.
Too bad for you sounds like not so nice in seatac for you:(:(
i am curious guys maybe a mini poll here on experience with diff airport ports of entry??
I give louisville, KY a big thumbs up positive(y)
 

sestoppelman

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The two gals, and I use the term advisedly, that worked the office two years ago when I last dealt with them, were like good cop, bad cop, trying to make someone slip up and then pounce, gotcha!! The one gal who was there before these two twerps was great, very nice and very helpful, no pain. So as I know not who is there now I cant really say. My general opinion of Fed govt types that have authority and carry guns, in jobs other than criminal law enforcement and the military is not very high though. And please don't bombard me with how stupid I am, I already know that.
 

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I can honestly say I'm perplexed on what to do in less than 2 months? I know hard I work to make $$$ and at the same time I think the whole process is crooked as crooked can be. I just wish someone did the the whole process for honest money. The thing is if you go to Africa you are fleeced like you are a millionaire on the exit after the trip, and I'm very far from rich hell if I didn't work every day I wouldn't be middle class.
 

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