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Do you want an exotic holiday to bring back a souvenir? Find out if it's legal

If you are from your exotic vacation planning to bring back a souvenir, be careful that it is not a souvenir made from plants and animals protected under the international CITES. As pointed out by the Czech Environmental Inspectorate, such souvenir might be a bit pricey and could cause you great inconvenience. A recommended find out what the individual countries can and can not be exported.

For quick reference, prepared CEI infographic.

Among the most frequently illegally imported souvenirs include corals. "Many tourists are they gather on the beach, without knowing that it is a protected species and not rock," says Pavla Říhová, head of CITES from the Czech Environmental Inspectorate.

For trips to the Mediterranean, people often illegally carry tortoises. From Russia's furs felines, wolves and bears, or true caviar from sturgeon. From the US in turn imported furs features and bears, crocodiles products from skin or feathers of wild birds. Frequent Australian souvenirs are protected mussels zévy a typical souvenir from Southeast Asia is a bottle containing a protected cobra laden with alcohol.

Is protected under CITES while more than 33,000 kinds. It's not just about living organisms, but also their parts and products made from them. This could include a variety of ointments containing protected animal or plant products from crocodile and snake skins, some shells, objects of tortoiseshell and ivory, fur and stuffed. "If a tourist caught in the export of any illegal souvenirs can for it to occur unpleasant situations, for example in the form of a missed departure, or may even be arrested, "said Michal Veber, Secretary of the Association of travel agencies of the Czech Republic.

It is good also interested in whether the production of souvenirs is not related to the destruction of nature and animal cruelty. An example might be a shell bracelets that you can get, for example, in Indonesia at every step. They are beautiful, but to warn biologist Hana Svobodová, associated with them and a lot of cruel behavior towards animals. Tortoiseshell in fact obtained from Hawksbill so that she fire warms the top layer of a tortoise shells are then cut. Crippled turtle is then thrown back into the sea. Read more in the article What is it like to be a biologist in Borneo? Great. A depressed .

The import of specimens of CITES in the Czech Republic or the European Union, it is necessary to export authorization visited country, while import permits Czech Republic. Without these documents, the importation of illegal and tourist risking considerable problems at the border. "In many countries is a violation of CITES severely punished, often threatens to several years in prison," says Erik Geuss, director of the Czech Environmental Inspection (CEI), which together with customs compliance international CITES controls.

If imports of such souvenirs revealed only in the Czech Republic, will be confiscated upon arrival and will be fined, which can range from several thousand to 1.5 million according to the seriousness of the offense. In some cases, it may be your imports considered as a criminal offense.

"Association of Travel Agencies of the Czech Republic provides travel agents with all the information on an ongoing basis in order to advance their clients highlight the potential risks when exporting and importing. Tourists should heed their instructions. We also recommend that you read the leaflet with risk souvenirs suspended on the website of the Czech Environmental Inspectorate, "adds Michal Veber.

It is important to know that CITES refers to living organisms, but also on any of their parts or products from them. They may be products of furs, hides and bones of protected animals, statues and carvings of rare wood and ivory products of traditional Asian medicine containing extracts of protected animals and plants, gourmet specialties and others.


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