January 27, 2023

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Customs and Norwegian Environment Agency seize cheetahs, snakeskin shoes and illegal alcohol – NRK Nordland

Here is a scenario:

You come from duty free at the airport. You’re nervous because you have a bottle or two more than your quota.

A person walks next to you with a bag with a full tiger.

Strange as it may sound, but this can actually happen in Norway today.

At least an entire tiger has been seized by customs officers.

Photo: Norwegian Environment Agency

The Norwegian Environment Agency has a whole room full of bizarre and equally illegal things that people have tried to smuggle into the country.

Either negligently or on purpose.

– In the last 10 years we have set 664 in Norway. This could be anything from hunting spoils, nutritional supplements, feathers used for fly fishing, and coffee containing regulated species. But worldwide, the scale is even greater, says Jo Esten Havsmo, senior adviser to the Norwegian Environment Agency.

ivory bracelet

Ivory set ring. Elephants have long been the target of poachers, who have been in pursuit of their tusks for lucrative use, and such products are generally not allowed to be imported.

Photo: Norwegian Environment Agency

Snakeskin shoes

Set shoes made of python leather from a snake snake.

Photo: Norwegian Environment Agency

skull bear

Captured bear skull.

Photo: Norwegian Environment Agency

Snakes and crocodiles

The tiger isn’t the only endangered species trying to be smuggled across borders.

NRK also referred to tourists in Northern Norway as In an attempt to smuggle two pieces of World War II aircraft And the Record quantities of fish.

It was done recently Large props including parrots and ivories. In an international campaign involving, among others, the Norwegian police and customs.

This is in line with CITES.

It regulates international trade in endangered animals and plants.

According to Hafsmo, smuggling of endangered animal and plant species is the fourth largest illegal import-export industry in the world.

Behind the smuggling of drugs, people and weapons, there is a turnover of US$125 billion annually, in this field alone.

This corresponds to NOK 1.248 trillion. So, 1,248,906,875,000 NOK.

– What we’ve seen a lot in recent years are supplements in particular, but also things like watch straps in crocodile and snakeskin. Mainly due to ignorance and lack of permits. But other times there may be deliberate attempts at smuggling.

No corona brakes

We’ve been through a global pandemic with the coronavirus, and people aren’t traveling as much as they used to.

However, it has not stopped the import of illegal and regulated species, says Hafsmo.

– It is a real problem that online shopping makes this more possible than before. Supplements are easy to order and send to Norway, and we clearly see that there is more to come in the mail than people taking them with them from travel and the like.

This tiger is temporarily living in the Norwegian Environment Agency after being taken into custody.

This stuffed tiger never made it to its intended destination either.

What are the consequences for someone who attempts it?

If it is smuggling, the matter can be reported to the police and prosecuted under CITES regulations and customs law. If there is a matter of loss of permits, the copy may be confiscated, and a violation fee may be issued from the Norwegian Environment Agency.

– But not everyone can be caught, is there enough good border control in Norway today?

– The customs authority is conducting checks and we are satisfied with their efforts. But even if they have good methods and routines, the customs office can’t control everything. Parcel mail in particular is difficult to check, as you can state different contents than what’s actually inside.

Snakeskin hat

HOWDY: Would you wear that adorable snakeskin hat?

Photo: Norwegian Environment Agency

ivory decoration

An ivory elephant. The irony is amazing.

Photo: Norwegian Environment Agency

Snakeskin belt

What’s a snakeskin belt without a cobra’s head on it?

new ways

Customs authorities control what passes through Norway’s borders.

Elisabeth C. Nitum, a senior advisor at the Norwegian Customs Service, explains that they are constantly monitoring the flow of goods, uncovering new smuggling routes for Norwegians.

The customs agency found that CITES-regulated species were being smuggled. Not just like the products sent in the mail. but also as cargo in travelers’ baggage and as cargoes of goods. Online shopping has seen a huge boom in 2020-2021. We see that it is easy to buy exotic products from abroad over the Internet. These goods arrive in Norway in the form of postal consignments and shipments.

Elisabeth Netum, Norwegian Customs

Elisabeth Nitum, Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Customs Service.

Photo: Customs Office

Netum says they are particularly seeing a trend where Norwegians are introducing nutritional supplements and products from endangered plant and animal species.

Some of these supplements contain powder from the endangered orchid species, Dendrobium. These products need permission from the Norwegian Environment Agency before being imported into Norway. In addition, some supplements contain medications. Then they are forbidden to introduce them without permission. These products are purchased online, and they carry health risks for the user.

Do not store forever

The Norwegian Environment Agency recently made a TikTok video about confiscated goods.

There were many who wondered why they kept it in a room, when that is what the previous owners would have done.

Will you leave for the foreseeable future, Hafso?

Jo Esten Havsmo, Norwegian Environment Agency

Jo Esten Hafsmo is a Senior Consultant in the Department of Alien Species and International Trade at the Norwegian Environment Agency.

Photo: Norwegian Environment Agency

– We have a routine of destroying fixtures, and our stocks are getting smaller and smaller. According to the agreement, we are allowed to use the seized samples for training. Among other things, we have collaborations with Dyreparken in Kristiansand and Avinor in Kjevik, who both display goods, so we can give examples of what is not allowed.

Finally, are you wondering what you must do to legally bring certain goods into Norway?

Here you will find what you need Norwegian Environment Agency pages.

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