Penalties for importing presumed antique ivory carvings to Canada?
December 25, 2013 5:10 PM Subscribe
An xmas present may be made of an animal controlled by CITES. I'm struggling through the ethical dilemma of whether to even keep it - respectful insight welcome - but am now wondering what the legal ramifications might be of even trying to bring it home.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I live in Canada and am visiting relatives in Europe (within the Schengen Area) and was given a very beautiful carving by a local relative while at theirs for the day. There's a substantial language barrier, but the translation was that it is either ivory or rhinoceros horn (translating relative couldn't be sure, and I didn't press at the time as I was in a bit of a daze) and was acquired in an antique sale. Only as we were on our way back did it occur to me that that isn't really a thing that is sold at this point and I started looking into relevant restrictions; sure enough, they are substantial and I wholly agree with trying to prevent the poaching of these animals. Still trying to decide whether I even want to keep it, but apart from that can find no information of the impact of these restrictions on individuals like myself.
I have no way to date the item but the base is of a dense wood unusual to me and nothing about it seems all that recent. I am uncertain the piece itself is real, though it feels quite unlike any plastic I know. I have absolutely no idea of its value. Zero paperwork was provided with it.
Have there been any known fines/prosecutions against individuals bringing single items of either horn or ivory into Canada or countries with a similar "attitude", especially from Europe, and particularly where there is no clear way to tell whether it is pre- or post-treaty? Advice on ways to date the piece or determine its authenticity would also be welcome!