Beware When Shopping Overseas.

Wildlife Souvenirs

Be careful whenever you acquire articles made from creatures and also crops or whenever you buy live, wild animals to bring again as pets. Some things, for example people made from Hippo cream color, sea turtles, crocodile buckskin, or even fur from endangered cats, and several species of live pets can not be delivered legitimately directly into The United States. The animals mementos could be seized by government personnel, and also you might encounter additional fines regarding attempting to deliver all of them into The United States. Do not buy wildlife or perhaps animals Products Until you are certain they are lawful with regard to transfer directly into The United States

Glazed Ceramics

Beware of purchasing glazed ceramic ware abroad. It is possible to suffer lead poisoning, if you consume food or beverages that are stored or served in improperly glazed ceramics. Unless the ceramics are made by a firm with an international reputation, there is no immediate way to be certain that a particular item is safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that ceramic tableware purchased abroad be tested for lead release by a commercial laboratory on your return or be used for decorative purposes only.


Certain countries consider antiques to be national treasures and the “inalienable property of the nation.” In some countries, customs authorities seize illegally purchased antiques without compensation, and they may also levy fines on the purchaser. Americans have been arrested and prosecuted for purchasing antiques without a permit. Americans have even been arrested for purchasing reproductions of antiques from street vendors because a local authority believed the purchase was a national treasure.

Protect yourself.

In countries where antiques are important, document your purchases as reproductions, if that is the case, or, if they are authentic, secure the necessary export permit. The documentation or export permit may be available through the country’s national museum. A reputable dealer may provide the export permit or information on how to secure one. If you have questions about purchasing antiques, the country’s tourist office can guide you. If you still have doubts, consult the Consular Section of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. In places where Americans have had problems because of purchasing antiques, the Consular Section is usually well aware of such situations. Consular officers can inform you about the local laws and the correct procedures to follow.
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