We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What can be sold, bought and taken out?

Chicago
Level Contributor
2,035 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
What can be sold, bought and taken out?

I don't remember if I asked this before or not (senior memory lapse), but was wondering, and I can't find the answer on a search.

Many people talk about souvenirs and what to shop for. I was wondering if there are items that should not be sold there and should not be brought out of the country. There are items carved from ivory, bone, and precious stones. There are also animal products such as bracelets woven from giraffe, zebra, or elephant hair. There are fly wisks made from animal tails-one Maasai said his was zebra tail. Does it make any difference if the seller is a member of any particular tribe-any special dispensation? If these are ok to sell, buy, and take home, how are they obtained from the original owner/wearer? Just wondering...

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
10,621 posts
138 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What can be sold, bought and taken out?

I am sure there are plenty of things that are okay to produce and sell within Tanz, but plenty would not be allowed into out home country.

Black coral is a product made into jewelry and sold at numerous cruise ship spots in the Carribean, however, it is illegal to bring it in to many countries, including at times, the US. So they are allowed to sell it, and then either leave you the customer holding the bag, not declaring them, or saying they are some other stone.

It is buyer beware.

I spent a number of hours trying to determine whether black coral was allowed into Canada. The list was extensive of the allowed, and not allowed. Black Coral did not appear in either...so one might assume it was okay to bring home. When I spoke to an actual customs agent, they said 'don't risk it'.

Now as to where the Africans get the supplies to make things of hair, one can only assume they keep it after a kill. Most likely it comes from bush meet or poaching kills, but one can hope it comes from a carcass find. I don't think any predator is going to eat zebra hair.

My shopping philosophy is if it remotely resembles animal product, I don't buy it. Both from the perspective of the hassle upon home return, and because the chances of the products being obtained legally is slim to none.

There is are cases at my local international airport that you walk by enroute to customs. They contain confiscated products, including canned food items. Stuffed iguanas from Mexico, skin balls, things clearly made of ocelot or endangered animal skins...you get the picture. Many made sense, but some you wouldn't guess to be illegal to bring home.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Level Contributor
12,484 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What can be sold, bought and taken out?

There are clear customs documents on what can and what cannot be brought into the US, and what incurs a duty. These are published by US Customs and Border Protection. I have one of these documents but can't seem to put my hands on it right now, probably stuffed away somewhere.

They have this information online also. Look at:

cbp.gov/xp/…prohibited_restricted.xml and it is a rather easy find and sectioned off into easy to look at categories.

There are some things which will incur an export duty from Tanzania. Gemstones and precious metals will have a 3 - 5% export duty imposed on them when you take them out of the country. Some gemstones will have some UN required documentation on them, for example if you are taking uncut diamonds out of any African country most all other countries have signed onto the UN's Kimberly Process documentation requirement, so if you take them into another country you will be required to produce the UN Kimberly Document for uncut diamonds. This is intended to ensure that the diamonds are not being used to fund armies, but in actual practice I doubt if it works and right now there are few armies being supported by this. And I think many countries, such as the US, will not allow you to import rough diamonds which have originated from the Congo (and these are being transported through Tanzania now), and there were at one time special rules on rough diamonds from Zimbabwe.

3. Re: What can be sold, bought and taken out?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 27 January 2015, 06:19