Norwegian customs stop two illegal imports of endangered animal and plant species at Gardermoen

Illegal crocodile beltsPhoto: Tolletaten / NTB
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The Norwegian Customs Service stopped two illegal shipments of endangered species in an international operation. They contained crocodile skin belts and cactus supplements.

A shipment with 26 crocodile skin belts was stopped at Oslo Airport Gardermoen due to a lack of import permit. 

A shipment of food supplements containing cactus was stopped at the Norwegian Post’s Eastern Norway terminal, as it didn’t have an export and import permit.

Both cases were attempts to export and import in violation of the Washington Convention (CITES), which protects species from extinction through international trade. 

The two seizures were both on list B, a list of species that can be threatened if trade is not regulated.

Trade in endangered species is increasing

The Norwegian Environment Agency, which participated in the action, seized both shipments.

“Illegal trade in endangered species is increasing internationally. Therefore, it is important that we cooperate with the Customs Service both in Norway and internationally to combat such environmental crime,” section manager Mathieu Veulemans in the Norwegian Environment Agency noted.

Most violations of the regulations apply to import and export without the necessary permits.

“We regularly stop shipments to private individuals and companies, and we see that lack of knowledge about the regulations often recurs,” senior adviser Britt Hilde Øiseth in the Customs Service noted, adding that it is the importer and exporter’s responsibility to check the regulations. 

“We also see that importers are deliberately trying to import goods they know they do not have the necessary permission to import,” Øiseth added.

International figures

Internationally, more than 2,000 shipments of species regulated by CITES were seized during the operation.

Among the seizures were 1.3 tonnes of ivory and 56,000 kilos of marine products.

More than 45,000 live animals and plants were also seized. 

Among these, 1,400 turtles and 6,000 turtle eggs, 1,160 birds, and 1,800 reptiles were seized.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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