Customs Authorities Destroy a $26,000 Exotic Handbag


Fans of exotic leather products beware. With The Global CITES* in place, regulations around import and export of exotic leather products allow no room for errors.

As was recently discovered by an Australian woman who was returning home from France with a newly acquired Alligator skin Saint Laurent bag, worth US$26,000 – without the required paperwork in place. The lady had obtained the export permissions under CITES from France, but had not done the same for its import under CITES into Australia. Not only did the border force authorities at Perth Airport seize the bag, they destroyed it! A loss that was completely avoidable at a small cost of US$70 for the required permissions!

Legally sourced alligator skin is usually produced from farmed and legally hunted alligators. A high demand for exotic, and in particular alligator leather accessories, has resulted in illegal and unethical practices and trade in the leather. Infact, according to reports, the volume of illegal trade in flora and fauna is nearly as high as its legal trade.

Do remember to research and prepare accordingly the next time you decide to travel for, or even travel with an exotic leather product.

* Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

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A New Kind of Leather…That Doesn’t Come From Dead Animals!
Where Am I in the Evolution of a Handbag Collector?
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Photo Courtesy: Sydney Morning Herald