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Import of ivory into Australia

Events, meets and discussions around the Australian chapter.
1InTheHand
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 11:53 am
Location: Australia

Postby 1InTheHand » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:42 pm

Hello,
I am looking for advice from any other Australian members of INS regarding import of Ivory netsuke from Europe to Australia.
If anyone has done this recently your help would be greatly appreciated.
I was looking at some of the auctions that have occurred in Europe over the last month and noticed that some stated they would not sell Ivory to bidders outside of the EU area but looking at the CITES web site I should be able to just apply for a permit.
For a new collector I don't want to make a very expensive mistake
Thanks in advance.

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LUBlub
Posts: 3890
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:27 pm
Location: Europe

Postby LUBlub » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:31 pm

The best direct source to avoid miatakes is to contact your local Cites and ask the delay and cost for the permit.
Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.

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DSW90049
Posts: 6363
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:19 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Postby DSW90049 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:45 pm

Welcome to the International Netsuke Society Forum, 2InTheHand!

I recommend that you see a lawyer who practices law in Australia who can give you a legal opinion and, if it is possible to import at this point, to help guide you through the process.
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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AFNetsuke
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:14 am
Location: Central California coast, USA

Postby AFNetsuke » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:45 pm

Finding the right lawyer who would really know importation of endangered species materials might be challenging. Perhaps consulting with a good antique dealer or auction house would be easier (and cheaper!)
Alan

1InTheHand
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 11:53 am
Location: Australia

Postby 1InTheHand » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:18 pm

Thank you DWS90049 and AFNetsuke for your guidance. I think I might try both you recommendations. I spoke to the CITES people in Australia and they made the process of importing sound easy but as they say it's better to be safe than sorry.

borat
Posts: 913
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:51 am
Location: New Zealand

Postby borat » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:19 pm

Hi there,

Let me give you some specific recommendations for importing legal ivory down-under,

As an amateur netsuke collector in NZ, I've legally imported & obtained > 40 items with associated CITES certificates in the last few years.

1) The London auction houses seem the easier to deal with. Bonham's London usually charge about 65 GBP for a CITES certificate (which includes a small premium to the DEFRA fee). But this is only part of the problem - the shipping agent or the auction house (ie Bonhams shipping) will charge additional fees for completing associated paper work. For a single netsuke, the all up cost may extend to ? 600 - 700 GBP often.
Bonham's shipping department will give you a quote if you intend buying from their London auctions.
Alternatively, using an art shipping agent eg Albans Shipping (which I have used on several occasions) is preferable - they are London based but pan-European for pick-ups.
Doing this work correctly entitles you to a VAT refund, but this may be partially swallowed up by Australian incoming GST.
The small European auction houses are totally disinterested in aiding export beyond the EU for CITES items.

2) Avoid buying items from French auctions - they are notoriously difficult to deal with. Shipping can take up to 12 months, as they often require bizarre export certificates.

3) Please speak to your CITES officer at your major metropolitan Australian city, but they are often unaware of the details outside your country. This department does undertake random spot checks with comparison photographs done at both entry & exit ports.

4) Frankly, it is not cost effective to purchase ivory items abroad for say under AUD 1,000. It is always wise to do things legally, as all of these items you collect should have a legal paper trail, otherwise one day you may encounter major issues on disposal. You are unlikely to get any useful advice from the legal fraternity.

5) Alternatively deal with the known INS London dealers, but prices start at about GBP 1K +

jimfowlie
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:17 pm
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

Postby jimfowlie » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:03 am

Alternatively you can opt for wood or any other material that is not banned. These netsuke are just as beautiful as ivory and less hassle to export. I've bought from dealers in the US and have had no problems at all. 
Jim (INS member)

borat
Posts: 913
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:51 am
Location: New Zealand

Postby borat » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:45 am

Yes,  I think that is the best solution for new collectors at this point, outside of the UK / EU.

1InTheHand
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 11:53 am
Location: Australia

Postby 1InTheHand » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:07 am

Thank you all for the help. It is very much appreciated.

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DSW90049
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Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Postby DSW90049 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:07 pm

Thanks for the info. Gopi. Image
You do have the most experience in this area, possibly, and your post was most helpful to gain an understanding of how all things CITES work currently Down Under.

As I always say on this topic, always follow the law as best you understand it; if you don't understand the law, retain (or befriend) a lawyer, and ask him or her. Yes, finding a lawyer who is an international trade specialist with emphasis on importing and exporting endangered animal parts may be a challenge, but I would think that a lawyer less specialized, could either help you, or direct you to somebody who can help you. When you need to find a lawyer, ask a lawyer - lawyers are the best source of lawyer referrals. And, having consulted a lawyer on these issues, helps make you appear to be a law-abiding citizen who desires to understand the legal ramifications - a good sign of intent to follow the law, which counts in your favor if there is a problem. And, in some situations, following the advice of a lawyer could be a defense if charged with a crime or infraction. Most of all, lawyers have the highest probability of answering your questions accurately - or doing the necessary legal research to do so.

P.S. And keep those CITES certificates on file and available. Ideally, always ask for a copy when you obtain a piece for your collection with involves CITES-related documentation. These can help you if the law in your area changes, and things right now in many areas, in the U.S., and outside the U.S., are absolutely in flux these days.


"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David


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