This week we received a phone call from a fisherman in the American South who inquired about exporting shark meat to Canada. On the phone call he informed me that he is a small independent fisherman who simply wants to export shark meat from sharks that he catches using “hook, line and sinker.” His question was do I need an export license? I chuckled as my instinct was to say of course not, unless the end user is on a US government denied/restricted parties list (after all I could not think of a single reason why shark meat would be considered dual use) But, even knowing that his product is EAR99 and no license required (from BIS) I told this fisherman I would look into it and get back to him. Sure, enough, after a few minutes of research reviewing CFR 50 Part 14 I realized that YES, he does need an export license, not from BIS, but rather from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In fact, ANY item that is a byproduct of fish or wildlife which is regulated by USFWS requires a license if exported for commercial purposes. What does that mean? Well, not only does his shark meat require an annual license available for $100 from USFWS eLicense but licenses are also required for such things as globes made from elephant ivory, seashells, boots, belts, watchstraps and handbags made from alligator skin as well as traditional Asian medicines just to name a few. So next time you think about exporting, better check and see if your product is made from an animal or plant that is regulated by USFWS. If so, you are required to get your annual export license prior to shipment and there are also restrictions on ports that you can export out of. And then there are the foreign import requirements. Lots of homework to do. Did you Know? Well, you do now!
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