Oslo Airport encourages people who travel abroad to be aware when buying souvenirs made from plants or animals. Do not contribute to organised crime or the extinction of endangered species.
“Oslo Airport does not want to be a port of entry for illegal souvenirs that contribute to crime and the extinction of endangered animal and plant species,” says Joachim Westher Andersen, media manager and spokesperson for Oslo Airport.
Many species are currently threatened with extinction. Despite this fact, they are used in the production of souvenirs, jewellery, leather, health foods and so on in many countries.
“The Customs Service at Oslo Airport uncovers a large number of attempts to smuggle endangered species. The most common seizures are belts, shoes and wallets made of snake and crocodile skins, as well as supplements that supposedly have slimming, energising and protective effects,” says Tor Fredriksen, office manager for Norwegian Customs and Excise at Oslo Airport.
“We take a very serious view of these things, and confiscate everything we find,” he continues.
Typical products you must be aware of include items made of ivory, tortoiseshell, snakeskins, conch shells and coral.
Importing such products without special permission is illegal and punishable by law. The Customs Service at Oslo Airport therefore reports all such cases to the police.
“Both organised smugglers and ordinary tourists risk being charged for importing such products. We hope we don’t see much of this during the summer season,” says Fredriksen.
Fact: Purchasing and importing endangered animal and plant species to Norway from all countries is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (CITES). Oslo Airport cooperates with Norwegian Customs and Excise and the Norwegian Environment Agency to prevent the importation of such species to Norway. Read more on miljodirektoratet.no/cites or www.toll.no
Contact information for Norwegian Customs and Excise:
Simen Narjord, Communications adviser
Tel: +47 22 86 05 58
Mobile: +47 916 88 941
Contact information for Norwegian Environment Agency:
Tel.: +47 73 58 05 00
Mobile +47 46 50 87 23