top of page



What do I do to ensure my trophies get back to me?

Your first line of defense is to apply hunt tags to the trophy in the field. This means every separate skin and horn. Use your business card on one side, and on the other indicate which Customs Broker office you want your trophies shipped back to. You can get 8 luggage tags laminated at your local Kinko’s type store for about $7.50. Purchase the 8” day-glow color variety pack of plastic electrical ties from your local hardware store. Assign a color to each hunter – that way when you walk past the skinning area you can see what state your skins are in. We have developed a new kind of hunt tag, for our clients, that even survives the tanning process. If you would like some, contact our toll free number. WITH AFRICAN WILDLIFE ARTISTRY WE SUPPLY THESE TAGS.


How do I optain permits for the export and importation of my trophies?


Contact the nearest conservation/customs authority in your country of residence for their requirements.

You may be required to apply for the relevant Cites I permit before embarking on your hunt. Example: Leopard and Scimitar horned-oryx. Your hunting contractor will have the African details.

If you are in the USA contact your nearest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for information.



Please note that your professional hunter must enter your full name and home address in his Hunting Register. Ie. As it appears on your Social Security Card (USA), your Identity Card (other countries).


“The US Customs Border Patrol “CBP” must be able to verify the actual importer of note as well as his physical address in order to determine whether they are an actual US citizen with a valid physical address. A P.O. Box number is not acceptable as they cannot verify the actual address.”


What is a Customs Broker and do I need to use one?

A Customs Broker (CB) is a person licensed by the Treasury Department who has passed an extraordinarily difficult examination and been vetted by the FBI to represent a company or individual on their transactions with Customs and Border Protection and the other Government Agencies required for the product being imported.


Simply put, Hunters may clear their own trophies. They would have to make their own arrangements to go to the various Government Agencies in the proper order and file the applicable paperwork each agency requires. If you prefer to act on your own behalf please be sure to advise the parties overseas of your current contact numbers as the airlines only give you a limited number of hours to clear your shipment before the storage clock starts running.


We like to use the analogy that we are like the CPA you use to file your taxes with the Internal Revenue Service. We have taken the trouble to learn all the necessary regulations as well as keep current on the nearly weekly changes in various agencies regulations. We know what information is needed on each form and how to smooth the bumpy road through Other Government Agencies to achieve a successful result.

What happens to my trophies when I return home from my hunt?

After the hunt portion of your safari is complete be sure to obtain, from your PH, the inventory of the animals you acquired. We need to know if you are bringing back any of the following animals, as they require special handling:

Primates – Monkeys or Baboons

Swine – Bushpig or Warthogs

Rodentia Family – Porcupine, Squirrels, Spring Hare, Rats, Hedgehogs or Shrews.

Viverridae Family – Civets, Genets and Mongoose.

Your outfitter will arrange with African Wildlife Artistry to collect your trophies. At the same time you can decide if you want to simply dip and pack them or get the experts at African Wildlife Artistry to mount them according to your specific needs.


What do I do next?

Upon your return call your local CB office and let them know who has your trophies and what time table you were promised for delivery.

During this conversation with your CB, they will ask for your full given name and will check their computer and if you are not on file with them, you will be asked if you would like them to prepare a Customs Power of Attorney for you.

A Customs Power of Attorney, what is that and what am I signing?

A Customs POA is required to be obtained pursuant to Customs Regulations. This form allows the CB to represent you with not only Customs & Border Protection, but any other Government Agency needed to clear your trophies.


What do you need from me to complete a Customs Power of Attorney?

We will need your full given name, as provided to the Social Security Administration. Supply your mailing and physical home address -if you live in a rural area this must be your United States Postal Service approved fire department address. Also we will need your Social Security number. CBP Regulation 19CFR 24.5 (b) (ii) reads if no Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number has been assigned, the Social Security number is required to identify the Importer of Record. We are not permitted to share your personal information with anyone other than the Government Agencies involved in your specific transaction.


Ok, I’ve signed the customs POA – now what?

With the POA you will have received a cover sheet from your CB office. It will provide you with the complete name and address of the person handling this transaction for you. Return your originally signed fax copy of the POA to the address on the fax cover sheet. If you have an original U.S. Cites Import Form for one of the animals from your hunt send that along with the POA to your CB


Will I have to fill out this form again?

No, once you have done this and are entered in our computer data base your POA will remain in effect until you revoke it. As a note, if you already have a POA on file with another Customs Broker, please call or fax them and advise them that you are revoking the POA you have on file with them.

Ok, back to my trophies, what now?

There may be a time lag from the time the skinner completes their work and the PH or his staff delivers your animal to the taxidermist doing your dip and pack work. They often store the dried skins and take a group of them in at one time. Now you know why the hunt tags are so important. Ask your PH or outfitter when they will be taking your skins in.

The taxidermist completes your dip/pack or mount of the animals. (the time frame for this varies wildly – get an estimate before your decision is made) They will fax, call or e-mail you stating that they require payment of x amount of dollars before they will release the animals.

As soon as they receive balance of your payment, the taxidermist will then proceed to obtain all of the export permits required by that country in order to ship the trophies.


Ok the taxidermist has received all the export permits, I’ve paid him, now what?

The taxidermist should then contact his shipping agent to advise that your shipment is ready.

You will be expected to prepay your airfreight with a bank wire transfer to the shipping agent direct.

The shipping agent will forward to you directly a quotation for the shipping of your trophies. This quote should include insurance. Insurance can no longer be purchased for this commodity in the U.S.


I’ve got my quote for airfreight – what’s the deal – my shipment weights one thing, but I am being charged for a higher weight?

Welcome to the wonderful world of dimensional weight. Every air carrier charges on the weight or space utilized. If your shipment displaces more space than it actually weighs – you will be charged the dimensional weight.

There is a formula to compute this. Remember the rest of the world uses the metric system. Your quote will give you dimensions in centimeters; to convert centimeters to inches you multiply by .3937. Round that number up and multiple the Length times the Width times the Height in inches and divide the total by 166. That will give you the chargeable pounds.

To convert actual weight to pounds multiply the kilos on your quote by 2.20463.

I keep seeing ads for Ocean Freight shipments offering a 60% savings – Whats the deal?

Ocean freight can only be used for Mounted Trophies per regulation of the United States Department of Agriculture division of the Department of Homeland Security. Obviously the transit time is longer – somewhere between 45 and 60 days. While the crates are containerized and stowed below deck, they may still be affected by humidity. Make sure that none of your mounted trophies are ever shipped wrapped in plastic, (air or ocean), as this causes heat and humidity to accumulate inside the plastic and the end result could be hair slippage.

The Department of Homeland Security establishes threat levels based on various commodities. Unfortunately, curios and hunting trophies are among the highest security threats. As a result these containers are being selected for more intensive exam. They begin with a VACUS exam (Gamma Ray). If something is spotted which requires more inspection – CBP will have the container moved to a Bonded warehouse and ordered to be stripped. The crates may be opened. After exam, the crates must be reloaded back into a container.

Ocean Freight shipments will always have additional charges that we will be unaware of in advance. These will include Document Transfer, Terminal Handling, Port Security or Exam Charges, Documentation and Stripping Charges. We always provide copies of the backup of the charges we pay out on your behalf with our invoice. Well guess who gets to pay for all of these charges – you do! Therefore very often your 60% savings will evaporate into thin air.


When do I find out what is going on?

Your CB office will receive a fax pre-advice or pre-alert from our agent when your freight has been dispatched to the origin airport. We then begin the tracing process with the carriers by the Master Air Way Bill. If you receive a message with the Master Air Way Bill number please contact your CB office at once. All MAWB’s have a 3 digit prefix (this identifies the air carrier) and an 8 digit suffix, for a total of 11 digits. When we receive this information we will contact you to advise goods are on the way, unless you ask us not to.


The freight finally gets to the United States now what?

The first airport your cargo arrives at in the United States is called the Port of Entry. At this POE the U.S. Department of Agriculture will review the manifest of the cargo on board and indicate either that they have inspected your freight and it is okay to move or they will call us (since we are listed on the MAWB as the notify party) and ask us who the Approved U.S.D.A. taxidermist is, the shipment will be sent to. (This only happens on dip and packed skins – not mounted trophies). If your shipment contains any swine products or non-human primates, special care must be used to ensure they are re-dipped to meet U.S. standards. If we do not know who you want used in our computer and cannot reach you we will name an approved local USDA taxidermist to do the work. Cost for this will be added to your invoice.


Ok, USDA does their thing and my trophies are then put on a connecting flight to the city where the CB office is – when do I get my trophies?

First of all your cargo will not be placed on a plane for movement to the destination Port of Entry. Since 9/11 DHS does not permit inland in-bond transport by any mode other than Truck or Train.


What happens if the original documents are lost?

Your CB will be notified by the carrier that freight has arrived and there are no documents. CB immediately requests a system wide search of the air carrier and goes immediately back to the agent requesting certified copies be sent via courier to your CB office.



The freight is here, the documents are here – now how long does it take?

We immediately begin the classification and data entry process when we get the original documents from the air carrier. Once the entry has been certified by the Customs computer the original documents accompany a 3-177 form to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They determine if a physical inspection is necessary or they can release cargo based on the documents submitted. This can take up to 3 working days. When the actual FWS release is received we can physically file the U.S. Customs entry. Customs should clear the shipment within 24 hours. Once we have the Customs and all other Government Agency releases, we then prepare to pick up the trophies from the air carrier (they are held in bond while with the carrier). Because we have exceeded the allotted free time (72 hours usually) from the carrier we must find out how much storage is owed and prepare a check for that plus the Cargo Import Service Charge rendered by the carrier. Our local cartman will retrieve the trophies and bring them to our warehouse. Upon receipt we will contact you to reaffirm where you want them to be delivered. We will obtain quote for transport to your destination on a prepaid basis, prepare our invoice and fax it to you for payment.


What charges will I be expected to pay a Customs Broker(CB) ?

(The undermentioned charges are charged by Coppersmith)

There are many services we perform on your behalf. They are as listed below:

Customs Entry Service Fee $100 – All Hunting Trophy entries are formal entries (19CFR143.22) as they require additional government agency review

Customs Surety Bond Minimum $65 – Additional agency review requires a Single Transaction Bond (19CFR142.4) to be posted at three times the invoice Value ($6.50 per $1000) per CBP regulations

Fish & Wildlife Entry Service Fee $100 – We prepare the e-decs entry for Fish and Wildlife review

Carrier Import Service Charge – $40 (this is usual amount in-bond carrier charges for processing their paperwork)

Messenger – $20 – $25 – all documents are hand carried to the various government agencies for processing

Airport Transfer – Minimum $30 or $.05/lb of chargeable weight (Moves freight to our warehouse)

Warehouse Handling $65 – includes unloading of shipment, inspection of freight, preparation of inland bill of landing and loading of the freight for customer pick up or delivery

USDA Exam is often required at some ports and when we have to assist with the exam the charge is $25

If we procure a CDC permit for you the fee is $25

Any storage accrued at the carrier will be for your account

Delivery to your choice of destination is for your account

bottom of page