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BellamyBlake

Shipping fossils from Canada to the United States

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BellamyBlake

I'm from Canada and was partaking in a trade with another member of the Forums, from the United States. These are shark teeth. Canada Post informed me that these are prohibited for import into the United States from Canada. For instance, their guide notes that "Mineral Products" are prohibited: https://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/manual/PGIntDestDetails-e.asp?table=tblCountry&txtLetter=US

 

This was a surprise to me. I know of countless Canadian businesses that ship (presumably legally) to the United States. Does it seem that the Canada Post agent (and myself) misunderstood what "Mineral Products means?

 

I'm equally surprised because the only reference I've found to the import of fossils from Canada to the United States is, indeed, on Canada Post's site. USPS doesn't seem to reference this being illegal. United States Customs & Border Protection only seems to reference this in relation to the import of Cultural Products, whereas there doesn't appear to be a concern for "Mineral Products" per se.

 

If anyone who has experience shipping from Canada to the United States could shed light on whether this is actually illegal or if there's some misunderstanding I'd appreciate it. 

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Kane

That does seem strange. Perhaps they thought it was a product of a living animal? How did you list the item(s) on the declaration page? My understanding of "mineral product" according to mining standards is that it is the process of refinement of, say, ore into a different state for which it is used in manufacturing (for example). So, gold extracted and melted as an ingot would classify as a metallic mineral product. Non-metallic mineral products would be items for which are used in manufacturing. 

 

Suffice it to say, it may be worth a call to Canada Post to get some clarification.

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Malcolmt

I have probably shipped 100 plus packages to the US from Canada. I always declare "Geological specimens for educational purposes". I generally declare $100 value  .if the fossils came from usa for me to prep I will say returning to owner..origin USA. Have never had anything blocked or returned.  It is perfectly legal to export any invertebrate fossil from Ontario Canada that has no scientific value and a resale value of under $500. Over $500 you need an export permit and that is a lot of hassel. Other provinces have their own restrictions . The only other restriction I have ever heard of being enforced is having more than 25 pounds of  material from one locality. Now where they may be getting you is that you are not allowed to export a vertebrate fossil from Canada without a permit as far as I know. 

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BellamyBlake
38 minutes ago, Kane said:

That does seem strange. Perhaps they thought it was a product of a living animal? How did you list the item(s) on the declaration page? My understanding of "mineral product" according to mining standards is that it is the process of refinement of, say, ore into a different state for which it is used in manufacturing (for example). So, gold extracted and melted as an ingot would classify as a metallic mineral product. Non-metallic mineral products would be items for which are used in manufacturing. 

 

Suffice it to say, it may be worth a call to Canada Post to get some clarification.

I didn't get to the declaration part, which I tend to do at the office itself. She asked me what was inside and I told her fossils, which she responded to with the above. Interestingly, every courier service I spoke to says it's allowed.

 

I called Canada Post and the agent was perplexed. She asked me to contact Canadian Wildlife Service - Environment Canada. So now I'm more confused than when I began my inquiry :heartylaugh:

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BellamyBlake
1 minute ago, Malcolmt said:

I have probably shipped 100 plus packages to the US from Canada. I always declare "Geological specimens for educational purposes". I generally declare $100 value  .if the fossils came from usa for me to prep I will say returning to owner..origin USA. Have never had anything blocked or returned.  It is perfectly legal to export any invertebrate fossil from Ontario Canada that has no scientific value and a resale value of under $500. Over $500 you need an export permit and that is a lot of hassel. Other provinces have their own restrictions . The only other restriction I have ever heard of being enforced is having more than 25 pounds of  material from one locality. Now where they may be getting you is that you are not allowed to export a vertebrate fossil from Canada without a permit as far as I know. 

That's possible - these are shark teeth and they're probably counting these as vertebrate fossils. But, they originate from the United States, United Kingdom, and Belgium. Nothing in the package is from Canada. I don't think the agent knew any of this though; the clause she pointed to said they wouldn't send "Mineral Products" to the United States, which would include any fossil and then some.

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Malcolmt

The USA claims that they try to comply with the rules in the country the fossil was found. Hence confiscating dinosaurs material from China 

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Malcolmt

I always use the online shipping and customs declaration. There is a specific code I use 9705

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BellamyBlake
54 minutes ago, Malcolmt said:

I always use the online shipping and customs declaration. There is a specific code I use 9705

Thank you! Looks like a HS code. I'll use this and see if it makes a difference

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