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Ammonight

Is it legal to bring fossils out of Canada from Ontario?

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Ammonight

I'm wondering if I am allowed to bring fossils I find in Ontario away to overseas locations.

 

Any idea?

 

Replies are appreciated.

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Kane

Yes. There are no restrictions in removing invertebrate fossils from Ontario. The province's laws regarding fossils extends mostly to prohibiting collecting at provincial parks.

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Pemphix

I would ask a lawyer who knows about the cultural heritage laws in BOTH countrys...

 

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Kane
2 hours ago, Pemphix said:

I would ask a lawyer who knows about the cultural heritage laws in BOTH countrys...

 

Wouldn't be necessary in terms of export from Ontario, just so long as the fossil is not valued over $500 (this was told to one of our members from someone at the ROM). Legislation regarding fossils falls under provincial, not federal, jurisdiction. Ontario is among the least restrictive of the provinces with respect to fossil collecting in not requiring a permit, as well as encouraging recreational collecting (with proper permission if on private property, and not on provincial or national parks). One thing to be on the watch for is to ensure that the fossils are clean; i.e., no mud or soil. This is particularly important if bringing the fossils into the US as there would be concern over contamination that could impact agriculture.

 

When it comes to overseas import, you'll have to be more specific as not every overseas country has the same laws.

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Jeffrey P

My friends and I collected in Brechin, Ontario last summer and returned across the border with a large number of specimens to New York without any problems. 

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Northern Sharks

Invertebrate fossils and vertebrate fossils likely have different regulations. Inverts leaving Ontario is not an issue (provided value is not excessive) but if you tried to leave with a mammoth bone.....

 

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Pemphix
1 hour ago, Kane said:

When it comes to overseas import, you'll have to be more specific as not every overseas country has the same laws.

Exact that is why i would always ask a lawyer who knows about the cultural heritage laws in BOTH countrys...

In germany you will need to proof that it is from a legal source (see german cultural inheritage law for details) and in some other european countrys it is same or worse.

Contamination thing as Kane figured out is with Australia, New Zealand and some other countrys, too afaik.

So i think better to have the needed papers as to get in conflicts lateron..

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Kane

And just for legality's sake, the full Cultural Property Export and Import Act of Canada (navigable document): http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-51/page-1.html

 

Application information for export: http://www.pch.gc.ca/DAMAssetPub/DAM-bcm-mcp/STAGING/texte-text/export_permit_application_guide_1445003295169_eng.pdf

 

And these are the items under the control list, Group 1 objects, for which permits for export are stipulated as required:

 

3 Palaeontological specimens recovered from the soil of Canada, the territorial sea of Canada or the inland or other internal waters of Canada, as follows:

  • (a) a type fossil specimen of any value;

  • (b) fossil amber of any value;

  • (c) a vertebrate fossil specimen of a fair market value in Canada of more than $500;

  • (d) an invertebrate fossil specimen of a fair market value in Canada of more than $500;

  • (e) specimens in bulk weighing 11.25 kg (25 pounds) or more of vertebrate fossils or vertebrate trace fossils of any value; and

  • (f) specimens in bulk weighing 22.5 kg (50 pounds) or more, recovered from a specific outcrop, quarry or locality, that include one or more specimens of any value of the following, namely,

    • (i) invertebrate fossils,

    • (ii) plant fossils, or

    • (iii) fossiliferous rock containing plant fossils or invertebrate fossils.

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caldigger

Coincidentally, I have a deal with the authorities in Ontario to have all fossil exports routed to my mailbox.

You can avoid all the exhausting paperwork. Just skip the official channels and send them directly to me. I don't charge tariffs.

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Kane

Apart from the special legislation that must have been introduced recently to reroute all Ontario fossils to @caldigger, I had to depart for work before I could also add that regardless of federal clauses for export, provincial law comes first. That is, fossils for export out of the country must first be legal to extract and remove from the province of origin. That would certainly not be the case for provinces like Alberta or BC where one is the "custodian" of the fossil, but the fossil technically belongs to the province. This is not the case in Ontario.

 

In the example above, if you had a small box of common trilobites or crinoid bits (under 50 lbs, of no scientific value), you should be fine for export without application. If you had 60 lbs of mammoth material, not so much. 

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spelbot
On 3/7/2018 at 9:11 AM, Northern Sharks said:

Invertebrate fossils and vertebrate fossils likely have different regulations. Inverts leaving Ontario is not an issue (provided value is not excessive) but if you tried to leave with a mammoth bone.....

 

Funny you mention that...

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