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Pemphix

Hi Andy,

thank you for posting this, but it is not really a new fact that you need to be careful of chinese fossils...:headscratch:

Besides of the fact, that exporting them is illegal for a lot of the species...

 

 

 

 

 

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Troodon

Good reminder 

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Mark Kmiecik
1 hour ago, Pemphix said:

Hi Andy,

thank you for posting this, but it is not really a new fact that you need to be careful of chinese fossils...:headscratch:

Besides of the fact, that exporting them is illegal for a lot of the species...

Export is not a problem. If customs has any problems they just tell them, "hey, they're not real" and there's no problem anymore. That's probably how they get the real ones out of the country -- customs becomes acclimated to seeing all the fakes, so it's easy to slip a few through that are real while customs assumes they are fakes. 

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FossilNerd

Thanks for this Andy! I agree with @Bobby Rico. It’s a good reminder and a heads up to the new folks.

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-Andy-
8 hours ago, Pemphix said:

Hi Andy,

thank you for posting this, but it is not really a new fact that you need to be careful of chinese fossils...:headscratch:

Besides of the fact, that exporting them is illegal for a lot of the species...

 

I wish reminders like this aren't necessary but searching sales history shows that people are still unwittingly buying them

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Pemphix
10 hours ago, Bobby Rico said:

Hi don’t think Andy said that Chinese fake fossil was new to the market and you have to remember the forum gets new members and visitors all the time. It is always good to keep reminding members of the pitfalls that are out there. Any encouragement for members to post on the forum before they buy is a great thing  <_< 

Also you made a good point about exporting illegal fossil from China.

Good point - thank you for reminding me...

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Pemphix
2 hours ago, -Andy- said:

 

I wish reminders like this aren't necessary but searching sales history shows that people are still unwittingly buying them

Good point. :dinothumb:

Nevertheless you will not stop that - but to keep only some of the people away from loosing money for such ones is worse any try/work.

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Sinopaleus
16 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

Export is not a problem. If customs has any problems they just tell them, "hey, they're not real" and there's no problem anymore. That's probably how they get the real ones out of the country -- customs becomes acclimated to seeing all the fakes, so it's easy to slip a few through that are real while customs assumes they are fakes. 

 

Mark, what you are implying is considered illegal, and wrong. Export is a problem, for a long time for many, particularly due to politics from different regions (Hong Kong), and not the gullibility of the border control. I'm interested in where you get your confidence in your information. Border control has tightened grip as of recent and any rock with bones on them (real or fake) leaving the country in your luggage or bag are cause for alarm, and could cause you a massive headache, a potential watchlist and missed flight. 

 

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Mark Kmiecik
5 hours ago, Sinopaleus said:

 

Mark, what you are implying is considered illegal, and wrong. Export is a problem, for a long time for many, particularly due to politics from different regions (Hong Kong), and not the gullibility of the border control. I'm interested in where you get your confidence in your information. Border control has tightened grip as of recent and any rock with bones on them (real or fake) leaving the country in your luggage or bag are cause for alarm, and could cause you a massive headache, a potential watchlist and missed flight. 

 

I'm talking about what is being mailed out, not what tourists try to smuggle. Tourists account for a very small amount of fossils that leave the country. There's lot's of fake and real fossils being offered, sold and shipped on multiple auction sites. You are right. It is wrong, illegal and it is happening every day. China, Morocco, Brazil, United States and other places. People post photos of fake fossils on this forum every day that are listed for sale and shipped from China, so don't tell me that it's not happening. People have purchased and received items that are part fake and part real and posted them on this forum for peer review. That's where I get my information.

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FossilNerd

@Mark Kmiecik and @Sinopaleus

 

If I may throw in my 2 cents... I see both of your points. ;) 

 

It is illegal to export vertebrate fossils from China. We all know this to be true. Taylor and Francis even have a paper available regarding the subject for those who want to know more.

 

J. J. Liston & Hai-Lu You (2015) Chinese fossil protection law and the illegal export of vertebrate fossils from china, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 35:2, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.904791

 

Mark, if I may broaden on your point, I think that it is safe to say that fossils still get out of the countries where it is illegal to export them, and in various ways. China in this instance. As you stated, we see things reportedly from China on the forum, and auctions sites, all the time. I equate this to other illegal trades (endangered wildlife fur, ivory, illegal substances, etc.) 

 

I think Sinopaleus’ point is that it’s unfair to assume that it’s customs officials/border patrol that are lax on their duties or turning a blind eye to what is happening. It could be true that they are, but it could also as easily be a multitude of other things. We shouldn’t point fingers or make assumptions based upon what we think is happening. Innocent until proven guilty, or false until proven true if you like. 

 

To summarize... 

We can say for sure that exporting vertebrate fossils from China is illegal. I believe we can also say that fossils still get exported one way or another, just like other forms of illegal trade. 

 

We cannot say for sure that it is customs or border patrol officials that are letting these things out of the country. Not until we are shown specific proof of this actually happening. Which we have not seen in this thread as of yet.

 

I think another bigger conundrum may be... Do we let these items, that we know should be illegal to export, be posted on the forum? We can’t stop the illegal fossil trade, but we do have a measure of control on the forum. This is a multifaceted question that in my mind really doesn’t have an easy clear cut answer.

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FossilNerd
7 hours ago, JohnJ said:

 

Posting them on the Forum is the only way some people become educated about the laws applying to fossil export.  So, it really is no conundrum, rather it is part of TFF's ongoing efforts to help in ethical collecting.  ;)

 

Personally I agree with your statement of us knowledge sharing and informing people is what TFF is all about, and that should be our main focus. I’m also inclined to believe that it’s not our job, and out of TFFs scope, to police such things. Especially being an international forum where not all laws, rules, and regulations apply to same to everyone. 

 

I think my train of thought was speeding down the track last night, and I let it run. I was more than a little sleepy when posting. :wacko:

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Sinopaleus
19 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

I'm talking about what is being mailed out, not what tourists try to smuggle. Tourists account for a very small amount of fossils that leave the country. There's lot's of fake and real fossils being offered, sold and shipped on multiple auction sites. You are right. It is wrong, illegal and it is happening every day. China, Morocco, Brazil, United States and other places. People post photos of fake fossils on this forum every day that are listed for sale and shipped from China, so don't tell me that it's not happening. People have purchased and received items that are part fake and part real and posted them on this forum for peer review. That's where I get my information.

 

1) Mark, have you ever bought vertebrate Chinese fossils that were shipped from within the country? If not, let me explain how this tends to happen. Collectors from around the world fancy the fossils being sold with disregard to the legal background of the item, fueling the black market for smuggling vertebrate fossils out of the country (prime example was the Mongolian tarbosaurus incident). There are always people from within the borders of these countries willing to risk criminal sanctions for money, but many of these black market schemes are also directed and planned by international dealers to loyal customers. It is rarely the case that sellers "ship" vertebrate fossils to customers from within the borders; and if so, it is done by highly inexperienced black market dealers who don't know the strings, and is vastly outnumbered by the smuggling through political loopholes and exploitation. Most of the time, such fossils are first smuggled out secretly, then listed for sale once the fossil is "in the clear" in a different country. When a collector says the fossil is "from China", rarely is it ever directly "from China", so please do not confuse the two.

 

2) Yes, it is definitely happening, nothing wrong there. But word of mouth from the receiving end of the purchase is never as dependable as understanding the problem or process from the roots. Please do not assume the truth you see from one end is the entire truth, as usually, there is much more to the story than what meets the eye. I agree with @JohnJ, fake fossils have brought this issue to the limelight here on the forum, even since when I joined over 7 years ago. But I hope such awareness is helping to counter the problem among collectors instead of advertising and fueling the black market.

 

3) If this was your point, do reconsider the phrasing of your original comment. It comes off as bold, dismissive and quite disrespectful from a different perspective. And it certainly sounds as if you are advising a solution to smuggle when confronting the border control.

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