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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone sent me a pair of American alligator boots from the US to Canada. It is with Customs now under "C" of Appendix II of CITES.

Has anyone in Canada had this problem before? Also, to get it, I must prove that the shoes were part of an inheritance following a death outside of Canada.
How do I need to show to prove this?

Lawyers....help. what do i do? I haven't broken any laws...from what I can see, some greedy Customs Official is trying to help himself to my shoes!!!
 

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The situation you describe is interesting ....

I am not a lawyer, but more info is needed. Who sent them? Did you purchase them? Are they a gift? Are they covered by an endangered species law? Someone can probably help you if more is known.
 

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I am not an attorney, and nothing I say should be construed as actual legal advice.

I would suspect that a death certificate and a letter from the executor of the estate noting that the boots were bequeathed to you would suffice.

If the boots are not, in fact, from the estate of someone who died, then you would need to commit forgery (and probably some other crimes as well) in order to obtain the boots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MOre information

No crime was committed.

A friend purchased a pair of perfectly legal alligator boots for me. They can be purchased in the US or in Canada, except they are cheaper in the US, and he purchased them as a gift.

They were sent over as a gift.

No illegal species, no endangered species, perfectly ordinary American alligator.
 

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Yes, but you may not be able to import them from the US to Canada except under certain circumstances.

The manufacturer probably provides documentation when they import the boots from the US to Canada, and they are probably treated differently because they have a commercial import license.

It may very well be perfectly legal for a licensed importer to ship the boots to Canada but a violation of Canada's import laws for an individual to do so.

The cost of all that paperwork might explain the difference in cost, if that difference exceeds the GST.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What can I do now?

There are all sorts of issues from the differences in price, from GST, importers trying to cash in on the exchange rate without changing prices, etc. Unlike the auto industry, the shoe industry isn't being sued quite yet...

In any event, what can I do now to get them, or have them sent back to the sender?

Any and all advice GRATEFULLY APPRECIATED!!! Thanks!
 

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Where did the inheritance issue come in?

And you're going to have issues, any material from a once living species falls under fish and wildlife acts, it's a pain in the a$$. As a manufacturer, we need certificate of origin, fish and wildlife certificates indicating correct scientific name of the species, and more.

Would have been much easier to label them as faux, or just wear them across the border.
 

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Someone sent me a pair of American alligator boots from the US to Canada. It is with Customs now under "C" of Appendix II of CITES.

Has anyone in Canada had this problem before? Also, to get it, I must prove that the shoes were part of an inheritance following a death outside of Canada.
How do I need to show to prove this?

Lawyers....help. what do i do? I haven't broken any laws...from what I can see, some greedy Customs Official is trying to help himself to my shoes!!!
Well, unfortunately it IS against the law (International Law) to import/export App2 products across international borders. Not sure what you mean about inheritance - since you also say you had a friend buy them for you (or maybe I'm just confused) - but you cannot receive American Alligator from the USA into Canada unless you hold a Fish & Wildlife Permit. The person/company exporting the product lists origin of the material, as well as keeps a file of the actual ID# that all skins are tagged with, which were purchased for manufacturing. It's usually not you who can get in trouble, it's the sender. The fines are pretty severe for knowingly trying to 'sneak' merchandise of this sort across the border.

Hopefully, you will get lucky and they will release it to you with a warning - my guess is you will be able to go to the Customs House some day and bid on it again when they auction it off with all the other confiscated products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hopefully, you will get lucky and they will release it to you with a warning - my guess is you will be able to go to the Customs House some day and bid on it again when they auction it off with all the other confiscated products.
I spoke to them on the phone, but they refuse to release it...or to resend it.
It was a gift, in fact.

However, they mentioned that if it were an inheritance from a death in the US, I can receive it legally in that case.
How do I make my case that it was an inheritance...what paperwork would I require?

Do they open all mailed packages? How the hell do they know it was alligator?
 

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If you seriously try to fake someone's death inheritance, wow.

Let 'em go buddy. You broke the rules and got caught. If you take it further into this plan, you'll likely face fines and a possible court date.

Pleading ignorance of the rules does not change the fact that you broke them unfortunately. I'm sure these were expensive, and sorry that you lost them, but you don't have many options at this point if they won't release them.
 

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I spoke to them on the phone, but they refuse to release it...or to resend it.
It was a gift, in fact.

However, they mentioned that if it were an inheritance from a death in the US, I can receive it legally in that case.
How do I make my case that it was an inheritance...what paperwork would I require?

Do they open all mailed packages? How the hell do they know it was alligator?
Well, I guess you can take a relative across the border and.....of course, don't forget to forge a Will, also.
 

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You are basically faced with two choices:

1. No boots

2. No boots, plus a criminal record

You may be a smart guy, but you're not going to outsmart customs officials. If you try to convince customs that you inherited a brand spanking new pair of boots that are still in the box, you will get caught. They would just have to look at the serial number and find that from the manufacturer that they were made three months ago. Boom, you're done.

Let 'em go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I guess you can take a relative across the border and.....of course, don't forget to forge a Will, also.
Does anybody have any suggestions short of murdering people?!?!

It seems extremely bizarre that customs can confiscate randomly with no course of appeal--is this normal?

DO they check every package?
 

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Does anybody have any suggestions short of murdering people?!?!
None that involve you getting the boots.

It seems extremely bizarre that customs can confiscate randomly with no course of appeal--is this normal?
You don't have a fish and wildlife license, so it is illegal for you to import the boots into Canada. Why would you want to appeal their decision? Ignorance of the law is no excuse. It wasn't random.

DO they check every package?
Probably. People try to illegally import all kinds of things. Drugs, weapons, pornography, and, yes, articles made from endangered species.
 

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Does anybody have any suggestions short of murdering people?!?!

It seems extremely bizarre that customs can confiscate randomly with no course of appeal--is this normal?

DO they check every package?
It's a random check, and you got caught. Deal with it. Don't blame customs for trying to break the rules and getting caught.

You got a better deal in the states, tried to avoid duties, and they caught you. That's their job.

Last time a friend of mine lied about going to a relatives funeral to get out of work, one of his other relatives died shortly thereafter. Coincidence, probably, but I don't like to mess with karma.
 

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Fear of such a problem kept me from eBay bidding on a UK vintage croc Gladstone bag recently.

Several years ago I sold some new Italian made American alligator belts on eBay. Also, some Italian made lizard belts with skins of unknown origin. At the time I was under the impression that I could not legally mail these to California and stated so in the listings. Was I correct about the importation of such skins into California from another U.S. state, or was it yet another instance of my infinite ignorance?
 
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