Clearing Your Own Trophies
Here is some good information for those of you who are interested in clearing your own trophies.
We went to South Africa and bowhunting in Zimbabwe last summer and will have two crates, including some warthogs (which have to be signed off by USDA), so we had a few trophy shipping options. We decided to clear our own trophies so we could offer our clients some insight on a cheaper option. It saved us paying the customs broker $400 to clear shipment and then a trucking company for shipment to our homes (we used a taxidermist in South Africa). Keep in mind, we were already going to be in the LA area anyway, which made it feasible for us when it might not be for others who live farther away from their point of entry. If we had been home in Idaho, it would have been a different matter.
It was surprising how easy it was.
You simply go onto the US Fish and Wildlife website import/export page, go to ‘edecs’ and fill out the form. You submit it online to the airport where your shipment is coming and they advise you when you can come clear it. If you need to clear a warthog, be sure to call the Department of Agriculture office in advance to schedule your pickup. Don’t just drop in… that will cost you some time sitting around. The whole thing took about 30 minutes. We had to go to the Fish and Wildlife’s office, USDA and then to US Customs to get release signatures…. easy as that.