50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products?
(a) U.S. and foreign general provisions. For the purposes of this section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order Crocodylia. The import, export, or re-export of any crocodilian skins, parts, or products must meet the requirements of this section and the other requirements of this part (see subparts B and C for prohibitions and application procedures). For American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) specimens harvested from a State or Tribe without an approved CITES export program, see § 23.36 for export permits and § 23.37 for re-export certificates.
(b) Definitions. Terms used in this section are defined as follows:
(1) Crocodilian skins means whole or partial skins, flanks, chalecos, and bellies (including those that are salted, crusted, tanned, partially tanned, or otherwise processed), including skins of sport-hunted trophies.
(2) Crocodilian parts means body parts with or without skin attached (including tails, throats, feet, meat, skulls, and other parts) and small cut skin pieces.
(c) Export approval of State and tribal programs for American alligator. States and Tribes set up and maintain management and harvest programs designed to monitor and protect American alligators from over-harvest. When a State or Tribe with a management program provides us with the necessary information, we make programmatic findings and have specific requirements that allow export under CITES. A State or Tribe must provide sufficient information for us to determine that its management program and harvest controls are appropriate to ensure that alligators harvested within its jurisdiction are legally acquired and that the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild.
(1) A State or Tribe seeking initial CITES export program approval must submit the following to the U.S. Management Authority:
(i) An assessment of the condition of the wild population and a description of the types of information on which the assessment is based, such as an analysis of carcass demographics, population models, analysis of past harvest levels as a function of skin prices or harvester effort, or indices of abundance independent of harvest information, such as nest surveys, spotlighting surveys, or nuisance complaints.
(ii) Current harvest control measures, including laws regulating harvest seasons and methods.
(iii) Total allowable harvest of the species.
(iv) Distribution of harvest.
(v) Indication of how frequently harvest levels are evaluated.
(vi) Tagging or marking requirements for skins and parts.
(vii) Habitat evaluation.
(viii) Information on nuisance alligator management programs.
(ix) Information on alligator farming programs, including whether collecting and rearing of eggs or hatchlings is allowed, what factors are used to set harvest levels, and whether any alligators are returned to the wild.
(x) If available, copies of any alligator management plans or other relevant reports for American alligator that the State or Tribe has prepared as part of its existing management program.
(2) A State or Tribe with an approved CITES export program must submit an American alligator activity report to the U.S. Management Authority by July 1 of each year to provide information regarding harvests during the previous year. This report may reference information provided in previous years if the information has not changed. An American alligator activity report, at a minimum, should include the following:
(i) The total number of skins from wild or farmed alligators that were tagged by the State or Tribe.
(ii) An assessment of the status of the alligator population with an indication of whether the population is stable, increasing, or decreasing, and at what rate (if known). If population levels are decreasing, activity reports should include the State or Tribe's professional assessment of the reason for the decline and any steps being taken to address it.
(iii) For wild alligators, information on harvest, including harvest of nuisance alligators, methods used to determine harvest levels, demographics of the harvest, and methods used to determine the total number and population trends of alligators in the wild.
(iv) For farmed alligators, information on whether collecting and rearing of eggs or hatchlings is allowed, what factors are used to set harvest levels, and whether any alligators are returned to the wild.
(v) Information on, and a copy of, any changes in laws or regulations affecting the American alligator.
(vi) If available, copies of relevant reports that the State or Tribe has prepared during the reporting period as part of its existing management program for the American alligator.
(3) We provide CITES export tags to States and Tribes with approved CITES export programs. American alligator skins and parts must meet the marking and tagging requirements of paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) of this section.
(d) Tagging of crocodilian skins. You may import, export, or re-export any crocodilian skin only if a non-reusable tag is inserted though the skin and locked in place using the locking mechanism of the tag. A mounted sport-hunted trophy must be accompanied by the tag from the skin used to make the mount.
(1) Except as provided for a replacement tag in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section, the tag must:
(i) Be tamper-resistant, self-locking, heat resistant, and inert to chemical and mechanical processes.
(ii) Be permanently stamped with the two-letter ISO code for the country of origin, a unique serial number, a standardized species code (available on our Web site; see § 23.7), and for specimens of species from populations that have been transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II for ranching, the year of skin production or harvest. For American alligator, the export tags include the US-CITES logo, an abbreviation for the State or Tribe of harvest, a standard species code (MIS = Alligator mississippiensis), the year of skin production or harvest, and a unique serial number.
(iii) If the year of skin production or harvest and serial number appear next to each other on a tag, the information should be separated by a hyphen.
(2) Skins, flanks, and chalecos must be individually tagged.
(3) Skins without a non-reusable tag permanently attached may not be exported or re-exported. To obtain a replacement tag, either from the State or Tribe of harvest (for American alligator) or from us, you must provide information to show that the skin was legally acquired.
(i) In the United States, when an American alligator tag is inadvertently removed, damaged, or lost, you may contact the State or Tribe of harvest for a replacement tag. If the State or Tribe cannot replace it, you may apply to FWS Law Enforcement for a replacement tag. To obtain replacement tags for crocodilian skins other than American alligator in the United States, contact FWS Law Enforcement. If the tag has been inadvertently removed or damaged, you must give us the tag. If the tag is lost, you must provide details concerning how the tag was lost. If we are satisfied that the skin was legally acquired, we will provide a CITES replacement tag.
(ii) A replacement tag must meet all of the requirements in paragraph (d)(1) of this section except that the species code and year of skin production or harvest will not be required, and for re-exports the country of re-export must be shown in place of the country of origin. In the United States, the legend will include the US-CITES logo, FWS-REPL, and a unique serial number.
(e) Meat and skulls. Except for American alligator, you may import, export, or re-export crocodilian meat and skulls without tags or markings. American alligator meat and skulls may be imported, exported, or re-exported if packaged and marked or tagged in accordance with State or tribal laws as follows:
(1) Meat from legally harvested and tagged alligators must be packed in permanently sealed containers and labeled as required by State or tribal laws or regulations. Bulk meat containers must be marked with any required State or tribal parts tag or bulk meat tag permanently attached and indicating, at a minimum, State or Tribe of origin, year of take, species, original U.S. CITES tag number for the corresponding skin, weight of meat in the container, and identification of State-licensed processor or packer.
(2) Each American alligator skull must be marked as required by State or tribal law or regulation.
(1) Parts must be packed in transparent sealed containers.
(2) Containers must be clearly marked with a non-reusable parts tag or label that includes all of the information in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section and a description of the contents, the total weight (contents and container), and the number of the CITES document.
(3) Tags are not required on crocodilian products.
(4) Tags are not required on scientific specimens except as required in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.
(g) Documentation requirements. The CITES document or an annex attached to the document must contain all information that is given on the tag or label.
(h) U.S. application process. Application forms and a list of States and Tribes with approved American alligator programs can be obtained from our website or by contacting us (see § 23.7).
(1) To export American alligator specimens taken under an approved State or tribal program, except for products made from American alligators, complete Form 3-200-26 and submit it to either FWS Law Enforcement or the U.S. Management Authority.
(2) To export American alligator specimens that are not from an approved program or to export products made from American alligators,, complete Form 3-200-27 and submit it to the U.S. Management Authority.
(i) Conditions for import, export, or re-export. Upon import, export, or re-export, each crocodilian specimen must meet the applicable tagging requirements in paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) of this section.