Whether it's the animal itself or a portion of it used as decorative trim on a handbag, most imports of "exotic" animals require advance permission and/or notification to the US government. Regulated by the US Department of Fish and Wildlife, even a watch dial made of the mother-of-pearl shell needs to be declared on imported products comprised of this material.
A failure to do so could lead to delays at the border due to detained shipments by US Customs and Border Protection or even worse, a seizure by the agency which could further lead to penalties being assessed against an importer.
Fortunately, where this does occur there may be a way to minimize any penalties however, anyone serious about entering and staying in a business that incorporates exotic animals should get their import compliance "ducks in order" as shipments not gaining entry could lead to lost customers, not to mention that a single penalty could put an importer out of business.
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