German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Personal Effects

Exemptions from the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 regarding the import, export or re-export of personal or household effects derived from protected species

Before you familiarize yourself with the regulations on personal effects, please note the following general advice.

Important: exemptions for personal effects can only be applied to dead animals/plants or parts or derivatives therefrom. These exemptions are not valid for live animals or plants.

What counts as personal effects?

  • All dead animals/plants, parts or derivatives therefrom which are imported into or re-exported from the European Union with the effects of an entire household in the course of a change of residence.
  • Dead animals/plants, parts or derivatives therefrom which are imported into or re-exported from the European Union for personal effects with no intention of commercial gain. The specimens must be in the possession of a private individual, must be part of their normal personal effects and be contained in their luggage.

No statutory regulation governs the specific number of items but it should be in the range of 1 to 4 items per species. Otherwise, at least potentially, the impression could be created that some commercial intentions attach to such imports, in which case the exemptions described here do not apply.

What does not count as personal effects?

  • Postal consignments ordered from mail order companies or private individuals containing dead animals or plants, parts or derivatives therefrom (except for trophies hunted by the individual concerned, being imported at a later date)
  • Dead animals/plants, parts or derivatives therefrom intended as a gift for another person
  • Live animals or plants

Regulations on personal effects

Special regulations apply to the import or export of personal or household effects (1), which in some cases result in the existence of concessions. For example up to 125 g caviar in containers that are individually and correct marked, up to three rainsticks, up to three shells of queen conches, up to thre shells of gian clams, up to four worked specimens from dead crocodiles of species listed in Annex B to Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 (excluding meat and hunting trophies) and up to four dead specimens of seahorses can be imported or exported without permit documentation. Furthermore in certain exceptional cases, export permit obligations may be waived or import permits may be issued without the need to present export documentation. The various cases of this kind are outlined in greater detail below.

(1) pursuant to Article 7 (3) Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 and Articles 57 and 58 Commission Regulation (EC) No. 865/2006

Last Change: 01/03/2021