CITES permits for NZ possum fur – how to prove pelts in a possum throw are really from NZ

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Recently I had an interesting question from an Australian customer. He wanted to know if I could provide documentation to prove that the possums in one of our possum fur throws was really New Zealand sourced possum. I had to stop and think. As far as I’m aware New Zealand is the only country that can legally use New Zealand possum fur, they are protected in their native Australia. And this possum throw was going to be a gift for his friend.

At first I wasn’t quite sure how I could prove this in a way that was official, and then I had a great idea. All I needed was a CITES certificate of export!

CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival on the wild.

In New Zealand our Department of Conservation is responsible for issuing a CITES certificate for exports. And because possums are not endangered, in fact they are epidemic, they are not listed on the CITES register.

So I applied for a CITES permit specifically for my customers possum throw. I provided his name and address, the possum species name (Trichosurus vulpecula), the possum throw size and number of pelts, and all these details where all listed on the certificate. The permit has a unique number that is kept on file at the Department of Conservation and is about as official as it can get.

This proved that the possums where from New Zealand and my customer was very happy. A CITES certificate of export is NOT needed to import possum fur products into Australia, this is an optional extra for anyone who wants the peace of mind to know that these possums are really from New Zealand and that they are not endangered.

If you would like to buy a possum fur throw or blanket and would like a CITES certificate please get in touch with us. A small additional fee applies. Some countries for example Hong Kong do require a CITES certificate for easy importation.

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