Endangered & Protected Species

Updated February 22, 2017

Endangered Species Materials

The following are Tarisio’s policies for endangered species materials, specifically rosewood, tortoiseshell and ivory. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) restricts the movement of items containing materials from certain endangered species. Restrictions vary according the country from which the auction is hosted.

Restrictions for items sold in United States of America (New York sales)

United States Federal Regulations

In the United States the Endangered Species Act of 1973 provides guidelines for commercial and non-commercial handling of endangered species materials. The US Fish & Wildlife Service (a division of the Department of the Interior) is the entity charged with enforcing the Endangered Species Act.

Here is a summary of Tarisio’s US policies regarding lots incorporating endangered species:

1) Tarisio’s United States auctions do not sell endangered species materials which are not over 100 years old.

2) Tarisio does not ship endangered species materials abroad even if the items in question are over 100 years old unless a CITES exemption permit has been obtained.

3) Tarisio will never solicit or receive endangered species materials from abroad, regardless of age, without first obtaining a CITES exemption permit.

After a sale, a  permit to ship CITES materials can be obtained on behalf of the successful bidder for a compulsory fee of $200 (inclusive of the $75 fee Tarisio will be charged to file for the permit). Permits are not guaranteed, and the process can delay shipment by as much as 90 days.

Please note that there are pending regulation changes that will affect the domestic import of endangered species within the US. We will update this page when more information is available.

New York State Regulations

In compliance with a recent state law A10143 passed on August 12, 2014, Tarisio New York does not sell bows containing ivory (frogs or tips) worked after 1975. Bows made after 1975 and containing ivory tips are re-tipped with silver or synthetic ivory at consignors’ expense.

In further compliance with this law, Tarisio New York only sells bows 1) made before 1975 with mammoth ivory, or 2) with elephant ivory older than 100 years. In both cases, only once we have obtained a license from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This license is:

  • obtained at no cost to the consignor or bidder
  • not transferable with ownership of the bows

Restrictions for items sold in the United Kingdom (London sales)

In the United Kingdom endangered species permits are managed by Animal Health, a division of DEFRA.

Here is a summary of Tarisio’s UK policies regarding lots incorporating endangered species:

1) Moving a CITES-listed item within the EU

EC regulations permit free trade of CITES-listed specimens between EU member states if the item containing the specimen was made before June 1, 1947.

Trade in CITES-listed specimens made after 1947 is more restricted, and Tarisio does not include these items in its sales unless they are accompanied by a CITES Article 10 certificate. Article 10 certificate applications may take up to 15 working days to process. Please see ‘CITES Applications’ for more information.

2) Moving a CITES-listed item out of the EU

CITES-listed items always require an export or re-export permit before they can be shipped to a location outside the EU.

Under EC regulations it is permitted for a customer to carry a CITES-listed item out of the EU as personal luggage, if it has been outside the EU already at some stage. However, it is essential for the buyer to check whether a UK export permit AND an import permit is required by the country of intended import BEFORE moving the item. Please note that the USA does not permit the import of any items containing CITES-listed materials aged under 100 years.

UK CITES permit applications may take up to 15 working days to process.

3) CITES Applications

Permits and certificates are issued by the UK’s Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service (WLRS).

Fees charged by the WLRS: Export permits: £63; Re-export permits: £31; Article 10 certificates: £31

If you wish Tarisio to complete the application forms on your behalf, an administration fee of £40 plus VAT per item will be charged. Please note that we will require written permission to act as your agent in the application.

4) Further information and queries can be found at


Instruments and Bows Sold by Tarisio London to US Bidders

Items sold in the UK to non-New York State Bidders will be shipped directly, and only once Tarisio has determined the bow contains no endangered species (elephant ivory, tortoiseshell or rosewood).

Bows sold in the UK to New York State residents will be removed of their mammoth or elephant tips and rosewood fittings will be removed from instruments before shipment without further notice to bidders. Tarisio can arrange for re-tipping at bidder’s expense.

Protected Species Materials

The following are Tarisio’s policies for protected species materials commonly used for bows, and are applicable only for international shipments originating from Tarisio New York. These policies are informed by United States Fish & Wildlife Services (USFWS) laws.

Mother of Pearl

As of December 1, 2010, international shipments originating from Tarisio New York containing wildlife will incur a compulsory declaration fee of $125 for legal exportation of animal parts and wildlife. This fee will appear on your invoice after the auction.

The fee is a flat-rate per shipment, regardless of the number of pieces containing wildlife. For the purpose of the instrument and bow trade, “wildlife” includes oyster mother of pearl (pinctada maxima) used frequently in bows as decorative eye and slide-inserts. The fee is the result of newly enforced regulation by USFWS, the regulating authority on the importation and exportation of wildlife products.

International shipments containing bows may be delayed after payment for 5-8 business days while Tarisio works on your behalf to legally declare your shipment. We thank you for your patience during this step!

Non-Cattle Leather 
Snake skin, lizard skin and other types of exotic non-cattle leather used for bow grips are also prohibited from international shipment by USFWS laws. Tarisio will remove these materials from bows before international shipment without further notice to the successful bidder.

Horsehair and Cow Leather
These products are specifically exempt from laws that govern the importing and exporting of animal parts and may be shipped and transported freely, without removal, declarations or fees.

Mammoth Ivory
As an extinct species, mammoth ivory is exempt from federal United State Fish & Wildlife (CITES) regulation. It can be shipped and transported across international borders without declarations or fees. However, mammoth ivory is subject to New York State law A10143 and will only be sold by Tarisio New York with appropriate license. (See above for more information on Tarisio’s compliance with New York State). It may also be determined that before a Bow is shipped internationally the mammoth tip will need to be removed before shipment without further notice to bidders. Tarisio can arrange for re-tipping at bidder’s expense.

Please note that bows containing mammoth ivory tips will not be listed as such in our auction catalogue. For information on individual items, please email us as below.

Elephant Ivory, Rosewood and Tortoiseshell
Please see our guidelines on endangered species above.

Please email info.newyork@tarisio.com or info.london@tarisio.com for more information.


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