Authentic Native Alaskan articles of handicrafts and clothing that contain marine mammal parts may be purchased in the U.S. without a permit. A CITES permit from our office is generally required to export such items. If you are a U.S. resident traveling from Alaska through Canada to the lower 48 states by car, cruise ship, etc., you may not need a CITES permit if you carry the handicraft items as personal effects in your accompanying baggage.
Before you travel, you should contact the Canadian CITES Management Authority (telephone 819-997-1840) and the Service's Regional Law Enforcement Office associated with the port of re-entry into the lower 48 States to obtain information on what documents are required for your particular situation. Be aware, however, that souvenirs or handicrafts that contain marine mammal parts and are created by Native peoples outside of the United States (e.g., Canada or Greenland) may not be imported into the United States.
For more information, read our Marine Mammal Policy factsheet .
For general information on CITES permit requirements, click here .
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has jurisdiction over whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions, under the MMPA and ESA. For further permit information about these species, contact:
National Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Protected Resources, F/PR1
1315 East West Highway, Room 13705
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
phone: 301-427-8401; fax: 301-713-0376
For general guidelines on transporting wildlife and wildlife products between Alaska and the lower 48 states, visit the Office of Law Enforcement. For permitting information on marine mammals, visit our Branch of Permits.
For additional tips for travellers, visit the Office of Law Enforcement.