Johan Svalby, legal advisor to the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU (FACE), clarified rhino horn importation into the EU from Mozambique in the most recent edition of Africa Indaba.
He wrote: ‘It is indeed true that the EU has listed specimens from the hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius) from Mozambique in its latest ‘Suspension Regulation’. However, since that species is listed in Annex B to Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97, hunters normally residing in the EU are still able to import its trophies into the Union for non-commercial purposes under the personal and household effects derogation, provided that an export permit can be provided to the EU customs.
The importation of Annex B specimens (such as from the Hippopotamus amphibius) into the EU is normally governed by Article 4, paragraph 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:1997R0338:20121215:EN:PDF. Both an export and an import permit will be required. In case the importation of specimens of an Annex B species be suspended in accordance with Article 4, paragraph 6 (i.e. through listing in the suspension regulation), an import permit cannot be obtained from the management authority of the Member State of destination and thus the importation cannot lawfully occur.
However, according to the Article 7, paragraph 3 (Personal and Household Effects) of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97, the provisions of Article 4 (as described above) shall not apply to dead specimens, parts and derivatives of species listed in Annexes A to D which are personal or household effects being introduced into the Community.
Article 57, paragraph 3 of that regulation provides that, the first introduction into the Community of personal or household effects, including hunting trophies, by a person normally residing in the Community and involving specimens of species listed in Annex B to Regulation (EC) No 338/97 shall not require the presentation to customs of an import permit, provided that the original of a (re-)export document and a copy thereof are presented.
In conclusion, all this does not prevent hunters normally residing in the EU to import its trophies into the Union for non-commercial purposes under the personal and household effects derogation, provided that an export or re-export permit can be provided to the EU customs.