Imagine buying a US$19,000 alligator-skin bag only to find out that it has been destroyed by customs officials.
That’s what happened to a shopper in Australia.
A Saint Laurent handbag that was bought online from a boutique in France was seized by the Australian Border Force (ABF) because it entered the country without the correct import license.
Alligator products are allowed in Australia, but one has to go through the right channels to get it in the country. Access of these items is controlled by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This is to ensure that the alligator products that enter the country are not linked to the illegal wildlife trade.
While the buyer had an export license from Europe, there was no import permit.
As a result, the bag was confiscated and destroyed.
Although the buyer could have been fined or sentenced to time in prison, the authorities have decided to take no further action.