Please be advised that all hunting trophy shipments clearing or transiting through the Port of Atlanta, GA will require physical examination by US Customs & Border Protection/Agriculture (CBP/A) officers. The officers are not allowed to open crates, therefore, a representative must open and present each shipment for inspection, whether fully processed or unfinished.
Shipments already consigned or ordered to USDA Approved Establishments for reprocessing will not require physical inspection. If any shipment cannot be presented for thorough exam, CBP/A will issue a VS 16-78 ordering movement to an approved establishment.
We’ve been advised that some hunting trophy shipments transiting through Atlanta have been found to contain undeclared items or either items that were described as “processed” that were not. Most recently, a taxidermist in another state received a shipment that came through Atlanta that contained undeclared, unprocessed ostrich feet. The taxidermist called USDA HQ to let them know that he received a shipment containing restricted bird parts that should have gone to a USDA Approved Establishment. HQ then notified Vet Services in Atlanta, who advised CBP/Ag Officers that all hunting trophy shipments are now to be opened and inspected, whether finished or unfinished.
Repeating, however, that if a shipment, is already going to go to an approved establishment, no inspection is necessary. If not, Coppersmith has to send staff to the airlines to open and present all shipments for inspection.
Coppersmith Atlanta staff will arrange to open all trophy shipments for all Coppersmith offices, whether clearing in Atlanta or moving in bond to other ports of entry for clearance. CBP officers determine what shipments are inspected on what days and our team is notified of the airway bills of lading numbers and the date/time that we are to be present to open all crates and cartons for exam.
Coppersmith can also provide this service to any importer, broker or agent who does not have a representative in Atlanta to open and present shipments for exam. Please email email@example.com to request assistance and information will be forwarded regarding set up and scheduling.
We have summarized this all in a letter which you can download here.