Travelers may now return home with up to three conch shells obtained from the Turks & Caicos Islands, without needing a permit!
The following rule changes have recently been announced regarding the exportation of queen conch shells from the Turks & Caicos Islands, by the Turks & Caicos Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs (DEMA):
- A resolution was made that permits a person to export up to three queen conch shells without a permit, providing they are for non-commercial purposes and are included in their personal luggage.
- The export of more than 3 queen conch shells requires a CITES permit (“Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species”) issued by DEMA. For visitors of Providenciales, this permit must be obtained in person at the local DEMA office located on Lower Bight Road.
- Airport security recommends that passengers carry conch shells in their checked bags, rather than carry-ons, as conch shells may be viewed as weapons.
- The closed season for queen conch exportation is between July 15th through October 15th – however, DEMA is in the process of revising this Fisheries Protection Ordinance to allow for the exportation of conch sells during this time.
These recent conch exportation rule changes mean that guests visiting The Sands at Grace Bay can now happily return home with up to three conch shells in their checked bags, without needing a permit. However, for those who wish to bring home more than three conch shells from their Turks & Caicos trip, a permit must be obtained directly from the DEMA office (located on Lower Bight Road in Providenciales).
For more information or questions regarding the export of CITES-listed species, you may contact the Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs at 1-649-941-5122 (the Providenciales main office number).