Anima (Crocodylus johnsoni) in Australia - Photo de Guillaume Blanchard (Fujifilm S6900, mars 2003) - licence CC-BY-SA

The International Reptile Leather Association (IRV)

Since the Offenbach-based International Reptile Leather Association was founded in 1972, its approaches to solutions have led to an efficient endangered species protection identification method. After several years of developmental work, the pioneering result could be presented with the endangered species protection tag, which gained (and still enjoys) considerable respect. The sponsor of the reptile leather ID system is the non-profit Reptile Species Protection Association, founded in 1985, whose members include important leather suppliers, manufacturers and processors, as well as retailers selling exotic leather.

The reptile leather goods ID system with the endangered species protection tag, recognized since 1987 by the German federal authorities as proof of legality for goods complying fully with the endangered species protection law, has proven effective in practice as reliable alternative to the CITES proof regulation.

The endangered species protection tag

The coded information on the endangered species protection tag allows extensive plausibility checks of the goods. For this reason, the final consumer should also leave the tag on the product or store it as proof.

Proof of origin

The IRV identification system with the endangered species protection tag is considered to be the only functional identification process for finished goods made of reptile leather. It is based on a fully developed registration program.


I am jeweler/final consumer and need import documents
Re-exports or legal imports can be applied for at the Federal Office for Nature Conservation, possibly also to prove the application for sale permits at authorities, it is indispensable to submit a copy of the import CITES. They can be easily obtained from the business office. Just call or contact us via e-mail or fax. We will always do our best to make the desired papers available to you without long waiting periods.
Explanations about the application process at the Federal Office for Nature Conservation are found in und

I inherited an old handbag/a suitcase/a wallet/another item made of reptile leather – what can I do?
In this case, please contact an independent appraiser of your choice who specializes in the appraisal or reptile leather goods. The addresses are found on line or in the Yellow Pages. Unfortunately, the Reptile Species Protection Association has no such list. We will gladly send you the addresses of the appraisers with whom our association works. For this purpose, you should have photos available of your reptile leather product that you would like to attach. However, no appraisal can be made yet based on these photos. Therefore, you should be willing to send your product to the appraiser of your choice via registered mail or freight service provider. Keep in mind that estimates cannot be made. An appraisal costs between 25.00 and 50.00 euros, depending on the determination effort.

When can I expect the endangered species protection tag to be delivered?
Generally, you receive your tags very quickly (i.e. within 2 to 3 business days) as long as you have submitted all required papers (invoice, CITES and/or import documentation, etc.). Nonetheless, bottlenecks can occur not only during peak times such as the pre-Christmas season (which can possibly already start in October), but also during holidays or in case of illness. We thank you for your understanding.

Selling the handbag and the like on line
The IRV endangered species protection tag is generally enough for this. If no endangered species protection tag is available, an appraisal is necessary, possibly also a marketing approval of the competent nature conservation authority. In addition, all item descriptions for stuffed animals must contain exact information about the animal species and origin of the stuffed animal, so that trade with protected species can be ruled out.

Trading platforms like ebay often have their own guidelines for marketing reptile leather products.

Why does the yellow Cites document remain with the IRV?
The holder's copies (yellow) remain at the IRV, as it basically takes over the accounting for the member companies and the yellow copy should remain in the importer's documents. In case of doubt, the yellow copy is proof of legal importing.

How and where do I receive an endangered species protection tag for my reptile leather product(s)?
To get an endangered species protection tag, you must first join the Reptile Species Protection Association. Members apply for the inclusion of a certain leather quantity, which falls under the provisions of the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and its implementing rules, in the registration system by submitting the original documents required for trading with these kinds of leather.

If after checking all documents there is no doubt that the import is legal, the process is registered and labeled. The original document is stored in the registration office and the applicant receives a copy of his documents which also serves as confirmation of the registration of the leather quantity in the association's system. If legal importation is in doubt, the inclusion of the imported quantity can be rejected. It must be expressly pointed out here that an endangered species protection tag does not replace the necessary CITES import or export documents. You can obtain them from the Federal Office for Nature Conservation under

(How) can I become a member of the IRV/RA and how much does it cost?
Only members of the trade (tanners, leather merchants, leather goods manufacturers, watchband manufacturers and the like) can join. The registration system is not intended for private use.

The Reptile Species Protection Association was founded as sponsor of the registration and identification system's 'endangered species protection tag'. As umbrella organization, the International Reptile Leather Association keeps functioning as well. For this reason, membership in both associations is always recommended.

The IRV member contribution is currently at least 260 euros a year (depending on how many employees work with reptile leather). The joining fee amounts to three annual contributions.

The joining contribution for the RA is 3,850 euros (for processors having up to 3 employees in the reptile leather area). IRV members pay half of this amount. Current contributions are calculated according to the number and type of the endangered species protection tags requested. The contribution rules can be requested from the business office.

The endangered species protection tags are attached to the reptile leather goods with IRV lead seals. Special lead pliers are required for this, which can be currently purchased for 210 euros, the corresponding lead seals and counter rings for 67.40 euros per 1000 pieces.
Please contact the business office to request the membership documentation.

You can also find additional information in

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Current information


Internationaler Reptillederverband e.V.
  Berliner Straße 48
     63065 Offenbach
  +49 69 82 97 41 - 31
  +49 69 82 97 41 - 41

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