Rolls-Royce Phantom seized by authorities for crocodile leather interior
For many high-end luxury vehicles, the sky is the limit when it comes to customization. Even so, it’s not uncommon for buyers to use a third-party store to customize a vehicle as they wish. This Rolls-Royce Phantom was seized by Italian customs after part of the interior was revealed to be covered in leather from an endangered crocodile.
While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Phantom outfitted with rare earth materials, we’ve never seen anything like it. In stark contrast to this monstrosity, the use of Hermès leather and Hawaiian koa wood on the dashboard is perfectly legal.
Rumor has it that the re-upholstered Phantom was imported from Russia to Italy. Going unnoticed, it was reportedly on its way to an exotic car dealership in Rome to be resold. Unfortunately, it was deemed a bit too exotic and was confiscated by customs.
Obviously, the new interior was added by an aftermarket shop and was not certified by Rolls-Royce in any capacity. Aside from its poor fit and finish, the crocodile is listed as a protected species under the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Contrary to popular belief, products can legally be made from crocodile and alligator leather. This requires a CITES clearance certificate for the material to be used in the 160 countries under its jurisdiction – including Italy. While any action remains to be seen in court, the vehicle owner could face hefty fines and will likely have to remove the interior.
Information remains scarce, but we stick to the factory leather accessories available from Rolls-Royce. Please let us know your thoughts on the croc leather interior in the comments below.