The reason USFWS had given for delaying these permits was that they simply did not have the time or personnel to make what's called a non-detriment determination on Tanzanian elephant. You see, although CITES has established an acceptable export quota for elephant from Tanzania, USFWS has taken the position that its Division of Scientific Authority must review the population figures on Tanzania's elephants and make its own determination that sporthunting will not be detrimental to the survival of the species. Only after making such a finding will the USFWS Division of Management Authority be authorized to issue its own import permits to US hunters who wish to bring home any elephant trophies from Tanzania.
The Service found the time and staff necessary to make a non-detriment finding only after John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force served them with a 60-day notice of intent to sue. Just days before Jackson planned to file suit, he received word that permits were being issued and that hunters who applied should receive them soon. A few applicants who applied early in the year may need to re-apply because the Service is treating their applications as "abandoned." If you have taken an elephant in Tanzania this season, make sure your trophy is not shipped until you have an import permit issued to you by USFWS or they will seize your trophy.