There are many doubts that can be generated about the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, better known as CITES, for its acronym in English.
At eGlobe we have enough experience and professionalism to be able to advise and help on the subject.
What is CITES?
CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its purpose is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not constitute a threat to the survival of the species.
Since trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, its regulation requires international cooperation in order to protect certain species from overexploitation. CITES was conceived in this spirit of cooperation. Today, it offers varying degrees of protection to more than 37,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.
CITES frequently asked questions
The CITES Convention is sometimes complex to understand, which is why doubts always arise in this regard, whether by traders, users of the community itself, students of it or the simple general public.
That is why at eGlobe we want to help with possible doubts that you may have.
How can I know if a species is regulated by the CITES Convention?
In the first place, it is necessary to know the scientific name of the species since it is the internationally accepted way to designate it.
If only the common name of the animal or plant in question is known, the accepted scientific name with which it corresponds must first be verified in order to determine its legal status.
To know the accepted scientific names, as well as their common names and their regulation, you can consult this link.
Does the CITES Convention apply equally to all countries?
The decisions approved by the signatory countries of the CITES Convention (signed by the majority of countries in the world) in their periodic meetings, called Conferences of the Parties, are binding for their members. However, countries can decide on stricter rules in their States. This is the case of the EU, which applies more demanding CITES regulations in some aspects.
The 27 Member States of the EU apply common legislation, including CITES legislation. This means that the species whose traffic is restricted or prohibited in one EU Member State, will also be restricted in the rest. Union legislation does, however, allow the application of national rules or particularities.
In the “Legislation” section of the CITES website, you can find more information on international, European and national standards.
Can I obtain a complete list of the species included in the CITES Convention?
The CITES Secretariat publishes on its website an updated compilation of Appendices I, II and III of the CITES Convention.
In the case of the EU, the last published Regulation that includes the modifications in Annexes A, B, C and D that apply to the Agreement is Regulation 2019/2117 of the Commission, dated November 29, 2019.
What is a CITES Private Property Certificate?
The CITES Private Ownership Certificate allows an individual to travel through several countries for three consecutive years with his CITES pet without the need to obtain a CITES import or export permit each time he enters or leaves the EU.
This certificate is valid for live animals included in Annexes A, B or C of Regulation (EC) 338/97 legally acquired whose possession is for personal purposes (pets), never for commercial purposes.
What do I need to import a specimen included in Annex A into the EU?
Firstly, a CITES export permit from the country of departure (ie a non-EU country) is required. With a copy of this document, you must request, before importing the merchandise, the corresponding CITES import permit in the country of destination in the EU. In the case of Spain, this permit can be requested at the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
The CITES import itself must be cleared through customs through one of the Border Inspection Points (BIPs) authorized for the entry or exit of CITES specimens.
What are the authorized points for the dispatch of CITES merchandise?
Import and (re)export operations in CITES matters must be cleared through customs through one of the Border Inspection Points (BIPs) authorized in the European Union for the entry/exit of CITES goods.
Does the issuance of CITES documents have any cost?
In the case of Spain, the application, management and issuance of CITES permits and certificates entail the payment of a CITES fee included in the second additional provision of Law 32/2007. Only Prior Import Permits and Import Notifications are exempt from paying the fee.
In the “Permits and certificates” section of the website of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, you can find more detailed information on this subject.
What can happen if you do not have the necessary CITES documents?
If at the time of the introduction or exit of CITES merchandise through one of the EU borders you do not have the necessary CITES documents, the merchandise can be confiscated, initiating a sanctioning procedure that can lead to the payment of a fine or imprisonment. Similar regulations apply at the national level in the case of possession, sale and offer for sale of CITES specimens without the required documentation.