Legislative instrument details: CITES

Legal name Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Short name CITES
CELEX reference 21973A0303(01)
Identification number
Issued by United Nations Environment Programme
URL to issuer http://www.unep.org
Parent legislative instrument
Valid from 01/07/1975
Abstract The aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. These require that all imports, exports, re-exports and introductions from the sea of species covered by the Convention have to be authorised through a licensing system.

The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival. Finally, Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.
Reporting framework
Reporting obligations
Comments Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein, is the EU implementation of CITES. It has its own reporting obligations and is listed as a separate instrument