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Ensuring trade in wild fauna and flora does not threaten their survival

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Ensuring trade in wild fauna and flora does not threaten their survival

The European Union is a major market for legal and illegal wildlife products. It seeks to protect and conserve endangered species through control of trade and movement.

ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein.

SUMMARY

The European Union is a major market for legal and illegal wildlife products. It seeks to protect and conserve endangered species through control of trade and movement.

WHAT DOES THIS REGULATION DO?

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has to be implemented uniformly in all EU countries due to the EU's single market and the absence of systematic border controls. CITES is implemented in the EU by means of a set of regulations known as the EU wildlife trade regulations. EU countries apply rules for the import and export of endangered species of animals and plants, and products derived from them.

KEY POINTS

Trade controls

The import of specimens of endangered species into the EU requires a permit issued by an authority of the EU country of destination or an import notification.

Export from the EU requires an export permit or a re-export certificate issued by an authority of the EU country in which the specimens are located.

Categories of species are outlined in Annexes A to D of the regulation.

Commercial trade in specimens listed in Annex A, for example the cheetah, is prohibited, while movement within the EU of live animals requires prior authorisation.

Movement of a live specimen of a species listed in AnnexesBand C, such as the cobra or the mongoose, is subject to rules on certification and adequate housing and care, while Annex D covers other live animal transits, whole skins and plant products.

Further restrictions may be imposed in specific circumstances, and EU countries may have their own tougher rules.

There are derogations for specimens born and bred in captivity, artificially propagated, forming part of personal effects or destined for scientific institutions.

Organisation and communication

EU countries must:

designate customs offices to carry out the checks,

designate the management and scientific authorities responsible for implementation,

monitor compliance and penalise infringements,

draw up reports and exchange information on implementation, and any permit rejections.

In February 2014 the Commission issued a communication launching the debate on the EU's approach in regard to wildlife trafficking.

WHEN DOES THIS REGULATION APPLY?

From 1 June 1997.

For more information, see also:

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 338/97

3.3.1997

-

OJ L 61, 3.3.1997, pp. 1-69

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1497/2003

30.8.2003

-

OJ L 215, 27.8.2003, pp. 3-84

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003

20.11.2003

-

OJ L 284, 31.10.2003, pp. 1-53

Regulation (EC) No 834/2004

19.5.2004

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OJ L 127, 29.4.2004, pp. 40-42

Regulation (EC) No 1332/2005

22.8.2005

-

OJ L 215, 19.8.2005, pp. 1-60

Regulation (EC) No 398/2009

10.6.2009

-

OJ L 126, 21.5.2009, pp. 5-8

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 338/97 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 of 4 May 2006 laying down detailed rules concerning the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein (OJ L 166, 19.6.2006, pp. 1-69). Consolidated version.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 792/2012 of 23 August 2012 laying down rules for the design of permits, certificates and other documents provided for in Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein and amending Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 (OJ L 242, 7.9.2012, pp. 13-45) Consolidated version.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/57 of 15 January 2015 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 792/2012 as regards the rules for the design of permits, certificates and other documents provided for in Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein and in Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 laying down detailed rules concerning the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 (OJ L 10, 16.1.2015, pp. 19-24).

Council Decision (EU) 2015/451 of 6 March 2015 concerning the accession of the European Union to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (OJ L 75, 19.3.2015, pp. 1-3).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2015/736 of 7 May 2015 prohibiting the introduction into the Union of specimens of certain species of wild fauna and flora (OJ L 117, 8.5.2015, pp. 25-44).

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the EU Approach against Wildlife Trafficking (COM(2014) 64 final, 7.2.2014).

Last updated: 19.05.2015

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