A Brief Introduction to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Author: Service Division II – Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA
View date: 21-01-2020
1.What is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora?
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora abbreviated as CITES; is also known as the "Washington Convention" because it was signed by 21 countries in Washington, DC in 1973. The 25 articles of the Convention aim to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild and protection is accorded through international cooperation.
In 1911, Swiss environmental expert, PAUL SARASIN, called for restrictions on the import and export of bird species plumage but was not taken seriously; in 1963, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources(IUCN) chanted the support to formulate an international convention to establish rules to restrict the import, export and exchange of rare or endangered species as well as the stripping of the hides and other parts of the animal for commemorative purposes. It was not until 1973 that 21 countries signed the Convention in Washington, D.C.; however, the signing of the Convention was not binding at that time, and it was not until 1 July 1975 that the tenth signatory country formally submitted its instrument of ratification 90 days after its formal right of execution. Currently, CITES has 183 member states (Our country is not a member state)
3.International management method:
CITES has included three appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora:
Appendix I: Included for are species that are threatened with extinction and are or may be affected by trade. Commercial trade in wild-caught specimens of these species is illegal. Special strict control must be established so as not to endanger their survival. Any trade in these species requires export and import permits.
If it is an input, it should be approved first and the Import Permit and Export Permit or Re-Export Permit should be submitted; if it is Re-export, it should be approved and the Re-export Permit should be submitted, but there are certain conditions for the issue of Permit.
Appendix II: Included for are species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction but may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation to avoid utilization incompatible with the survival of the species in the wild. There will still be the possibility of extinction in the future unless the species mentioned in Appendix 1 of the trade are effectively and strictly controlled. If it is an input, it should be approved first and the import permit and Export Permit or Re-Export Permit should be submitted; if it is Re-Export, it should be approved and the Re-Export Permit should be submitted, but there are certain conditions for the issue of Permit.
Appendix III: Includes all species specified by any Member Country which are subject to control under the jurisdiction of that Member Country for the purpose of preventing or limiting abuse and which require the cooperation of other Member Countries for effective control of the trade; when importing, the certificate of origin should be submitted beforehand. If the state of origin is listed in Appendix III, the export permit of the exporting country should be submitted when importing from that country; if it is a re-export, the regulatory agency of the re-export country is required, the issued certificate proves that the specimen has been processed in the country or re-exported to that country and shall be accepted as evidence that the specimen has met the provisions of this Convention.
4.Our country’s implementation:
To comply with the relevant CITES regulations, our country has included the above-mentioned exporting/importing management of endangered species of wild flora and fauna in the "other export/import management" of the "Consolidated List of Commodities Subject to Export/Import restrictions" per Article 11 of the Foreign Trade Act. Besides, to respond to the International Convention into domestic laws, this Ministry has amended the Foreign Trade Act in 2010 to include Subparagraph 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 13 which stipulates that "exportation of endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and products thereof, is not allowed without authorization by the competent authority. No importation is allowed without submitting an export permit issued by the exporting country.” Also, Paragraph 4 of the same Article stipulates that “permit application requirements, conditions, and procedures, revocation nullifications, regulations for import/export, and any other matters required for compliance, as referred to in Paragraph 1 of this Article, shall be prescribed by the competent authority.” On 16 August 2010, this Ministry formulated and issued the "Regulations on Import and Export of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna, Flora, and Related Products" and on August 18th, published a Controlled List of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Subsequently, the Ministry, under the resolutions of the various sessions of the CITES General Assembly and the CITES Secretariat's notification messages, announced amendments to Taiwan’s Controlled List of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.