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New Implementing Regulations and update of Europa website on CITES

Description: turtle

The European Commission published two new regulations amending the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations in the Official Journal of the European Union:

The provisions of the new regulations will enter into force on 27 September 2012.

The new regulations amend the so-called Implementing Regulation, Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 (also previously amended in 2008), which lays down detailed rules and practical aspects for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 (the Basic Regulation).  Together, the Basic Regulation and Implementing Regulation implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in the EU. The changes brought in by the new regulations implement certain Resolutions adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES and aim to ensure greater harmonisation and efficiency in the implementation of Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 in the EU.  Amendments are made, for example, to provisions relating to:

  • conditions applying to the identification and marking of specimens;
  • retrospective issue of certain documents;
  • conditions under which personal ownership certificates can be issued;
  • the regime applying to personal and household effects within the EU (as well as to their re-export);
  • conditions under which “Annex A” specimens can be subject to commercial activities within the EU; and
  • conditions applying to pre-issued certificates.

In addition, the new 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 Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 includes revised standard model forms that must be used for permits, certificates, notifications and applications for these documents, as well as labels for scientific specimens.

To reflect the changes brought about by the new regulations, the Reference Guide to the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations has also been updated by TRAFFIC, under contract with the European Commission. The Reference Guide aims to facilitate a better understanding of the legislation and is intended to be used as reference material by CITES Management and Scientific Authorities, wildlife trade enforcement officials, wildlife traders and anyone interested in the legislation and the technicalities of its provisions. The current update also involved a number of changes to its structure, in addition to the inclusion of new sections (for example, in relation to the treatment of EU overseas and dependent territories in relation to wildlife trade issues) and figures (for example, on the regime applicable to so-called “pre-Convention” and “pre-Regulation” specimens), in order to make the Guide more user-friendly. The updated document will replace the current version of the Reference Guide available on the European Commission’s CITES webpages at legis_refguide_en.htm following entry into force of the new regulations.

The CITES webpages of the European Commission have been extensively updated and restructured. The updated website now includes information previously available at, which has been updated and transferred to index_en.htm in order to ensure that all wildlife trade related information in the EU is available at one site. The transfer of the information has been completed in English and is in progress for the other official EU languages, with language versions going on-line as the translations become available.

The European Commission’s CITES webpages now include new sections with information on permits, animal welfare issues , marking, personal and household effects and hunting trophies, captive breeding, wildlife souvenirs and species covered by the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, as well as responses to Frequently Asked Questions.  Additional reports and documents have also been made available (for example TRAFFIC’s fact sheets on caviar) and the Useful Links section has been extended and improved.   The website is no longer updated and will be automatically redirected to index_en.htm as soon as all of the language versions have been transferred.