Importing or Exporting a CITES controlled species?

CITES restricted goods require certificates to accompany them upon import or export from a signatory country. There are 180 currently signed up to the convention. The rules are in place to protect species of all kinds. All countries signed up must abide by the controls in place.  The rules are broken down into Annexes A / B / C / D depending on the level of protection and controls a species needs. These Annexes are then associated to the species listed in Appendices I / II / II. A full list can be found on the CITES website.

All movements, to a third country must be accompanied by some form of CITES certificate – This could be an import certificate (country you are importing to), and export certificate (country you are exporting from) or both.

Your situation (reason for import) can dictate the rules and any derogation’s from them that may be applicable as well as what the controlled goods are. For example:

  • If you’re a non-eu resident transferring your residence to the UK,
  • if you’re re-importing a piano with Ivory Keys,
  • or if the items are Annex A, B, C or D listed.

The correct procedures can be complex so you should always ask your customs agent or freight forwarder for information and guidance prior to the loading of your goods. Failure to have the correct CITES documentation is down to the private individual and can result in your goods being seized and destroyed at the border. Controlled species must be customs cleared at the point of entry into the UK and should not be moved elsewhere until clearance has taken place.

We are experienced in dealing with CITES formalities and will gladly offer guidance prior to submitting customs declarations on your behalf. Even with our knowledge in this area our experience dictates that we will make customs aware in advance of arrival to do our best to avoid any issues. We will speak to DEFRA /APHA agencies, where required, to ensure the we are following the correct procedures.

If you have a CITES requirement then please contact us providing as much detail as possible.