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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/trading-and-moving-endangered-species-protected-by-cites-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/trading-and-moving-endangered-species-protected-by-cites-if-theres-no-brexit-deal
Delivering the deal negotiated with the EU remains the government’s top priority. This has not changed.
However, the government must prepare for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario. For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure that the UK is prepared to leave the EU on March 29 2019.
It has always been the case that as we get nearer to that date, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. We must ensure plans are in place should they need to be relied upon.
In the summer, the government published a series of 106 Technical Notices setting out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a no deal scenario so they can make informed plans and preparations.
This Technical Notice offers guidance for continued planning in the event of no deal.
Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit.
We are working with the devolved administrations on Technical Notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.
This notice sets out how people who trade in, or travel with, endangered animals or plants, or their products, would be affected if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal.
It outlines how the UK would continue to comply with its international obligations under the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) if no deal is reached with the EU. CITES is an international treaty which protects wildlife from unsustainable trade.
Before 29 March 2019
Global trade and movement of endangered animals or plants, or their products (for example skin, fur, teeth, shell, feathers, blood or seeds) is controlled under CITES. In the EU, CITES is implemented via the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, which set requirements for trade in certain species within, to and from the EU and the rest of the world.
All CITES-listed species are contained within Annexes A to D of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations. The Species+ database includes details of all CITES-listed species.
Annex A species have the highest level of protection - in the EU, their commercial use is prohibited except where a certificate has been issued for a specific prescribed purpose, for example for an antique-worked artefact. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is responsible for issuing permits and certificates.
Annex B, C and D species can currently be freely traded in the EU. Commonly traded Annex B items include caviar, snowdrops, orchids, corals, reptiles (for example pythons), and many animal skins used in the manufacture of bags and watch straps (for example alligator skin). Permits are currently needed to move or trade Annex B, C and D species outside the EU.
As the UK is a party to CITES in its own right, it will continue to be bound by the obligations of the Convention after leaving the EU, regardless of the outcome of negotiations. Through transferring the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations into UK law, the UK will continue to comply with its international obligations under CITES.
After March 2019 if there’s no deal
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, species that are currently freely moved and traded between the UK and the EU (those listed in Annexes B - D) would require a CITES permit or import/export notification. This would mean movement of all species controlled under CITES between the UK and the EU would need to follow the same processes as those currently in place for movement between the UK and non-EU countries.
The exact process would depend on the Annex under which the species is listed.
Businesses or individuals trading in or moving endangered species outside the UK would need to check the specific requirements with the intended import or export country on the Global CITES website, and either apply to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for a CITES permit or request and complete an import notification form.
For Annex A and B listed species:
- imports to the UK from the EU would need an export permit (or re-export certificate) from the EU country the item is moving from, and an import permit from APHA.
- exports from the UK to the EU would need an export permit (or re-export certificate) from APHA and an import permit from the relevant EU member state.
For Annex C listed species:
- imports to the UK from the EU would need an export permit (or re-export certificate) from the relevant EU country and an import notification on entry to the UK.
- exports from the UK to the EU would need an export permit (or re-export certificate) from APHA and an import notification on entry to the EU country.
For Annex D listed species:
- imports to the UK from the EU would need an import notification on entry to the UK.
- exports from the UK to the EU would need an import notification on entry to the EU member state.
Those importing species from the EU would need to consider the routes and points of entry to the UK that are allowed for import and export of species, including making sure that suitable facilities are in place for handling live animals and ensuring they use an appropriate land, sea or air port for the shipment. Read the guidance on CITES-designated points of entry or exit if there’s no Brexit deal..
In certain prescribed circumstances, there are exemptions from needing to comply with CITES regulations, meaning a simplified process. For example, a permit is often not required for captive-bred and artificially-propagated plants, personal and household effects and exchanges between scientific institutions.
Information on Border inspection Posts (BIPs), which are approved facilities for carrying out checks on animals and animal products from third countries, can be found here.
This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.
It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.
The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.
The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.
It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.
Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.