Guidance

Show your CITES import permit at the first point of entry in to the UK (CIP14)

Check the legal requirement to show your CITES import permit for wildlife and fauna at the first point of entry to the UK, and before you move the goods to temporary storage.

Goods subject to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) controls arriving in the UK from outside the EU must be accompanied by the CITES EU import permit or import notification form, and a valid CITES export permit or CITES certificate of origin, issued by the country from where the goods originated.

You must present these documents to Border Force at the first point of entry in the UK and before the CITES goods are removed to a customs temporary storage facility.

There is also a mandatory requirement to present CITES export permits for CITES controlled goods to Border Force, for endorsement at the last point of exit from the UK, if destined for a place outside of the EU.

This is to remind all companies who import or export goods covered by Council Regulation 338/97 about the legal requirement to present both CITES import and export permit forms.

At import, import permits or import notification forms must be presented with a valid CITES export permit or valid CITES certificate of origin issued by the country from where the goods originated.

These documents must be presented to Border Force at the first point of entry into the EU if entering the EU via the UK. Failure to present either of these forms will render the import void and your goods may be seized.

CITES controlled goods that are being exported from the UK to a place outside of the EU must be accompanied by a relevant CITES export permit which must be presented to Border Force at the last point of exit in the UK. Failure to have the permit endorsed may lead to your goods being detained or seized in the country of destination.

Border Force has received a high volume of enquiries from companies asking to be allowed to bypass the requirement to present CITES import permits or import notification forms for Border Force endorsement, and the supporting export permits or export notification forms for inspection, prior to goods being moved to a temporary storage facility.

CITES requirements are outlined in EU legislation, Council Regulation 338/97 and the Implementing Provisions Commission Regulation 865/2006 and are applicable to all member states.

Council Regulation 338/97:

  • Article 4 requires presentation of CITES documentation and completion of necessary checks at the border customs office at the point of introduction
  • Article 5 requires presentation of CITES documentation and completion of necessary checks at the border customs office at the point of exit

Further information

For further information email: citesteam@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

You can find guidance on the import and export of protected species and legislation for wildlife.

Read Your Charter to find out what you can expect from HMRC and what we expect from you.

Published 16 October 2018