Guidance

Trading and moving endangered species protected by CITES if there’s no withdrawal deal

Prepare for the rules and processes that will apply to trading or moving endangered animals or plants listed under CITES, or their products if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Rules from 29 March 2019

This guidance outlines how the UK will continue to comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

It explains the different rules that will apply.

CITES-listed species are listed in Annexes A to D of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.

Species in Annex A have the highest level of protection. You’ll still need to apply for a certificate to use an Annex A specimen commercially.

Annex B, C and D species can currently be freely traded in the EU.

The main change will be that you’ll need CITES permits to move CITES goods between the UK and the EU for species listed in Annexes B to D.

Trading with the EU

It will no longer be possible to freely move or trade species listed in Annex B – D between the UK and the EU.

You’ll need to apply for a CITES permit or complete an import/export notification and follow the current processes for trade or movement between the UK and non-EU countries.

You’ll need to check the requirements for the EU country you are importing from or exporting to on the CITES website.

The exact process will depend on the Annex in which the species is listed.

Annex A and B

To import species listed in Annex A and B to the UK from the EU, you’ll need an:

  • export permit (or re-export certificate) from the exporting EU country
  • import permit from Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

To export species listed in Annex A and B from the UK to the EU, you’ll need an:

  • export permit (or re-export certificate) from APHA
  • import permit from the exporting EU country

Annex C

To import species listed in Annex C to the UK from the EU, you’ll need an:

  • export permit (or re-export certificate) from the exporting EU country
  • import notification on entry to the UK

To export species listed in Annex C from the UK to the EU, you’ll need an:

  • export permit (or re-export certificate) from APHA
  • import notification on entry to the EU country

Annex D

For species listed in Annex D, you’ll need an import notification on entry for:

  • imports to the UK from the EU
  • exports from the UK to an EU country

Points of entry and exit

From 29 March, you’ll need to use a designated point of entry and exit when trading with the EU. When trading with the EU, you’ll need to:

  • consider routes and border entry points to the UK that you’re allowed to use
  • make sure there are suitable facilities for handling live animals (if appropriate to your shipment)

You can check the designated points of entry and exit guidance to check your port is suitable for your goods.

Exemptions

In certain circumstances, you may be exempt from needing to comply with CITES regulations. You may find the CITES EU Reference Guide Chapter 3.6 useful.

If you think an exemption applies, check with the relevant CITES Management Authorities. You may then be allowed to follow a simplified process.

Existing guidance

Find out more on how to apply for a CITES permit in the UK. This includes the current fees for CITES permits.

See further guidance on exporting licences and special rules.

See also the guidance on Border Inspection Posts (BIPs), which are approved facilities for carrying out checks on animals and animal products from third countries.

Published 16 January 2019