CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments (remark: 183 Parties). Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). The text of the Convention was finally agreed at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington, D.C., the United States of America, on 3 March 1973, and on 1 July 1975 CITES entered in force.

Widespread information about the endangered status of many prominent species, such as the tiger and elephants, might make the need for such a convention seem obvious. But at the time when the ideas for CITES were first formed, in the 1960s, international discussion of the regulation of wildlife trade for conservation purposes was something relatively new. With hindsight, the need for CITES is clear. Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction. Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered, but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is important in order to safeguard these resources for the future.

Because the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation. CITES was conceived in the spirit of such cooperation. Today, it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 37,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.

[Excerpt, Source: https://cites.org/eng/disc/what.php (Date: 01.06.2021)]


CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.

The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices (https://cites.org/eng/app/index.php), according to the degree of protection they need.

Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.

Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade. Changes to Appendix III follow a distinct procedure from changes to Appendices I and II, as each Party’s is entitled to make unilateral amendments to it.

A specimen of a CITES-listed species may be imported into or exported (or re-exported) from a State party to the Convention only if the appropriate (remark: Cites) document has been obtained and presented for clearance at the port of entry or exit. There is some variation of the requirements from one country to another and it is always necessary to check on the national laws that may be stricter. The basic conditions that apply for Appendices I, II and III are described at https://cites.org/eng/disc/how.php

The CITES Secretariat is not itself directly involved in the process of delivering CITES permits and certificates necessary for transactions involving species listed in the CITES Appendices. This responsibility falls on the CITES Management and CITES Authorities, which are nationally appointed entities that work to implement the Convention within the jurisdictions of all 183 Parties to CITES. Clients (especially for non-EU destinations) should seek to contact these authorities – both in the country of import and the country of export – and comply with the procedures they lay out for them. The full list of national CITES authorities, as well as contact information for each of them, can be found on: (https://cites.org/eng/parties/country-profiles/national-authorities).

[Excerpt, Source: https://cites.org/eng/disc/how.php (Date: 01.06.2021); Email contact with CITES Secretariat 14.06.2021]


For our Customers

Mermaid Supplies exclusively trades species listed in Appendix II (EU Appendix B) or below. These items do have a note in their description and cannot be shipped outside The European Union. We encourage all customers to make themselves familiar with the corresponding laws of their country of destination and our Terms and Conditions (see: https://mermaidsupplies.dk/pages/terms-and-conditions ).

The following link shows a table of Cites listed species. There is no distinction for different parts such as flesh, bone, teeth etc. of an animal. The complete listing is available at: https://cites.org/eng/disc/species.php

Individual species listings with their corresponding history are available at: https://checklist.cites.org/#/en

We do import on our own and keep all Cites import-licenses and related documents. Your invoice will contain the specific Import Permit Number and weight of your item. According to the Bundesamt für Naturschutz (https://www.bfn.de/themen/cites.html) is this sufficient for sales within borders of The European Union. Your Invoice is a document and any misuse (e.g. counterfeit, copying, multiplying, scanning, reuse, unauthorized emit etc.) will be reported and displayed to the corresponding authorities.

We are legally bound to register your purchase and full address in a physical book. This book can be requested by our federal authorities, predominantly the Niedersächsischer Landesbetreib für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz (https://www.nlwkn.niedersachsen.de/startseite/). We value your privacy as much as our own.

More information about the process is available on https://cites.org/eng, https://www.bfn.de/themen/cites.html or your corresponding national authority for nature, wildlife and environment (https://cites.org/eng/parties/country-profiles/national-authorities).