Cites Permit

CITES is an international agreement between governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1973 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 33,000 species of animals and plants.

CITES is one of the largest conservation agreements in existence. Participation is voluntary, and countries that have agreed to be bound by the Convention are known as Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to make sure that CITES is implemented at the national level. Often, domestic legislation is either non-existent (especially in Parties that have not ratified it), or with penalties incommensurate with the gravity of the crime and insufficient deterrents to wildlife traders. As of 2002, 50% of Parties lacked one or more of the four major requirements for a Party: designation of Management and Scientific Authorities (see below); laws prohibiting the trade in violation of CITES; penalties for such trade; laws providing for the confiscation of specimens.

CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of listed species to certain controls. These require that all import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a permitting system.

Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering the licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to provide advice about the effects of any proposed trade on the status of the species.