Wildlife trade regulations in the European Union

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[tweetmeme http://www.URL.com] A recent publication from the EU highlights steps being taken to regulate trade in wildlife to ensure not only the protection of the environment and sustainable management of wildlife resources, but also consumer safety.  The introduction to this good overview reads:

As one of the most important consumer markets of wild animals and plants, their parts and derivatives, the European Union (EU) has a special responsibility for ensuring that trade in wildlife and wildlife products is sustainable and does not lead to species concerned becoming endangered. For many years, legislation to rule properly this trade has been a conservation priority and, since 1984, the European Union (then the European Economic Community) has been implementing the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) through the EC Wildlife Trade Regulations, referred to henceforth as the EU wildlife trade regulations.

The competence for regulating trade in wildlife within Europe lies with the European Union. The European Commission oversees the application of European Union legislation. The EU is however restricted in playing its role to the fullest, as it is currently not allowed to become a Party to the Convention. As one of the earliest Multilateral Environmental Agreements, the Convention only foresaw membership by States. Since then it has become common for Multilateral Environmental Agreements to allow membership by Regional Economic Integration Organisations (REIOs), i.e. supranational organizations constituted by sovereign States that have transferred all or part of their competences to them. The Gaborone amendment to CITES, which was adopted at the 4th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 1983, would allow for accession by REIOs, and thus would enable the European Union to become a Party to the Convention. It has however not entered into force yet.

This guide is to be used as a ‘beginners guide’ or first reference material by anyone who wants to gain a quick overview of CITES and the EU wildlife trade regulations and their main provisions. It is by no means exhaustive; it is intended to provide people who are new to the subject of wildlife trade and CITES with a brief summary of the main issues. A more detailed Reference Guide to the EC Wildlife Trade Regulations, that explains all the relevant provisions as well as the procedures for trading in wildlife species covered by CITES and the EU wildlife trade regulations, is available in English on the following website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/home_en.htm.

Read the full publication here in PDF format.

Citation: Wildlife trade regulations in the European Union – An introduction to CITES and its implementation in the European Union,  Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2010,ISBN 978-92-79-15148-4, doi:10.2779/21758

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