Notification to the Parties
No. 913 Geneva, 24 April 1996
TRADE IN SPECIMENS OF APPENDIX-I SPECIES BRED IN CAPTIVITY
1. Article VII, paragraphs 4 and 5, of the Convention provide special provisions for specimens of species included in Appendices I, II and III bred in captivity.
2. As the Convention does not provide definitions for the terms "bred in captivity" and "non-commercial purposes" used in Article VII, the Conference of the Parties has adopted various Resolutions to minimize divergences in the implementation of the Convention by the Parties and also to prevent CITES being circumvented through the abuse of the provisions of Article VII.
3. At its ninth meeting (Fort Lauderdale, 1994), the Conference of the Parties recognized that in spite of these Resolutions problems still existed and it directed the Secretariat to prepare, in consultation with the Animals Committee, a draft resolution regarding the above-mentioned special provisions. The Secretariat and the Animals Committee are co-operating on this issue and a draft resolution will be submitted for consideration at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
4. On many occasions, the Secretariat has been consulted on the validity of export permits or certificates concerning specimens declared as bred in captivity. It has also raised questions on many occasions regarding the implementation of the Convention in relation to trade in such specimens. In all cases, the Secretariat has endeavoured to follow strictly the text of the Convention and of the relevant Resolutions of the Conference of the Parties in making its recommendations. Nevertheless, it does recognize that, because of the lack of clarity of some of these texts and of because of some real, or at least apparent, contradictions between the various texts to take into consideration, some variations have appeared in these recommendations.
5. Considering the number of cases, which have generated considerable correspondence between the Secretariat and some Parties, traders and others, the Secretariat is sending to the Parties the attached document, which provides the position that the Secretariat will follow from now on and until a new comprehensive resolution on the subject is adopted by the Conference of the Parties.
6. The position of the Secretariat may be considered by certain people as an impediment to legitimate trade in captive-bred specimens. Other people may consider it to be too lax to prevent abuses because it appears less strict than Resolution Conf. 8.15 in not requiring the registration of all operations that breed specimens of Appendix-I species in captivity for commercial purposes before they may export any such specimen. The Secretariat considers however that its position is correctly balanced and may avoid abuses if it is properly implemented by the Parties. To achieve this however, the importing Parties must, in particular, be strict in checking the purposes of imports and must fully implement Resolution Conf. 5.10 on the definition of "primarily commercial purposes", as indicated in paragraph 12. of the attached document.
7. In cases of doubt regarding this issue, it is recommended that the Parties consult the Secretariat.
TRADE IN SPECIMENS OF APPENDIX-I SPECIES BRED IN CAPTIVITY
POSITION OF THE CITES SECRETARIAT
Provisions of the Convention and of Resolutions of the Conference of the Parties
1. Article VII, paragraph 4, of the Convention provides that specimens of an animal species included in Appendix I bred in captivity for commercial purposes shall be deemed to be specimens of species included in Appendix II.
2. Article VII, paragraph 5, of the Convention provides that, where a Management Authority of the State of export is satisfied that any specimen of an animal species was bred in captivity, or is a part of such an animal or was derived therefrom, a certificate issued by that Management Authority to that effect shall be accepted in lieu of any of the permits or certificates required under the provisions of Article III, IV or V.
3. Paragraph a) of Resolution Conf. 2.12 (Rev.), reflecting the distinction between paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article VII of CITES, recommends that specimens of animal species included in Appendix I, bred in captivity for commercial purposes, shall not be exempted from the requirements of Article IV by the granting of certificates stating that they were bred in captivity.
4. In Resolution Conf. 9.3, for specimens of Appendix-I species, the source codes in paragraph j) under the second RECOMMENDS apply as follows:
'D' to specimens that are bred in captivity for commercial purposes and traded under the provisions of Article VII, paragraph 4; and
'C' to specimens that are bred in captivity for non-commercial purposes and traded under the provisions of Article VII, paragraph 5.
5. Paragraph j) in the operative part of Resolution Conf. 8.15 resolves that Parties shall restrict commercial imports of captive-bred specimens of species included in Appendix I to those produced by registered breeding operations.
6. Paragraph b) of Annex 4 to Resolution Conf. 8.15 resolves that Parties shall reject any document granted under Article VII, paragraph 4, if the specimens concerned do not originate from a registered breeding operation.
7. Only specimens of Appendix-I species bred in captivity for commercial purposes in a registered operation may be traded under the provisions of Article VII, paragraph 4. They may be imported for commercial or non-commercial purposes (see paragraphs 5 and 6 above).
8. Irrespective of the registration of the operation in which they are bred, specimens of Appendix-I species bred in captivity for commercial purposes may not be traded under the provisions of Article VII, paragraph 5 (see paragraphs 1 and 3 above).
9. Specimens of Appendix-I species bred in captivity for non-commercial purposes may be exported only under the provisions of Article VII, paragraph 5, and the import of them may be accepted only if it is also for non-commercial purposes (see paragraphs 2 and 5 above).
10. No imports, and therefore no trade, may be authorized of specimens of Appendix-I species bred in captivity for commercial purposes in an operation that is not registered with the CITES Secretariat (see paragraphs 5 and 6 above).
Recommendation from the Secretariat
11. Resolution Conf. 8.15 (see paragraph 10 above) is more restrictive for specimens of Appendix-I species bred in captivity than the text of the Convention is for wild specimens of the same species. This does not appear logical. The Secretariat considers that the trade in specimens of Appendix-I species bred in captivity for commercial purposes in an operation that is not registered with the Secretariat might be authorized under stricter domestic measures taken in accordance with the provisions of Article XIV, paragraph 1. Therefore, although the source code "D" should be used for such specimens, they should be treated as wild specimens and therefore be subject to requirements equivalent to those of Article III. This means that, although the measures applied would be stricter than the Convention, they would be less strict than some of the provisions of Resolution Conf. 8.15. In this case, an import permit is required, and it may only be issued for an import for non-commercial purposes. On the basis of such an import permit, the country of export may issue an export permit. However, if the country of import does not wish to implement the same stricter measure and refuses to issue an import permit, the country of export may not issue an export permit.
12. The Secretariat urges those Parties that intend to implement the above recommendation to strictly implement requirements equivalent to those of Article III. In addition, they must fully implement Resolution Conf. 5.10, one of the general principles of which is:
"The term 'commercial purposes' should be defined by the country of import as broadly as possible so that any transaction which is not wholly 'non-commercial' will be regarded as 'commercial'. In transposing this principle to the term 'primarily commercial purposes', it is agreed that all uses whose non-commercial aspects do not clearly predominate shall be considered to be primarily commercial in nature with the result that the importation of Appendix-I specimens should not be permitted. The burden of proof for showing that the intended use of specimens of Appendix-I species is clearly non-commercial shall rest with the person or entity seeking to import such specimens."
13. The table below summarizes the position of the Secretariat.
Is the import possible for
Applicable Article and paragraph
* Except if the specimens are traded in accordance with requirements equivalent to those of Article III (stricter domestic measure taken in accordance with Article XIV, paragraph 1)
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