CITES – The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
The global trade in wildlife and wildlife products involves thousands of species of animals and plants, which are traded in a wide variety of forms.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was drafted in 1973 in response to the decline in wild populations of many animal and plant species as a result of unregulated international trade. CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975 and became enforceable under Australian law on 27 October 1976.
Every signatory to CITES is required to designate a management authority responsible for administering CITES in that nation. The management authority has particular responsibility for issuing permits, compliance, enforcement and reporting matters.
The work of the management authority is supported by a scientific authority. A major function of the scientific authority is to determine whether exports would be detrimental to the survival of the species, before the management authority permits their export.
In Australia, both the management and scientific authorities are located within the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. CITES is administered under Part 13A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).
Like many signatories, Australia relies on its customs service to implement CITES at national borders. Contact details for other CITES authorities around the world may be found on the CITES website.