Import and export of specially protected animal species
Rules for the import and export of protected animal species is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (heirenafter “CITES”), which aims to protect endangered animals and plants from extinction in nature .
CITES divides these animals and plants into annexes of several categories according to the degree of danger:
- Annex A contains the most endangered species with which any international trade is prohibited.
- Annex B includes species whose trading is internationally restricted and subject to surveillance.
- Annex C includes locally endangered species for which trade is only controlled and restricted at international level in certain regions.
- Annex D, in accordance with EU regulations, includes species not on CITES lists. Imports of specimens of these species into the EU are not restricted, only the extent is monitored. If the extent of imports of specimens from the wild do not comply with nature protection, they can be reassigned to Annex A or B.
If you want to have an animal, which is on to the CITES list, you must prove that you have obtained it legally. Just a contract of purchase may not be enough. The Convention regulates imports of animals by the following rules:
- Imports of species from Annexes A and B (according to EU legislation) require the CITES export license from the country of origin and the Czech Republic import license, which have to be submitted to the customs office upon entrance into to the EU.
- When importing specimens from Annexes C and D, the import notification form (forms available at the customs office) must be filled in when entering the EU at the customs office; see section What is CITES), an export license from the country of origin is also required.
Permission to export and import specimens across the EU’s external borders is issued for Czech entities by the Ministry of the Environment. When exporting to non-EU countries:
- Export authorization of the Czech Republic is required to export specimens from Annex A, B and C.
- No CITES permit is required to export specimens from Annex D.
- When artificially grown plants are exported, CITES export permit replaces plant health certificate
In case of import or export without authorization and violation of CITES the czech customers can impose a fine up to 100 000 CZK (in case of entrepreneurs and companies up to 1 000 000 CZK). Illegal imported specimens will be confiscated in most cases. The person concerned can also be punished under the Criminal Code, by imprisonment up to 8 years, disqualification or a fine. It must be in many countries, illegal exports are penalized not only under CITES but also under the local law.
For more information please contact:
Monika Rutland, partner
rutland & partners, advokátní kancelář s.r.o.