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WILDLIFE TRADE REGULATIONS (WTR) -HARSHER DOMESTIC MEASURES

Comment 24th August 2010

These regulations implement CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) in the EU and therefore the UK. Before any species in trade in CITES Appendix II species is permitted, the scientific authorities of the exporting countries are required to make a non-detriment finding that the export will not adversely impact a species survival in the wild.

The WTR require that a number of “harsher domestic measures” are applied. Among these measures is the requirement that before import UK authorities must also complete a non detriment finding. In effect ,this just repeats the work undertaken by the scientific authorities in the exporting country.

In total the harsher domestic measures in the UK can be estimated to cost almost £1 million pa (approximately 25% of the annual budget of the CITES Secretariat in Geneva). This cost burden on industry that provides for administrative capacity in UK government agencies rather than direct on the ground conservation benefits or capacity in the range states of CITES listed species in trade. In many instances the import charges exceed the price paid for species from the exporting country.

Why does this matter?

Avoids costs not incurred in other member states. A review may balance the administrative costs of harsher domestic measures with the conservation benefits achieved, if any, of them.

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