CUSTOMS: Importing CITES Controlled Goods?

If you import and export goods covered by Council Regulation 338/97 then below are the legal requirements for completing the CITES import and export permit forms.


CITES requirements are outlined in EU legislation, Council Regulation 338/97 and the Implementing Provisions Commission Regulation 865/2006 and are applicable to all member states.


Council Regulation 338/97:

  • Article 4 requires presentation of CITES documentation and completion of necessary checks at the border customs office at the point of introduction

  • Article 5 requires presentation of CITES documentation and completion of necessary checks at the border customs office at the point of exit


Goods subject to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Florals arriving in the UK from outside the EU must be accompanied by the CITES EU import permit or import notification form, and a valid CITES export permit or CITES certificate of origin, issued by the country from where the goods originated.


You must present these documents to Border Force at the first point of entry in the UK and before the CITES goods are removed to a customs temporary storage facility.


Mandatory requirement


There is also a mandatory requirement to present CITES export permits for CITES controlled goods to Border Force, for endorsement at the last point of exit from the UK, if destined for a place outside of the EU.


At import, import permits or import notification forms must be presented with a valid CITES export permit or valid CITES certificate of origin issued by the country from where the goods originated.


These documents must be presented to Border Force at the first point of entry into the EU if entering the EU via the UK. Failure to present either of these forms will render the import void and your goods may be seized.


CITES controlled goods that are being exported from the UK to a place outside of the EU must be accompanied by a relevant CITES export permit which must be presented to Border Force at the last point of exit in the UK. Failure to have the permit endorsed may lead to your goods being detained or seized in the country of destination.


Border Force has received a high volume of enquiries from companies asking to be allowed to bypass the requirement to present CITES import permits or import notification forms for Border Force endorsement, and the supporting export permits or export notification forms for inspection, prior to goods being moved to a temporary storage facility.


Should you require advice on CITES imports or exports then do not hesitate to contact Hammad Baig.