CITES CoP16 Decisions and Resolutions Enter into Force

CITES14 June 2013: The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has announced that the new listings of species and the 165 Decisions and 36 Resolutions adopted or revised at the 16th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP16), which convened in Bangkok in March 2013, entered into force on 12 June 2013.

As a result, the 178 parties to the Convention will start regulating international trade in over three hundred additional species now protected by CITES. International trade in a range of rosewoods and ebonies from Asia, Central America and Madagascar that are now listed in CITES Appendix II, for instance, will require exports to be accompanied by CITES permits issued upon findings that their harvesting and export poses no detriment to the wild populations of these species. John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, highlighted that the new regulations will help ensure that illegal wildlife trade can be identified and dealt with, and treated as a serious crime.

With respect to the listings of the oceanic whitetip, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead shark, smooth hammerhead shark and the porbeagle shark, parties recognized that those listings will take some preparation and decided that the entry into force of their inclusion in Appendix II should be delayed by 18 months, until 14 September 2014.

The deadline for entering reservations on the new listings of species protected under CITES ended on 12 June. Denmark on behalf of Greenland (porbeagle shark), Guyana (all 5 shark species and the manta rays), Japan (all 5 shark species), Iceland (porbeagle shark) and Yemen (hammerhead sharks) have entered specific reservations for some of the five commercially-valuable shark species and manta rays now included in Appendix II. China noted that, while it opposed the inclusion of these shark species in the CITES Appendices, in the spirit of international cooperation under CITES, it will apply the CITES rules to these species and did not enter any reservations. [CITES Press Release]