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Import/Export Restrictions 1 October 2004

The Wildlife and Conservation Division of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has given notice of some amendments to lists of endangered plants and animals. The lists cover species for which import and export licences are needed, including to and from the United Kingdom.

Licences are required for specific plants and animals, and also for items made from them or including parts of them. Examples are: species of parrot and orchid; tortoise shell fire screens and tiger skin rugs; and ornaments of ivory or rare woods.

For advice and detailed information, please contact the Department's Wildlife and Conservation Division, telephone 842335.

International Convention

The Island is signatory to a world-wide Convention to protect endangered species from over-exploitation - the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This is the international agreement that controls such items as caviar, ivory, certain animal skins and parrots.

Trade is carefully monitored to protect many species whose wild populations may be at risk. The Island plays its part through the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1981.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has designated lists of plants and animals which are subject to restriction. The list of restricted specimens is linked to the lists of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation, Annexes A, B and C (but not D).

These lists include all CITES restricted species except for a few for which the EU holds a reservation, and a few species which are considered to be under threat and are controlled in the EU, taking stricter measures than CITES.

Amendments to the lists

The substantive changes mean that the lists are amended by -

  1. in coral groups for which fossils are already exempt, additionally exempting coral sand or coral fragments (including gravel and rubble) made up of material between 2 and 30 mm in diameter
  2. the exemption of chemical derivatives and finished pharmaceutical products of Guayacan plants (Guaiacum spp.), which are generally bushes or small trees, and include the lignum vitae, of which the medical properties were introduced to Europe as early as 1508
  3. the addition of one of 900 species of Sea Cucumber, Isostichus fuscus (synonym: Stichopus fuscus) which, despite its name, is an animal. There are also minor amendments in cross-reference to a species of monitor lizard and to species of Aloe plants

Inspection and Licensing

Restricted specimens entering or leaving the island must be licensed. This includes movements to and from the UK.

Authorised officers have the power to inspect premises where live, restricted species of animals and plants are kept, in order to determine the legality of specimens.

There is an exemption from certain restrictions on import and export for personal and household effects. This will allow people to move more freely with such items without requiring new licences at each removal. People will have to prove, with specific documents, the legal origins of the items.

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