E-commerce of CITES-listed species
At its 16th meeting (Bangkok, 2013), the Conference of the Parties adopted Decision 16.62 where it directs the Standing Committee to:
In collaboration with the Secretariat, liaise with the World Customs Organization with regard to the inclusion of CITES-listed species in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.
In Decision 15.57, Parties are urged to:
|a)||submit information to the CITES Secretariat on best practices and on websites adhering to codes of conduct for posting on the CITES website;|
|b)||publish results of scientific research on correlations between use of the Internet and the rate of wildlife crime, and share these results with the CITES Secretariat;|
|c)||assess the extent of and trends in commerce of CITES-listed species via the Internet and submit such information to the Secretariat for analysis; and|
|d)||submit information to the CITES Secretariat for analysis on any changes in trade routes and methods of shipment that have been observed as a result of increased use of the Internet to promote trade in wildlife.|
The Secretariat will accept documentation in PDF (Portable Document Format) or Microsoft Word (2003, 2007 or 2010).
See also Resolution Conf. 11.3 (Rev. CoP16) for more information on recommendations related to e-commerce of specimens of CITES-listed species.
Working group on e-commerce of specimens of CITES-listed species
The Standing Committee, at its 58th meeting (Geneva, 2009), established a working group on e-commerce of specimens of CITES-listed species comprising Australia, Cameroon, Canada, China, France, Germany, Kenya, Peru, Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, the European Community, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Humane Society International, IWMC – World Conservation Trust, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), TRAFFIC, VC International and the Secretariat.
The Working Group on E-commerce of Specimens of CITES-Listed Species was directed to:
|a)||collaborate with the Secretariat to amend Resolution Conf. 11.3 (Rev. CoP14);|
|b)||collaborate with the Secretariat to develop the toolkit containing guidelines on legal commerce in specimens of CITES-listed species via the Internet;|
|c)||receive feedback from Parties regarding the effectiveness of the implementation of toolkit recommendations; and|
|d)||discuss other issues related to e-commerce and report at the 61st meeting of the Committee.|
The United Kingdom accepted to chair the Working Group. Information on the current membership is available here.
Toolkit on e-commerce of specimens of CITES-listed species
The CITES electronic toolkit was updated in 2013 according to new electronic permitting standards and norms.
At its 16th meeting (Bangkok, 2013), the Conference of the Parties revised the Resolution on Permits and certificates [see: Conf. 12.3 (Rev. CoP16)] to include references to the use of electronic documents and to recommend that Parties using or developing electronic permits and certificates adopt the standards recommended in the toolkit.
At the same meeting, Parties also adopted Decision 16.54, which directs the Standing Committee to extend the mandate of its Working Group on Information Technologies and Electronic Systems and entrusts it with different tasks, such as, inter alia:
- collaborating with the CITES Secretariat in the drafting of funding proposals related to the development of CITES e-permitting systems;
- working with the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business, the World Customs Organization and other relevant organizations to ensure the alignment of CITES e-permits with international trade standards and norms; and
- facilitating the development of a ready-to-use electronic CITES permitting for Parties in developing regions, and supporting the participation of these parties in the Working Group.