| The CITES export quotas
There is no specific requirement in the text of the Convention
to establish quotas to limit the trade in CITES-listed species.
But the use of export
quotas has become such an effective tool for the regulation
of international trade in wild fauna and flora that Parties to
CITES adopted, at the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties
(The Hague, 2007), Resolution Conf.
14.7 (Rev. CoP15) on Management of nationally established export quotas.
Export quotas are usually established by each Party (member State)
unilaterally but they can also be set by the Conference of the
Parties, and they generally relate to a calendar year (1 January
to 31 December).
Before any Party may issue a permit to allow export of specimens
of species in Appendix I or II, its Scientific Authority must
advise that the proposed export will not be detrimental to the
survival of the species (the so-called 'non-detriment finding'
in Article III, paragraph 2 (a), and Article IV, paragraph
2 (a), of the Convention). The setting of an export quota
by a Party may meet this requirement by establishing the maximum
number of specimens of a species that may be exported over the
course of a year without having a detrimental effect on its survival.
The responsibility for establishing quotas thus lies with each
individual Party (unless they have been set by the Conference
of the Parties).
When a country sets its own national export quotas for CITES
species, it should inform the Secretariat [see Resolution Conf. 12.3
(Rev. CoP15)], which in turn informs the Parties. Early
each year, the Secretariat publishes a Notification to the Parties
containing the explanatory notes on the export quotas of which
it has been informed. The list of annual export quotas since 2000
are provided below:
Except for the year 2000, they exclude the sturgeon quotas which
are available here.
The Conference of the Parties establishes export quotas in a
variety of circumstances. These quotas are either specified in
the CITES Appendices [e.g. for the African elephant (Loxodonta
africana) and for the African spurred tortoise (Geochelone
sulcata)] or in a Resolution of the Conference of the Parties
[e.g. Resolution Conf. 10.14
(Rev. CoP14) for the leopard (Panthera pardus),
Resolution Conf. 10.15
(Rev. CoP14) for the markhor (Capra falconeri)
and Resolution Conf. 13.5 (Rev. CoP14) for black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)
The quotas specified in the Appendices are usually established
only when there are concerns about a species transferred from
Appendix I to Appendix II. In this case, the quotas are specified
in annotations to Appendices I and II. The Conference of the Parties
has provided relevant guidance in Resolution Conf. 9.24
(Rev. CoP15) Annex 4 (Criteria for amendment of Appendices
I and II) and in Resolution Conf. 11.21
(Rev. CoP15) (Use of annotations in Appendices I and II).