Reporting under the Convention
1. Parties' national reports
Article VIII, paragraph 7,
of the Convention requires each Party to submit an annual
report on its CITES trade, containing a summary of information
on, inter alia, the number and type of permits and certificates
granted, the States with which such trade occurred, the quantities
and types of specimens, and the names of species as included in
Appendices I, II and III.
Article VIII, paragraph 7,
of the Convention also requires each Party to submit a biennial
report on legislative, regulatory and administrative measures
taken to enforce the Convention.
In a number of countries, annual reports are among various outputs
from a national information management system that records and tracks
daily trade-related and other activities undertaken by CITES authorities.
Such record-keeping and reports assist national policy-makers in
defining, implementing and assessing their wildlife management and
Biennial reports provide an opportunity for Parties to share information
regarding their overall implementation of the Convention, including
their progress in the development and application of laws and regulations,
administrative procedures, economic and social incentives and wildlife
trade policies. Such reports may contain summaries of national compliance
and enforcement efforts (e.g. awareness-raising, training, monitoring,
inspections, investigations, seizures, confiscations, prosecutions,
convictions, penalties, court decisions, etc.).
At the national level, biennial reports serve as a tool for self-assessment
through which Parties can identify achievements, significant developments
or trends, gaps or problems and possible solutions. At the international
level, the comparison and synthesis of information in biennial reports
can support substantive and procedural decision-making by the Conference
of the Parties and various subsidiary bodies.
Resolution Conf. 11.17 (Rev.
CoP14) on National reports recognizes the ‘importance
of the annual reports and biennial reports as the only available
means of monitoring the implementation of the Convention and the
level of international trade in specimens of species included in
the Appendices’. The annual reports fed into the database
maintained for the Secretariat by UNEP-WCMC
provide the basis for comparative trade analysis, the Review of
Significant Trade, quota management, identification of Parties with
high trade volumes under the National Legislation Project, reports
to various fora and overall compliance with and enforcement of the
To facilitate the production of complete, accurate and timely reports,
Parties have agreed on:
a) A standard format for annual reports and guidelines for their
preparation and submission (see Notification
to the Parties No. 2011/019 of 17 February 2011) and a standard
format for biennial reports (see Notification
to the Parties No. 2005/035 of 6 July 2005);
b) A deadline for the submission of annual and biennial reports
– that is 31 October of the year following the year for
which the report was due [see Resolution Conf. 11.17 (Rev. CoP14)];
c) The submission of a coordinated annual and biennial report,
to the extent possible, by Parties with multiple Management Authorities
[see Resolution Conf. 11.17 (Rev. CoP14)];
d) The computerized preparation of reports and their submission
in electronic format wherever possible [see Resolution Conf. 11.17 (Rev. CoP14)];
e) Being able to seek assistance from the Secretariat to produce
annual or biennial reports if they are experiencing problems with
the regular preparation and submission of those reports [see Resolution
Conf. 11.17 (Rev. CoP14)];
f) The maintenance by the Secretariat of a table
of annual report submissions and a table
of biennial report submissions; and
g) Measures for addressing persistent non-compliance with the
obligation to submit annual reports [see Resolution Conf. 11.17 (Rev. CoP14)].
CITES trade data are available to everyone and accessible via the
trade database on the CITES website. Specific requests for information
may also be directed to UNEP-WCMC.
Additional information on annual and biennial reports can be found
in reports prepared for meetings of the Conference of the Parties
to CITES (e.g. documents CoP12
Doc. 22.1, CoP13 Doc. 18
and CoP14 Doc. 29) and the
Standing Committee [e.g. documents SC49
Doc. 15, SC50 Doc. 26.1
(Rev.1), SC50 Doc. 26.2
(revised Annex 2), SC53 Doc.
33, SC54 Doc. 29 and SC55 Doc. 16)]
2. Review of reporting requirements
To facilitate the preparation and submission of national reports
and to find ways to reduce the reporting burden, the Standing Committee
established at its 49th meeting (Geneva, April 2003) a working group
to undertake a review of reporting requirements under the Convention.
The aim of this review was to identify and analyse the causes of
non-compliance with reporting requirements and to propose ways to
turn reports into useful management tools for Parties (see Decision
12.87 and document SC49 Doc.
The working group reported its conclusions and recommendations
at the 50th meeting of the Standing Committee (Geneva, March 2004).
Its report was then included in the documentation for the 13th meeting
of the Conference of the Parties, where the CoP adopted a biennial
report format, revised versions of Resolution Conf.
4.6 (Rev. CoP13) and Resolution Conf.
11.17 (Rev. CoP13) and Decisions 13.90,
13.91 and 13.92 on reporting requirements. At its 14th meeting,
the CoP adopted a revised version of Resolution Conf.
11.17 (Rev. CoP13) and decisions 14.37
and 14.38. These policy decisions will guide ongoing efforts
to make reporting easier and more useful.
3. Parties' national reports on ranching operations
In Resolution Conf. 11.16
(Rev. CoP14) (Ranching and trade in ranched specimens of species
transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II), the Conference
of the Parties decided that the term ‘ranching’ meant the
rearing in a controlled environment of specimens taken from the
In the context of CITES, this term is used mainly in relation to
populations of Appendix-I species of animals that are no longer
endangered and that are transferred to Appendix II in accordance
with this Resolution so that they may benefit from this form of
management. Ranched species currently include only crocodilians,
primarily ranched for their skins.
The Conference of the Parties recommends
in the same Resolution that annual reports on all relevant aspects
of each approved ranching operation be submitted to the Secretariat
by the Party concerned, and include any new information on the following:
i) the status of the wild population concerned;
ii) the number of specimens (eggs, young or adults) taken
annually from the wild;
iii) an estimate of the percentage of the production of the
wild population that is taken for the ranching operation;
iv) the number of animals released and their survival rates
estimated on the basis of surveys and tagging programmes, if any;
v) the mortality rate in captivity and causes of such mortality;
vi) production, sales and exports of products; and
vii) conservation programmes and scientific experiments carried
out in relation to the ranching operation or the wild population
The table below shows the Parties concerned and the reports received.