Resolution Conf. 11.21 (Rev. CoP16)

Use of annotations in Appendices I and II

RECOGNIZING that annotations are increasingly used in the Appendices for a number of purposes;

AWARE that certain types of annotations are for reference only, whereas others are substantive and are intended to define the scope of the inclusion of a species;

CONSIDERING that the Parties have developed specific procedures for transfer, reporting and review for certain special cases of amendment of the Appendices, such as those relating to ranching, quotas, certain parts and derivatives, and trade regimes;

AWARE also that certain types of annotations are an integral part of a species listing, and that any proposal to introduce, amend or delete such an annotation must follow the provisions of Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP16), adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting (Fort Lauderdale, 1994) and amended at its 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th meetings (Santiago, 2002; Bangkok, 2004; The Hague, 2007; Doha, 2010; Bangkok, 2013);

RECALLING that the Conference of the Parties had agreed at its second and fourth meetings that listings of plant species in Appendix II without an annotation should be interpreted as including all readily recognizable parts and derivatives, and that this view has not been changed by any subsequent decision of the Conference of the Parties;

CONSCIOUS that criteria for the submission of proposals to amend the Appendices that include annotations, and procedures for reviewing the implementation of such annotations, need to be clearly defined to avoid implementation and enforcement problems;


AGREES that:

a)   the following are reference annotations and are for information purposes only:

  i) annotations to indicate that one or more geographically separate populations, subspecies or species of the annotated taxon are in another Appendix;
  ii) the annotations ‘possibly extinct’; and
  iii) annotations relating to nomenclature;

b)    the following are substantive annotations, and are integral parts of species listings:

  i) annotations that specify the inclusion or exclusion of designated geographically separate populations, subspecies, species, groups of species, or higher taxa, which may include export quotas; and
  ii) annotations that specify the types of specimens or export quotas;

c)   reference annotations may be introduced, amended or deleted by the Conference of the Parties, or by the Secretariat, as required, to facilitate the understanding of the Appendices;

d)   substantive annotations relating to species in Appendix I or II may be introduced, amended or deleted only by the Conference of the Parties in accordance with Article XV of the Convention;

e)   substantive annotations relating to geographically separate populations in Appendix I or II should be in compliance with the split-listing provisions contained in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP16) Annex 3; and

f)   substantive annotations used in the context of transferring a species from Appendix I to Appendix II should be in compliance with the precautionary measures contained in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP16) Annex 4;

AGREES that no proposal for transfer of a species from Appendix I to Appendix II subject to an annotation relating to specified types of specimens shall be considered from a Party that has entered a reservation for the species in question, unless that Party has agreed to remove the reservation within 90 days of the adoption of the amendment;

AGREES that a proposal to include a plant species in Appendix II, or to transfer a plant species from Appendix I to Appendix II, shall be interpreted to include all readily recognizable parts and derivatives if the proposal does not include an annotation specifying the types of specimens to be included;

AGREES further that, for plant species included in Appendix II, the absence of an annotation relating to that species shall indicate that all readily recognizable parts and derivatives are included;


a)   Parties submitting proposals that contain substantive annotations ensure that the text is clear and unambiguous;

b)   two main principles be followed as standard guidance when drafting future annotations for medicinal plants:

  i) controls should concentrate on those commodities that first appear in international trade as exports from range States; these may range from crude to processed material; and
  ii) controls should include only those commodities that dominate the trade and the demand for the wild resource;

c)   if a proposed annotation relates to specified types of specimens, the applicable provisions of the Convention for import, export and re-export of each type of specimen should be specified;

d)   as a general rule, Parties avoid making proposals to adopt annotations that include live animals or trophies; and

e)   annotations that specify the types of specimens included in the Appendices should be used sparingly, as their implementation is particularly challenging, especially where there are identification problems or where the purpose of trade has been specified;


a)   the Standing Committee, in consultation with the Plants Committee, to agree on interim definitions between meetings of the Conference of the Parties in cases where significant differences in the interpretation of terms in annotations exist among trading countries and are causing implementation difficulties, and then include these definitions in its report to the Conference of the Parties for adoption;

b)   the Secretariat to issue a Notification to the Parties on any the interim definitions of terms in annotations agreed by the Standing Committee;

c)    the Secretariat to report to the Standing Committee, for at least four years following the adoption of a proposal to transfer species from Appendix I to Appendix II subject to a substantive annotation, any credible information it receives indicating a significant increase in the illegal trade in or poaching of such species; and

d)    the Standing Committee to investigate any such reports of illegal trade and to take appropriate action to remedy the situation, which may include calling on the Parties to suspend commercial trade in the affected species, or inviting the Depositary Government to submit a proposal to amend the annotation or to retransfer the species to Appendix I; and

AGREES that, for species transferred from Appendix I to II with an annotation specifying that only certain types of specimen are subject to the provisions relating to species in Appendix II, specimens that are not specifically included in the annotation shall be deemed to be specimens of species included in Appendix I and the trade in them shall be regulated accordingly.


* Amended at the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th meetings of the Conference of the Parties.

Number / Code: 
Conf. 11.21 (Rev. CoP16)
COP meeting: 
Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties