Valid Document

Electronic permitting

Electronic permitting
Directed to the Stamding Committee
16.54 The Standing Committee shall extend the mandate of its Working Group on Information Technologies and Electronic Systems in order for it to perform the following tasks:
  a)  collaborate with the CITES Secretariat in the drafting of funding proposals related to the development of CITES e-permitting systems;
  b)  work with the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business, the World Customs Organization and other relevant organizations to ensure that CITES e-permits are aligned with international trade standards and norms;
  c)  collaborate with the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre to further develop the Electronic Permit Information eXchange to act as a clearing-house of CITES e-permits and certificates and to offer Parties in developing regions a ready-to-use electronic CITES permitting system;
  d)  work with the CITES Secretariat to ensure that the CITES toolkit is updated as necessary; and
  e)  support the participation in the Working Group of developing countries party to CITES.


Decision-making mechanism for a process of trade in ivory

Decision-making mechanism for a process of trade in ivory
Directed to the Stamding Committee
16.55 The Standing Committee shall:
  a)  with the assistance of the Secretariat, propose for approval at the latest at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) a decision-making mechanism for a process of trade in ivory under the auspices of the Conference of the Parties;
  b)  at its 64th meeting, establish a working group, composed of the Chair of the Standing Committee, specified key Party stakeholders and the Secretariat, to implement the instruction in paragraph a) of the present Decision. The working group shall work intersessionally and take into consideration relevant documents submitted at previous meetings of the Standing Committee and the findings and comments in document CoP16 Doc. 36 (Rev. 1), and consult additional experts or stakeholders, if considered necessary. The Standing Committee shall consider the findings and recommendations of the working group at its 65th meeting, decide on further actions as required, and agree on a final proposal at its 66th meeting for submission at CoP17; and
  c)  conduct its work on the development of a decision making mechanism in consultation with all African and Asian elephant range States and, to the extent possible, in both English and French.


Physical inspection of timber shipments

Physical inspection of timber shipments
Directed to the Secretariat
16.58 By the 65th meeting of the Standing Committee, the Secretariat shall:
  a)  obtain information and materials from those Parties that have reported that they have developed tools and procedures for the identification and measurement of CITES-listed tree species, and the physical inspection of timber shipments;
  b)  publish the information on the CITES website so that it can be accessed by CITES plant inspection and enforcement authorities; and
  c)  incorporate this information into its capacity-building activities related to timber trade.


Identification Manual

Identification Manual
Directed to the Animals and Plants Committees and the Secretariat
16.59 The Animals and Plants Committees shall:
  a)  form an intersessional working group comprising at least one representative from each region of both Committees to assist in identifying CITES-listed taxa, taking account of existing CITES identification and guidance material as well as other material produced by Parties, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations;
  b)  determine, in collaboration with Parties, the current availability of identification and guidance material (printed and electronic) to increase accessibility to Parties;
  c)  consult with Parties to assess the need for additional identification material, including material under production by Parties and requested in Decisions;
  d)  compile a list of outstanding Decisions directing the Parties, the Animals and Plants Committees, and the Secretariat to produce identification and guidance material for CITES-listed taxa;
  e)  review, in collaboration with the Secretariat, and, taking into account new Web-based technologies, make recommendations, including amendments to Resolution Conf. 11.19 (Rev. CoP16) on Identification Manual, to promote accuracy and availability of identification and guidance material; and
  f)  report progress at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties.


Great apes (Hominidae spp.)

Great apes (Hominidae spp.)
Directed to the Standing Committee
16.67 The Standing Committee, assisted by the Secretariat, and in consultation with interested Parties, GRASP, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Animals Committee and other bodies as appropriate, review Resolution Conf. 13.4 (Rev. CoP16), with a view to establishing an illegal trade reporting mechanism, and present a summary of its consultations and its recommendations at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties.


Monitoring of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens (Elephantidae spp.)

Monitoring of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens (Elephantidae spp.)
Directed to the Secretariat
16.78 The Secretariat shall, subject to external funding:
  a)  convene a CITES Ivory Enforcement Task Force, consisting of representatives from China (including Hong Kong SAR), Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Viet Nam, in cooperation with partner organizations in the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) and, as appropriate, other Parties and experts, to:
  i)  evaluate the concerns identified in the examples in document SC62 Doc. 26, Annex, regarding trade in specimens claimed to be derived from captive breeding or ranching;
  ii)  propose measures to African and Asian enforcement authorities to promote long-term collaboration between them, for example through exchange programmes or the secondment of law enforcement officers from destination or transit countries to source countries and vice versa;
  b)  examine and advise about existing DNA-based and forensic identification techniques for sourcing and ageing ivory, identify relevant forensic facilities and research institutions, and consider the need for further research in these areas;
  c)  convene a workshop for Parties on the use of controlled deliveries, in collaboration with ICCWC partner organizations, with the aim of expanding the application of this investigation technique, particularly in Africa and Asia; and
  d)  develop, in cooperation with the World Bank and other ICCWC partners, an anti-money-laundering and asset recovery manual with a specific focus on wildlife crime, that can be used for the training of investigators, prosecutors and judges.
  The Secretariat shall report on progress on the implementation of the present Decision at the 65th and 66th meetings of the Standing Committee, with recommendations as necessary.


Terms of Reference for an evaluation of the Review of Significant Trade

Terms of Reference for an evaluation of the Review of Significant Trade
1 The objectives of the evaluation of the Review of Significant Trade are to:
  a)  evaluate the contribution of the Review of Significant Trade to the implementation of Article IV, paragraphs 2 (a), 3 and 6 (a);
  b)  assess the impact over time of the actions taken in the context of the Review of Significant Trade on the trade and conservation status of species selected for review and subject to recommendations, taking into consideration the possible effects of these measures on other CITES-listed species;
  c)  formulate recommendations in view of the results and findings of the evaluation and the impact assessment; and
  d)  prepare a document on the evaluation of the Review of Significant Trade and the resulting conclusions and recommendations for consideration at the first appropriate meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
2 The evaluation will commence immediately after the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, contingent on the availability of sufficient funds to ensure its completion.
3 The Animals and Plants Committees will oversee the evaluation, which will be administered by the Secretariat. Consultants may be engaged to assist it in this regard.
4 A working group composed of members of the Animals and Plants Committees, Parties, the Secretariat and invited experts will be responsible for advising on the evaluation process, reviewing the findings of associated research and developing recommendations for wider consideration by the Parties.
5 The Secretariat will regularly report on the progress of the evaluation at meetings of the Animals and Plants Committees.
6 A final report, which may include proposed amendments to existing Resolutions or Decisions, or other recommendations, and which will incorporate the comments of the Animals and Plants Committees and of range States addressed in the report, will be submitted by the Chairmen of the Animals and Plants Committees for consideration at a future meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The Chairman of the Animals or Plants Committee may submit an interim report to the Standing Committee when appropriate and considered useful.
Content of the evaluation
7 The evaluation of the Review of Significant Trade should include the following activities:
  a)  assess:
  i)  the process used to select species for review (including the reliance on numerical data), and the species selected as a result;
  ii)  the process and means used to compile and review information concerning the implementation of Article IV, paragraphs 2 (a), 3 and 6 (a), for the selected species (including communications with the range States), and the subsequent use of this information by the Animals and Plants Committees for the categorization of species and the issuance of recommendations;
  iii)  the types and frequency of recommendations made;
  iv)  the nature and rate of responses to recommendations, and problems identified;
  v)  the use of the recommendations by range States as guidance for managing target species and other CITES-listed species with similar characteristics;
  vi)  the nature and scale of the support provided to range States for implementing the recommendations, including field projects, financial aid and assistance in building local capacities;
  vii)  the ongoing process to monitor and review the implementation of recommendations, having regard to differing points of view as to where this responsibility should lie; and
  vii)  the impacts of the process on other aspects of CITES implementation, including how problems identified in the course of the review but not directly related to the implementation of Article IV, paragraphs 2 (a), 3 and 6 (a), were addressed;
  b)  conduct case studies of a representative range of species and countries subject to recommendations to assess subsequent short- and long-term changes, and whether these could be attributed to the process, in:
  i)  conservation status of the target taxa in the range States;
  ii)  trade volumes and patterns of the target taxa, considering trade involving the range States subject to recommendations, other range States and non-range States;
  iii)  production or management strategies for the target taxa;
  iv)  market developments of conservation relevance (such as shifts in supply or demand);
  v)  costs and benefits associated with the management of and trade in the target taxa (such as the effects of trade suspensions and export quotas, shift in trade to non-CITES species or increased illegal trade);
  vi)  protection status of the target taxa within range States, and regulatory measures outside range States;
  vii)  trade patterns, conservation status and management for other CITES-listed species that might be suitable ‘substitutes’ for the target taxa; and
  vii)  changes in conservation policies in range States; and
  c)  analyse the information to assess the effectiveness, costs and benefits 6 of the Review of Significant Trade as implemented so far, by reference to the cost of the process and the time it takes, and identify means to improve the contribution it makes to the objectives of the Convention by reducing the threats to wild species.

5 Note from the Secretariat: this Annex was adopted at the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

6 The phrase 'effectiveness, costs and benefits' is intended to address issues such as whether or not the funds spent on the process give value for money comparable to that for other CITES activities, and whether the time-scale envisaged in the process is too long for species that are in rapid decline.

Terms of Reference for the consultancy envisaged in Decision 14.30 (Rev. CoP15) on Cooperation between Parties and promotion of multilateral measures

Terms of Reference for the consultancy envisaged in Decision 14.30 (Rev. CoP15) on Cooperation between Parties and promotion of multilateral measures
1 Assessment as to whether the Resolutions of the Conference of the Parties are implemented by all Parties as consistently as possible and whether there is a need to clarify, revise or repeal them.
  a)  identification of the Resolutions that are implemented inconsistently and the reasons for deviations from the provisions of the Resolutions.
  Recommended approach: The consultant to be appointed by the CITES Secretariat will analyse biennial reports submitted to the Secretariat and identify Resolutions that are implemented inconsistently or provide challenges in terms of implementation. The following key issue must be identified by the consultant:
  i)  reasons for deviation from the provisions of the Resolutions;
  ii)  challenges experienced in terms of implementation; and
  iii)  reasons for implementing stricter domestic measures.
  Where required, further consultation with CITES Parties relating to the above will be undertaken.
  Existing documents to be reviewed by the consultant include document CoP14 Doc. 17. Based on information contained in document CoP14 Doc. 17, the following Resolutions have been identified by the members of the Working Group and should form part of the assessment to be conducted by the Consultant:
    Resolution Conf. 4.22 (Proof of foreign law)
    Resolution Conf. 6.7 (Interpretation of Article XIV, paragraph 1 of the Convention)
    Resolution Conf. 10.16 (Rev.) (Specimens of animal species bred in captivity)
    Resolution Conf. 10.19 (Rev. CoP14) (Traditional medicines)
    Resolution Conf. 10.20 (Frequent cross-border movements of personally owned live animals)
    Resolution Conf. 11.3 (Rev. CoP15) (Compliance and Enforcement)
    Resolution Conf. 11.11 (Rev. CoP15) (Regulation of trade in plants)
    Resolution Conf. 11.18 (Trade in Appendix-II and -III species)
    Resolution Conf 12.3 (Rev. CoP15) (Permit and certificates)
    Resolution Conf. 12.10 (Rev. CoP15) (Registration of operations that breed Appendix-I species in captivity for commercial purposes)
    Resolution Conf. 13.6 (Implementation of Article VII, paragraph 2, concerning ‘pre-Convention’ specimens)
    Resolution Conf. 13.7 (Rev. CoP14) (Control of trade in personal and household effects)
      Resolution Conf. 13.10 (Rev. CoP14) (Trade in alien invasive species)
  In instances where Working Groups have been established to discuss specific matters, for example the Working Group on personal and household effects, the consultant should obtain all relevant information from the Chairperson of the Working Group.

b)  dentification of the Resolutions that require clarification, revision or repeal and make recommendations relating to the appropriate action to be taken. Substantiation of the recommendations made relating to clarification, revision or repeal.

Based on the assessment referred to in subparagraph a) above and the key challenges identified by the Working Group, Resolutions that require clarification, revision or repeal will be identified by the consultant and recommendations made relating to the appropriate action to be taken.

The Working Group identified the following challenges relating to the uniform application or implementation of Resolutions:

  i)  lack of knowledge about existing Resolutions and the provisions contained in Resolutions;
  ii)  complex issues and concepts are difficult to understand and interpret, especially in the absence of definitions or interpretation guidelines;
  iii)  difficulties experienced by Parties to implement provisions contained in Resolutions due to limited resources available;
  iv)  different interpretation of provisions or requirements by Parties. Some Parties may interpret a provision in a strict manner, while another may interpret it with greater leniency, resulting in differences in implementation; and
  v)  conflicting provisions in different Resolutions; or non-alignment between separate Resolutions that address similar matters.
2 Assessment as to whether the scope for multilateral CITES processes that reduce the need by Parties for recourse to stricter domestic measures and reservations should be further developed.
  a)  Give examples of stricter domestic measures, i.e. legislation, directives and policies. Solely for purposes of the consultancy, and not for the purpose of serving as a definition of the measures provided for under Article XIV, paragraph 1(a), of the Convention, ‘stricter domestic measures’ means:
  Domestic measures (legislation, regulations, decrees, policies, directives, notices, etc.) adopted by a Party regarding conditions or restrictions for international trade, taking, possession or transport of specimens of species included in the Appendices, or the complete prohibition thereof, which extend over and above the requirements of the Convention for that species 4 .
  b)  Identify current stricter domestic measures

A list of Parties which do / do not accept certificates of ownership (in relation to frequent cross-border movements of personally owned live animals); and, various Notifications to the Parties contain detailed descriptions of Parties' stricter domestic measures. However, a comprehensive list of stricter domestic measures is not available on the CITES website. The consultant should provide information or recommendations which could assist the Secretariat to initiate in the future a portal or Web-based system for Parties to provide information on their stricter domestic measures on a voluntary basis.

  c)  Use of a case study approach to determine stricter domestic measures currently in place in selected countries and the scope and rationale for these measures, including divergence and convergence in stricter domestic measures between different countries. The consultant will conduct case studies relating to stricter domestic measures currently in place. The Working Group recommended that at least two case studies be conducted, one involving a major importing country’s stricter domestic measures, and one involving a major exporting country.
  d)  Review of current information on reservations entered by Parties (e.g. available on the CITES website).

Consultant to analyse information on the CITES website relating to reservations entered by Parties and collate a report relating to the Reservations currently in place. Other sources of information and relevant studies conducted should also be referenced.

  e)  Analysis of current multilateral measures and their appropriateness / potential to address Parties requirements that currently result in stricter domestic measures or reservations.

Based on the information contained in various documents relating to stricter domestic measures and discussions in the Working Group, it seems as if the existing measures, especially Resolutions and the process to review and amend these, assist in providing the means to obtain uniform implementation, but the provisions in the Resolutions must be aligned with the basic requirements in the text of the Convention (and not add additional burdens on Parties); Resolutions must be clear (unambiguous); definitions should be provided, where appropriate; guidelines should be developed, where needed (complex matters); capacity building should be provided in some instance; consistent alignment between Resolutions are required; and bilateral discussions should take place to address different interpretation of provisions.

Special care / consideration should be given to stricter domestic measures that result in complete / nearly complete closure of markets AND may conflict with processes already agreed in CITES (Periodic Review / Review of Significant Trade, etc).

With due consideration of information collated through the process, including Notifications and reports, the consultant should analyse the current multilateral measures and make recommendations relating to their potential to address Parties challenges relating to uniform implementation of the Convention.

  f)  Recommendation, if appropriate, of the amendment of current, or the development of alternative, multilateral measures that could assist or facilitate cooperation between Parties and reduce the need for stricter domestic measures or reservations.

Recommendations to be developed, if required, based on the analysis to be done in terms of paragraph v. It is anticipated that the amendment of current measures and development of new measures will be continuous processes as already observed in terms of the Resolutions adopted by the Conference of Parties to CITES.

3 . Note from the Secretariat: Decision 14.30 (Rev. CoP15) was repealed at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16). These Terms of Reference, reproduced here for historical information, were accepted by the Standing Committee at its 62nd meeting (Geneva, July 2012) and amended at CoP16.

4 .This definition is intended to encompass only those stricter domestic measures with strong relevance to the conservation of the species through the mitigation of impacts resulting from international trade in those species