eCITES - Introduction

 back to eCITES page

The objective of eCITES is to improve the implementation of the Convention by using modern Information and Communication Technologies to simplify compliant trade and to combat illegal trade.  

Electronic CITES permits together with simplified and automated trade procedures help government agencies to better target their inspections and identify those actors that break the law. CITES Management Authorities will be able save time and resources for checking and issuing permits, dedicate time for other important tasks in implementing the Convention and provide better services to traders.  Parties will benefit from faster and more robust reporting and better data to decide on non-detriment findings. The exchange of electronic permits and information across borders will increase transparency and prevent use of fraudulent permits. Finally, simplified and automated procedures create new business opportunities for compliant traders and rural communities.

Automation of procedures and electronic information exchange is not an objective in itself but rather a tool to improve simplify and improve the work of the Administrations and their strength to implement the Convention.   

eCITES supports reduced burden of manual work in the Management Authority, streamlines and facilitates administrative processes, increases transparency and responsibility and establishes collaboration and electronic information exchange with Customs and other border control agencies for efficient control of CITES trade.

The Secretariat provides a set of standards, tools and capacity building instruments to Parties to support eCITES implementation. The components of eCITES are developed by or for? different stakeholders, inter alia by the CITES Working Group on electronic Systems and Information Technology, the CITES Secretariat and the ASYCUDA programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).  This website provides an overview and a short introduction of eCITES instruments that are available or currently under development.

The Policy Brief on automation of CITES permit procedures and electronic information exchange for improved control of international trade in endangered species provides a summary of the available instruments.