Introduction to CITES

 The Irish CITES Management Authority will not be processing new applications during the period 24/12/2021 until 04/01/2022 inclusive. Please take this into account when preparing applications over the coming weeks.

What is CITES?

CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The aim of the Convention is to regulate and monitor the international trade in certain species of animals and plants, and to ensure that trade does not threaten their survival in the wild.

CITES is an international agreement between Governments, known as Parties to the Convention, which was agreed in Washington in 1973. It entered into force in 1975. Over 170 Parties (countries) have signed up to the Convention. Ireland became a CITES Party in 2002. The full text of the Convention can be found on the CITES website.

Trade in Elephant Ivory

The Revised Guidance on Ivory Trade

The European Commission have announced that the revised Guidance on ivory trade, the amended Commission Regulation 865/2006, amended Annexes to Council Regulation 338/97 and amended Implementing Regulation 712/2012 were adopted on 16th December 2021.

The revised acts will be published in the Official Journal of the EU on 30 December 2021 in all official EU languages.

Please find hereafter some press materials published on the Commission website as well as the documents:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your contributions to the revision process.

Irish CITES Management Authority

How are species controlled?

Over 4,000 animal and 25,000 plant species are included in Appendices I, II and III of CITES, which accord them varying degrees of protection.

Appendix I includes species which are threatened with extinction and for which trade is authorized only in exceptional circumstances. Examples include:

  • the great apes
  • tigers
  • sperm whales
  • many parrots and macaws
  • Brazilian rosewood.

Appendix II includes the majority of CITES species; these are species which are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but they may become so unless trade is strictly regulated. Examples include:

  • the African lion
  • hippopotamus
  • many parrots and birds of prey
  • seahorses
  • corals
  • the majority of orchids and cacti

Appendix III contains species protected or regulated by at least one country and assistance by other Parties is required in order to control international trade. For example, Canada has listed walrus on Appendix III, and Peru, Colombia and Guatemala have all listed Spanish Cedar on Appendix III.

How is trade regulated?

CITES regulates international trade in specimens listed on Appendices I-III based on a system of permits. Each Party is required to designate a Management Authority competent to grant CITES permits and certificates, and a Scientific Authority responsible for advising the Management Authority on scientific aspects of implementation and monitoring of national trade.

Irish CITES Authorities

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) are the Management and Scientific authorities for Ireland. The Authorities are located at:

CITES Management Authority

National Parks and Wildlife Service

90 North King Street

Dublin 7

D07 N7CV


CITES Privacy Statement

PDF Download our CITES Privacy Statement Here [PDF]