Exemptions from the requirements for CITES Permits and Certificates

Import personal allowances

There are several personal allowances for CITES plant and animal derivatives. These specimens can be imported into the EU or exported from the EU as personal effects without the requirement for permits. The quantities allowable per person are provided.

CITES listed plant/animal or derivative

EU Personal allowance

Caviar of sturgeon species (Acipenseriformes spp.)

125g. Caviar containers must be individually marked by means of a non-reusable CITES label.

Rainsticks of Cacti (Cactaceae spp.)

Up to 3.

Worked crocodile specimens (Crocodylia spp).

Up to 4. Excludes meat and hunting trophies.

Shells of Strombus gigas (Queen conch)

Up to 3.

Dead seahorses (Hippocampus spp.)

Up to 4.

Shells of giant clams (Tridacnidae spp.)

Up to 3; not exceeding 3kg in total. A specimen may be one intact shell or two matching halves.

Hunting trophies

An import and export permit is required for imports of all Annex A hunting trophies. Import permits are not required for hunting trophies of Annex B species provided an export or re-export permit is provided. There is no requirement for an import permit for hunting trophies listed on Annexes C or D.

There are a number of specific exemptions to the requirements to obtain an EC Certificate for commercial use of Annex A specimens, which include:

  • - certain antique specimens
  • - a number of bird species bred in captivity
  • - artificially propagated plants

EC Certificates - Antiques

Antiques or “worked specimens” are defined in Article 2 of EC Regulation 338/97, as items which were significantly altered from their natural raw state prior to 03 March 1947, (50 years prior to the adoption of the Regulation) for the purposes of jewellery, adornment, art, utility or musical instruments.

This means that the item must have been originally worked prior to 03 March 1947; it remains in its original crafted form, and has not subsequently been carved, crafted or altered by manufacture.

Examples of “worked” antiques could include:

  • - ivory piano keys
  • - leopard skin coats
  • - a taxidermy specimen if acquired prior to 03 March 1947

An item which was acquired prior to 03 March 1947 but remains in its natural state, such as a raw elephant tusk or turtle shell, cannot be considered as a worked item and is not exempt from the requirement to obtain an EC Certificate if commercially used.

Summary of requirements for antiques

  • There is no requirement to obtain a CITES Certificate for a worked antique Annex A item acquired prior to 1947
  • All other Annex A antique items require a CITES Certificate to sell them or to use them commercially
  • Buyers should be provided with a copy of the CITES certificate when they purchase a specimen
  • Import and export permits are required for all antique specimens

Please consult the Irish Management Authority to check whether a CITES Certificate is required for commercial use of Annex A specimens, or their parts and derivatives, that are worked antiques.

Birds bred in captivity

Certain captive bred specimens of a limited number of species (and hybrids thereof) listed on Annex X of EC 865/2006 are subject to a general exemption. A CITES Certificate is not required to use these species commercially, provided that the specimen is captive bred and permanently marked with a closed ring or microchip transponder. Species not included in this list are not covered by this exemption.

List of species that do not require EC Certificates if permanently marked.

Artificially propagated plants

There is a general exemption for all Annex A artificially propagated plants. An EC Certificate is not required to use them commercially once within the EU.