German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


CITES and the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure by means of suitable controls that international trade in plants and animals (or their parts and derivatives) that are protected by the convention does not endanger the survival of wild populations of these species.

Germany has been Party to the Convention since 1976. Next to the individual member states the EU became  Party to the Convention in 2015. In 1997 the EU has issued Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the Protection of Species of Wild Fauna and Flora by Regulating Trade Therein (the Wildlife Trade Regulation), which is consistent with CITES and has direct application in all EU member states.

Along the implementation of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation and consequently of CITES by the acting as a Management Authority, BfN also serves as Germany’s Scientific Authority under the Regulation.

Tasks of the scientific authority:

  • Representation of Germany in CITES scientific committees (EU-wide and international) as well as in working groups
  • Assessing applications for import permits for compatibility with conservation requirements
  • Assessing the source code (bred in captivity/artificially propagated vs. wild) of listed species on import and export applications (according to Art. 54, 56 of Council Regulation (EC) No 865/2006)
  • Compiling basic data on the conservation status of specific traded species
  • Advising on and conducting training, and compiling enforcement instruments, checklists and surveys
  • Advising international and national agencies, organizations, and citizens
  • Review of housing conditions for living specimen of protected animal species

Legal basis

Text of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation
Full text of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation (Regulation No 338/97/EC)  Annexes A, B, C and D

Further Information

Provisions on the import and export of protected CITES species

Compilation of all individual decisions on the import of protected species of fauna

Useful Links

Scientific information system on international species conservation.

Official website of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Last Change: 24/01/2020