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Scientific assessment of import permit applications

For imports of Annex B species, a scientific assessment is performed to ensure that importation is not detrimental to the survival of the species, that any live specimens will be suitably housed and cared for, and that other factors relating to the conservation of the species do not weigh against granting an import permit. 
For imports of Annex A species, the purpose for which the species are imported must also satisfy the requirements of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation.


Criteria for permitting imports of Annex A and B species
Criteria for permitting imports of Annex A and B species

Non-detriment Finding

For an import permit to be issued in accordance with CITES, the import must not be detrimental to the survivalof the species. The principle of sustainable consumptive use of wildlife allows this requirement to be met for animal species by the application of strict criteria. The International Standard for the Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP) lays down corresponding criteria and indicators for wild plants.

Purpose of import

  • Advancement of science or essential biomedical purposes, provided that the species in question is the only one suitable for those purposes and there are no specimens of the species which have been born and bred in captivity
  • Breeding or propagation purposes from which conservation benefits will accrue to the species concerned
  • Research or education aimed at the preservation or conservation of the species

Non-detriment Findings (NDF)

Article IV 2a) of CITES states that in order to grant an export permit for trade in specimens of species included in Appendix II, one of the requirements is that “a Scientific Authority of the State of export has advised that such export will not be detrimental to the survival of that species”. This advice given by the Scientific Authority is what is called the Non-detriment Finding or NDF.

Read more about NDF for Plants.

NDF Guidance documents were developed for sharks and manta rays.

For additional information on sharks and manta rays coffered by CITES click here https://cites.org/prog/shark.

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