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Scientific assessment of import permit applications

For imports of Annex B species into the EU, a scientific assessment is performed to ensure that importation is not detrimental to the survival of the species, the origin of the specimens, (if necessary) 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.

In general, trade in Annex A species is not permitted for commercial purposes (Council Regulation (EC) 338/97 Art. 8 (1)). An exemption from this restriction for captive-bred animals and artificially propagated plants (following EC 865/2006 Art. 54) is regulated in Regulation (EC) 338/97 Art. 8 (3) d).

Additional exemptions are regulated in Art. 8 (3) of (EC) 338/97. Among other factors the import of wild specimen is dependent on the import purpose:

• Advancement of Science or fundamental biomedical research under the premise that solely this species is appropriate for this research and that no captive-bred specimens are available

• Breeding that contributes to the conservation of the species

• Research and educational purposes that aim to protect or conserve the species


Criteria of the Scientific Authority for permitting imports of Annex A and B species
Criteria of the Scientific Authority for permitting imports of Annex A and B 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 called the Non-detriment Finding or NDF (see Res. Conf. 16.7 (Rev. CoP17)). The Non-detriment Finding is one of the most important tasks of the Scientific Authority to CITES.

On the basis of Regulation (EC) 338/97 Art. 4 (1) a) and Art. 4 (2) a) the Scientific Authorities of the EU member states conduct a Non-detriment Finding also for import applications for species listed in Annex A or Annex B considering any relevant opinion made by the Scientific Review Group (SRG) of the EU.

Read more about NDF Guidance for Plants.

NDF Guidance documents were developed for sharks and manta rays.

For additional information on sharks and manta rays covered by CITES click here.

Last Change: 15/03/2021

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