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Numbers of import permits for dead specimens of protected animal species (I)

Illustration

Numbers of import permits for dead specimens of protected animal species (II)

Category201020112012201320142015
PLANTS319185167210191181
ANIMALS5.4925.8866.3066.4176.3736.218
Mammals1.0781.0881.0691.0591.0731.059
Birds61212133420
Reptiles2.8963.1563.5173.5633.4823.317
Amphibians410121
Fish and invertebrates1.5081.6291.7081.7811.7821.821

Source: Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) 2016 (VIA species conservation enforcement database, legal imports, legal imports, for which CITES import permits were issued)

Data as of: 13.05.2016

Imports of dead specimens and products derived from protected species remain high

Every year, large numbers of dead specimens as well as parts, products and derivatives from protected species of animals and plants are legally imported into Germany. The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation issues the necessary import permits. The legal basis for imports and exports of protected species is provided by the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).


CITES regulates not only the import of live animals and plants, but also that of dead specimens, parts, products and derivatives. CITES import permits are required for all species listed in Annex I and Annex II. While species listed in Annex I are at acute risk of extinction due to their low numbers or because of excessive trade in specimens of those species, those in Annex II are also traded, but are not immediately at risk.

The vast majority of permits for these parts and products were issued for species listed in Annex II. In 2015, some 6,200 permits were issued for protected animals and 181 for protected plants.

Reptile skins most frequently imported animal parts

The numbers in the various animal categories have remained relatively constant in recent years. The vast majority of imports of parts and products derived from protected animal species involve reptile skins and products made from them, such as watch straps and handbags. Most stem from farm-bred specimens.

Marked decline in permits for plant material a statistical effect

The drop in the number of permits issued for plant materials and products seen since 2009 is the result of an amendment concerning products made from candelilla wax (Euphorbia antisyphilitica). When packed for retail sale, products of this kind, such as lipsticks, are no longer subject to species protection provisions.

Imports of protected species of tropical wood on the rise

In the past five years, there has been a marked increase in imports of protected species of tropical woods (mostly ramin). This is used, among other things, in model-building, the making of wood strips and building musical instruments. The CITES permits certify that the wood was both sustainably and legally felled in its country of origin.

More information

CITES (BfN-page)

CITES Trade Database (CITES Secretariat)

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