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The Role of The European Union in the Fight against Global Illegal Wildlife Trade

Term Paper 2014 63 Pages

Politics - Basics and General

Excerpt

Index

Executive Summary

Table of Acronyms and Abbreviations

List of Tables

I Introduction

II Wildlife Trade
A Definition and Characteristics of Wildlife Trade
B The Global and EU Scale Values of Wildlife Trade
C Why Wildlife Trade Is a Problem

III Regulation and Enforcement Mechanisms of CITES
A History and Purpose of CITES
B How CITES Works
1 Structure
2 Appendices
C Role of the EU in CITES
1 Introduction
2 Vertical interaction with EU
3 Main differences between CITES and the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations

IV EU Political Commitments
A International Commitments
B Regional Commitments

V Other EU Mechanisms to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade
A Due Diligence Regulation on Wildlife Trade
1 Territorial extension
2 Standards in the Due Diligence Regulation on Wildlife Trade
B Free Trade Agreements: Effective for Wildlife Conservation?
1 What is a Free Trade Agreement?
2 European Union and FTA's
3 Sustainable development clauses in FTA's
C Minimum Level of Punishment
1 Introduction
2 Minimum sanction level in the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations

VI Conclusion

Bibliography

ANNEX 1: Comparison of Minimum and Maximum Penalties and Seizure/Confiscation Powers in Relation to Article 16 of EC Regulation 338/97 in EU member states

Executive Summary

The European Union (EU) ranks at the top of the list of global importers of wild animal and plant products. The estimated declared import value of the legal trade in wildlife products is worth billions of euros a year, and the extent of the EU market for wildlife products increases annually.

In the Millennium Development Goals, the international community has acknowledged the link between biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Efforts to support the sustainability in wildlife trade can have significant effects upon local communities in developing countries. For example, local tribes can benefit from the high value of the wildlife products. The sustainable trade in wildlife products can thus contribute to the further development of local economies. Consequently this creates incentives for local communities to maintain the conservation of wild species and their habitats.

The demand for wildlife animals and products is escalating worldwide. The majority of the wildlife trade into and within the EU is being exercised within the boundaries of the law, however illegal wildlife trade still occurs. Every year the enforcement authorities in the EU make over 5000 seizures. This illegal trafficking does not take into account sustainability concerns and may therefore result in the extinction of a species. Factors such as very high prices for wildlife products on the black market, low political awareness and low penalties aggravate the unsustainable and illegal trade.

At the level of the EU many significant achievements in combating illegal wildlife trafficking have been accomplished. The biggest example of that are the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, which implement the obligations for its member states under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). More in-depth national, regional and international cooperation could even enhance the current initiatives in this context. The European Commission is currently working on a plan of action against illegal wildlife trade. This plan is the result of the Resolution on Wildlife Crime that was filed in 2014 by the European Parliament. This action plan will considerably strengthen the EU's response to illegal trade.

Another key issue that needs to be dealt with is the sustainability of the global trade in wildlife. The controlling mechanisms implemented by CITES, that have been introduced worldwide, will always have their weaknesses. No permit system will guarantee that illegal wildlife trade will be banned. Criminal organisations always find the weak links in the systems and use them to plan their transits from one country to the other. Political initiatives to cease illegal wildlife trade will only be effective on the long term, if also the demand in the consuming countries will be tackled.

The EU can play a huge role in the global wildlife trade by using its legislative powers to endorse particular objectives outside its territorial borders, such as reducing the demand in countries like China, Vietnam and Thailand. But in accordance with the principle of territorial jurisdiction, the EU can only use its powers to address conduct on its own territory or conduct of EU nationals. The EU does not have the jurisdiction to regulate wildlife trade that is located out of its borders and does not affect EU nationals. Nonetheless, the EU can use the unilateral technique of territorial extension in the area of environmental law to pursue certain objectives outside its territory. Although this mechanism is very controversial, it simultaneously opens many avenues for the EU to address the shortcomings of the actions at the international level in the fight against illegal wildlife trade and the demand for these goods.

Territorial extension has already been used in the area of environmental law, namely in the (Illegal) Timber Regulation of 2013. This Regulation requires operators who place timber or timber products for the first time on the EU market, to meet the due diligence standards. The same due diligence system with its three core elements (namely information, risk assessment and risk mitigation) should be introduced in a new Due Diligence Regulation on Wildlife Trade to counter the trade in illegally hunted, transported or sold wildlife products. Those standards regulate the conduct of foreign operators which market their products within the EU. So the EU uses the territorial nexus of placing wildlife products on the EU market for the first time to exercise its jurisdiction on the behavior of operators outside its territory.

However, a lot of the wildlife trade transit routes do not cross the territory of the EU. So when there is a lack of territorial connection, the EU must use its strong overall trade position with top consuming countries in wildlife products, such as China, as a trigger to export other non-trade objectives such as sustainable development (including wildlife trade) outside its territory. The EU can do that by including a wildlife protection charter within its Free Trade Agreements (FTA's) with those countries. This charter will consist of the same due diligence standards as in the Due Diligence Regulation on Wildlife Trade. By including this in its trade regulations, respecting those standards will be a condition for the ongoing trade relation with Europe.

Unfortunately, even with these abovementioned innovative measures in the field of wildlife protection, the controlling systems and standards will not be effective if there is no certain level of sanction in case of non-compliance. Therefore a minimum level of punishment should be introduced for violations on the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations. This will create a minimum level of harmonisation in the context of illegal wildlife trade sanctions within the EU. Because of the introduction of a minimum level of punishment, the incentive for criminal organisations to transit through certain countries because of their low sanction levels will disappear. This would be an enormous step forward in the European fight against illegal wildlife trade within its territory.

The minimum sanction level introduced in the Wildlife Trade Regulations can also be used to fight illegal wildlife trade outside the territory of the EU. The same level of punishment should be included in the Due Diligence Regulation on Wildlife Trade. This would create an incentive for third country operators wishing to market within the EU, to produce wildlife goods in a legal way. Consequently this will make the new Due Diligence Regulation more effective. In addition, the same sanction level should be used when third countries1 do not comply with the due diligence standards within the wildlife charter of the FTA they concluded with the EU.

The combination of all the above-mentioned mechanisms would strengthen the role of the EU in the fight against illegal wildlife crime, both in and outside its territory. Those European initiatives can also inspire other countries that are concerned with the illegal wildlife trade problems to impose similar mechanisms on their nationals and include similar standards within their international trade relations.

Table of Acronyms and Abbreviations

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List of Tables

Table 1. Overview of Quantity of Global Wildlife Trade in Major Categories, 2005-2006

Table 2. Numbers of Species Listed in the CITES Appendices, Updated 2 October 2013

Table 3. Summary of CITES Appendices

Table 4. Summary of the EU Wildlife Trade Annexes

Table 5. Documents Needed for Trade into and from the EU, in Species Listed in Annex A, B, C or D of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations

Table 6. Differences in Content of the Annexes in the Regulation in comparison to CITES

Table 7. The Main Global Routes of Transnational Organised Crime

Table 8. Draft Proposal EU-China FTA

I Introduction

Illegal wildlife trade is an enormous global business. Wildlife trafficking is estimated to be worth between EUR11 billion and EUR18 billion a year.2

Due to the large and growing demand for wildlife products, particularly in Asia, the illegal trade in wild animals has become one of the most profitable international criminal activities in the world. Different factors such as low level of awareness, low risk of detection and low sanction levels make these activities particularly attractive to organised criminal networks in and outside the EU.3

Illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest illegal activity in the world after drug trafficking, counterfeiting and human trafficking. Criminal activities related to wildlife bring in an extraordinary amount of money, but are rarely being prosecuted.

Tiger parts (skin and bones), elephant ivory, rhino horn and certain reptiles are known as the most profitable traded wildlife commodities in these illegal networks.4 However not all wildlife trade is illegal. Thousands of animal species are being caught from the wild and then legitimately sold on the market as food, leather, tourists’ ornaments or medicines. The wildlife trade only escalades into a crisis if the biggest share in the trade network is being exercised outside the legal boundaries and is unsustainable, in the sense that it directly threatens the conservation of many species in the wild.

Both the business sector and local and national economies benefit from wildlife trade, which offers them employment opportunities and a vast source of income.5 But those illegal trade networks also pose serious risks on the conservation of species. Worldwide 7.725 species, including birds, gorillas, elephants and reptiles, run the risk of dying. That means that we risk losing twenty percent of all known mammal species and twelve percent of all known bird species forever.6

Next to the threats to biodiversity, the transnational wildlife trade is often the cause of a lot of needless suffering of animals, but also of people. With the increase of organised wildlife crime, a lot of related crimes such as murder, violence and atrocities against indigenous people were noted. Wildlife crimes jeopardise both, the conservation of species and the further development of local populations.

Those kind of illegal activities do not cease to exist at the border. However, they are engaged in highly organised cross-border networks. It is thus up to the international community to take responsibility and to unite its powers in fighting those crimes. Action needs to be done both at the level of the law enforcement and at the level of the consuming markets. Local rangers do not have sufficient and appropriate equipment to stand their ground against the highly organised criminal organisations. There is need for strong and efficient law enforcement at the international level. Next to that, strict market regulations and national controlling systems need to be enforced in order to reduce the demand of wildlife products in the consuming countries.

During last 40 years the need to regulate international trade in wildlife has been seen as a significant part of the biodiversity conservation policy and regulations. The primary international regulatory initiative in wildlife trade is the United Nations' Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora of 1975.7 CITES is an international agreement between governments of countries. The Convention permits but regulates the wildlife trade in order to prevent the extinction of animal and plant species. The Convention imposes national control licening systems that restrict certain species from international trade.

The European Union is one of the main consuming markets for wild animal products and therefore has a special responsibility to ensure that trade herein will be controlled and that the species in question are not threatened in their survival because of the trade. For many years, regulating this kind of trade in European legislation has been a priority in the field of nature conservation. In 1984 the European Union started implementing the provisions of CITES through a set of EU regulations in the field of trade in wild fauna and flora, better known as the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations. Next to that, the EU can use many other avenues to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, even at the international level.

The essay commences by defining and explaining the characteristics of the terms wildlife trade and wildlife crime (Part II). In the same part, the European and global scale value of wildlife is being showed with a few numbers. Next to that, the negative consequences of (illegal) wildlife trade are being set out. Subsequently, the most important piece of international legislation in the area of wildlife trade is being dealt with, namely CITES. In Part III the history and working of this Convention will be set out. Also the vertical interaction of the EU in the context of CITES is being described. Having explained CITES and the EU implementing measures in this context, the essay summarizes briefly the other EU wildlife trade political commitments (Part IV). The final substantive section of the essay (Part V) constitutes an analysis of other mechanisms the EU could use to interact in the international fight against illegal wildlife trade. The following mechanisms are described under this part: A new Due Diligence Regulation on Wildlife Trade, FTA's with a wildlife protection charter and a minimum level of punishment for wildlife crimes. Part VI includes the final conclusion.

II Wildlife Trade

A Definition and Characteristics of Wildlife Trade

Before digging into the more specific policy and legislative measures in the context of the fight against illegal wildlife trade, it is very important to accurately delineate the boundaries of the concept wildlife trade.

Wildlife trade is defined by TRAFFIC as 'the sale or exchange of plant and animal or of wildlife products'. This can involve live animals and plants, but also animal products such as skins, medical ingredients, timber etc.8 If wildlife trade is being executed outside the legal framework, the wildlife trade becomes illegal and can be categorised under the notion wildlife crime.

Both at the national level and the international level there is no agreed legal definition of what wildlife crime actually includes.9 The term crime generally stands for an act that is punishable by law, as being prohibited by a statute. According to some authors wildlife crimes can be defined as 'violations of criminal law designed to protect wildlife'.10 INTERPOL broadly formulates wildlife crime as 'the illegal exploitation of the world’s wild flora and fauna'.11 According to this definition those crimes can be defined as illegal wild animal trade. The most common type of wildlife crime is poaching, which is traditionally defined as 'the illegal hunting, killing or capturing of wild animals'.12

Wildlife crime is a unique category of crime. It does not fit within the traditional classifications of crimes, such as crimes against persons or property crimes. Just as it is in drug crimes and gambling, wildlife crime is sometimes characterised as a victimless crime because there is no identifiable injured party or victim. Nonetheless it has been argued that the true victim in wildlife crimes is the society-at-large. Those criminal acts often significantly harm the welfare of entire species of animals, which affects the conservation of the concerned species, which has in turn adverse effects for humans who benefit from biodiversity and suffer from the corruption and violence that comes with those crimes. Wildlife crimes have thus the potential to damage the entire ecosystem seriously.13

B The Global and EU Scale Values of Wildlife Trade

The value of legal global international wildlife trade, based on declaration import values in 2005, is around EUR240 billion a year. About 90 percent of the value is due to trade in timber and fish. To provide a glimpse of the scale of the wildlife trafficking in comparison with the trade of other goods: In 2005 the value of global trade in coffee, tea and spices was estimated at about EUR14 billion a year. So wildlife trade is a huge economic business worldwide.14

Ten percent of the global value of the wildlife trade is imputable to wildlife trade in Europe. The EU is one of the largest markets in the worldwide wildlife trade today. In 2005 the value of wildlife trade in the EU was being estimated at EUR93 billion a year, while the estimated global value was about EUR293,5 billion.15

The EU is ranked as the top global importer of wildlife commodities, including inter alia orchids, reptile skins and caviar. Below, Table 1 represents an overview of the percentage of EU imports of wildlife commodities in comparison with the US and the rest of the world (RoW).

As one of the main players in wildlife trade, the consumption patters in the EU have a direct impact on the biodiversity loss. Therefore the EU is in a privileged position to control the unsustainable wildlife trade and to assist preventing the decline and extinction of species.

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Table 1. Overview of Quantity of Global Wildlife Trade in Major Categories, 2005-200616

C Why Wildlife Trade Is a Problem

Most wildlife trade is legal, but nonetheless it remains a huge problem. Wildlife trafficking is one of the factors that contribute to the global biodiversity loss. After habitat destruction, wildlife trade is the second-biggest threat to the survival of species. In the late nineties the population of species on earth has declined approximately by 40 percent. Wildlife trade can cause overexploitation, which might lead to the extinction of certain species. Recently, overexploitation has affected a huge number of species, such as tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants and others.17

There exists an undeniable relationship between biodiversity and human welfare. In rural populations in developing countries, wildlife products are often consumed directly without passing through a market. Those products are thus of great importance in those local populations and include inter alia wild animals, fish and medical plants. The loss of this consumptive use value of biodiversity can have serious consequences for the conservation of those rural populations. Next to its consumptive use value, biodiversity also has a productive use value. Wildlife resources are often harvested and sold in the market and these results in revenues for local people.18 Wildlife is vital to a big proportion of the worldwide population, often the poorest. Rural households depend on local wildlife for their daily food and the income that arises from the sale of products made from those wildlife resources. Many people in developing countries are entirely dependent on the existence of local wildlife. So overexploitation of wildlife would both harm biodiversity and human livelihoods.

In addition to the impact on rural communities, the overexploitation of animal and plants harms the balance of nature. For example, overfishing causes imbalances in the marine system. This can have consequences to the functioning of planet earth, on which we all depend.19

Moreover, illegal wildlife trade creates a lot of associated crimes. Wildlife crime is a highly organised criminal activity. In the areas where those illegal networks are operating, other criminal activities such as passport fraud, corruption, money laundering and murder were noticed. Local tribes suffer extremely from the presence of criminal organisations in their territories.20 Next to that, a lot of local rangers have already lost their lives while trying to save the wild animals from being slaughtered by criminal organisations.

Wildlife trade can also indirectly cause harm. Changes in the structure, composition and dynamic of the ecosystem can introduce invasive species into an area. Those invasive species then compete with or prey on the native species in that territory.21 Another indirect consequence of wildlife trade is the incidental killing of non-target species. For example over a quarter of the global marine fisheries catch is incidental. Seabirds and dolphins are often caught in the fishing gear. This causes a huge amount of incidental deaths.22

Consequently, wildlife trade does not only concern the harm of animal welfare, but has huge consequences for biodiversity and human welfare. Changes in ecosystems can have socio-economic consequences for local communities that are dependent on wildlife resources for their daily needs. Wildlife trade has thus the potential of being seriously damaging and should therefore be controlled.

III Regulation and Enforcement Mechanisms of CITES

A History and Purpose of CITES

Until the 1960s, environmental problems such as wildlife trade were mainly viewed as a domestic concern. We had to wait until the early 1970s for the worldwide realisation that the environmental evils often have a transnational dimension. The international community started to develop the spirit of cooperation to safeguard certain species from extinction.23

CITES was conceived in the context of that spirit and constituted a response to the realisation that poaching and illegal wildlife trade significantly threatened many species. CITES is an international agreement between governments on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which entered into force in 1975. The goal of the Convention is to ensure that no wild species of fauna or flora become or remain subject to uncontrolled exploitation because of international trade.

By adopting the CITES in the 1970s, the international community recognised the value of biodiversity:24

Wild fauna and flora in their many beautiful and varied forms are an irreplaceable part of the natural systems of the earth which must be protected for this and the generations to come.

International problems require international solutions. This agreement was a reflection of the growing global awareness that there is a need for international cooperation to combat the wildlife crime in order to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation through trade.

The foundations of CITES can be found in a 1963 resolution of the World Conservation Union. This resolution was adopted at a meeting of members of the World Conservation Union, where they first recognised the need for an international agreement on transnational trading in wildlife. The actual text of the Convention was only agreed ten years later at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington D.C.. Finally on the first of July 1975, CITES entered in force.25

The main purpose of CITES is to 'ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival'. In other worlds, CITES does not prohibit the trade in wildlife, but it regulates it in a way to prevent the extinction of animal and plant species. The Convention tries to balance two kinds of interests: the interests of preserving wildlife and the interests of (developing) nations in using their natural resources for further development.26

B How CITES Works

1 Structure

Nonetheless the very comprehensive character of the Convention, the structure of CITES is very simple. CITES aims to regulate international trade in specimens of selected species by subjecting the trade to certain controls. It does that by establishing a permit system for the import and export of the species covered by the convention.27

Because CITES is based on the implementation of obligations in the Convention at the national level, each party to the Convention must designate at least one Management Authority which has the responsibility in administrating the license system and at least one Scientific Authority to advice on the effects of trade on the species.28

Under the terms of CITES, international trade in species listed in its appendices is allowed only if it has no adverse effects on the survival of the species in the wild. Such a judgment is formed by the Scientific Authority of the exporting member state. On the basis of the advice of the Scientific Authority, the Management Authority of the exporting member state shall issue a permit for the export. A permit will thus only be granted when two conditions are met:29

The Scientific Authority of the exporting state has to conclude that the exportation of the concerned specimen will not be detrimental to the survival of the species; and

The Management Authority of the exporting state is satisfied that the specimen was not obtained in violation of national wildlife protection laws.

It is then up to the national law enforcement agencies, such as the dounane and the police, to control the issued permits.

2 Appendices

Approximately 5,600 species of animals and 30,000 species of plants fall under the protection by CITES. Those species come under the scope of the Convention regardless of the fact that they are traded alive or stuffed, as a whole or as a part (such as ivory or leather), or as an animal-derived product (such as medicines made from animals or plants).

The permit system is dependent on the degree of protection of a particular species. CITES facilitates the differences in degree of protection by including three appendices in the Convention. Each appendix reflects the extent of the threat to the concerned types of species and the controls that apply to trade. The table below shows the number of species included in the different CITES Appendices as of 2 October 2013.

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Table 2. Numbers of Species Listed in the CITES Appendices, Updated 2 October 201330

Appendix I includes species that are in serious danger of extinction and are or may be affected by international trade. All international commercial trade in those species is in principle prohibited. Only under very strict circumstances, trade in this type of species is allowed.31 This appendix lists about 700 animal species, which include inter alia the red panda, the gorilla, tigers, Asian elephant, some populations of the African Elephant and all Rhinoceros species.32 However, most species are listed in Appendix II.

The species included in Appendix II are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but they could become threatened unless their trade is strictly controlled. Those species may only be traded when certain conditions are met to ensure the trade will not harm the species. Trade in this kind of species is only legal when the transaction is authorised, which means that an export permit has been granted.33 Some parties of the Convention adopted stricter measures for the species included in this appendix by requiring an import permit for a transaction to be legitimate. The list in Appendix II contains about 4800 animal species. Examples of species in the list are the Great White Shark, the American black bear and the Hartmann's mountain zebra.34

Appendix III lists about 150 animal species. The species included in this list are species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction globally, but a particular member state has asked the other CITES parties to assist them in the controlling of trade in a particular species. Trade of this kind of species is only permitted with an export permit and a certificate of origin of the member state that has listed the species.35

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Table 3. Summary of CITES Appendices36

C Role of the EU in CITES

1 Introduction

Initially only 21 nations signed the Convention, namely: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, France, West Germany, Guatemala, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Panama, Philippines, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela. Presently 180 countries are parties to CITES, with Iraq being the latest.37 Besides 14 member states, all the member states of the United Nations are a party to CITES.

All the member states of the European Union are a party to CITES, but the EU itself is currently not a member of CITES. Therefore the power of the EU to regulate the trade in wild fauna and flora is limited.

Originally, only countries could become a party to CITES. But in November 2013 the Gaborone Amendment to the text of the Convention entered into force.38 This amendment allows Regional Economic Integration Organisations (REIO's) to become a party to CITES. A REIO is defined in the amendment as 'organisations constituted by sovereign States which have competence in respect of the negotiation, conclusion and implementation of international agreements in matters transferred to them by their member states and covered by this Convention'. Currently the only REIO that has competences in the area of CITES is the European Union.39

Because of this amendment, the European Union may now accede to CITES. It is expected that the EU will do so before the next Conference of the Parties in 2016. If the EU becomes a party to CITES, it will have a number of votes equal to the number of its member states which are parties to the Convention (currently all 28 member states). The EU shall not exercise its right to vote if their member states exercise theirs, and vice versa.40

2 Vertical interaction with EU

(a) European internal market

The European Union establishes an internal market within its territory. The second dot of article 26 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) defines an internal market as 'an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties'. 41

According to the principle of the internal market, the free movement of goods should be guaranteed within the borders of the market. Commercial activities such as trade in wildlife products fall under the scope of the competences of the EU.42 In order to ensure the free movement of wildlife products that CITES regulates, common rules in all the 28 member states need to be established at the level of the EU. Thereby the obligations contained in CITES will be implemented uniformly all over the member states.

Next to that, wildlife trafficking is also a concern for the EU since this kind of trade threatens the biodiversity. Sustainable development, peace and stability are among the main objectives of the EU. And those objectives would be undermined if no action would be taken against illegal wildlife trafficking.43

(b) The Wildlife Trade Regulations

(i) Introduction

Although the EU is not a party to CITES, its legislation has interacted vertically in several ways with the regulatory principles in the Convention.

The implementation of the CITES agreement is made possible within the EU through a set of regulations, known as the Wildlife Trade Regulations. A regulation is a legal act of the EU which has general application and is binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all member states.44 This means that the member states do not need to transpose the regulation into national law for it to be applicable.

Both the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations and CITES deal with trade in all specimens, whether alive or dead, including parts and derivatives, from animal and plant species listed in the Annexes/Appendices.45 Nonetheless, neither CITES Resolutions or Decisions can be used for the correct interpretation of the Regulations.46 The EU Wildlife Trade Regulations is not a mere implementation of the provisions of CITES, in some respects they go beyond the Convention's requirements.

The Wildlife Trade Regulations consist a set of three separate regulations:47

– The Basic Regulation (the Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97)48: This Regulation contains the general trade framework and the conditions for import, (re-)export and internal EU trade in the species listed in the four annexes of the Regulation. It lays down the procedures and documents required for such trade. Next to that it also contains the specific requirements for member states to ensure the compliance of the obligations at the national level and to impose adequate law enforcement.
– The Implementing Regulation (Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 (as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 100/2008, Commission Regulation (EU) No 791/2012 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 792/2012)49: This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the implementation of the Basic Regulation and covers the practical aspects of the wildlife trade. It determines both the standard design forms that should be used for licenses, certificates, declarations and applications, as the labels that should be used for scientific copies.
– The Permit Regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 792/2012)50: This Regulation contains the standard model forms that need to be used for permits, certificates, notifications and applications for these documents and for labels for scientific specimens.

(ii) Structure of the Wildlife Trade Regulations

The EU Wildlife Regulations cover trade in all specimens from animal and plant species listed in four Annexes (A to D). Annexes A, B and C largely correspond with Appendices I, II and III of CITES, but also include some species that are not listed by CITES and are nonetheless protected by the EU legislation. Annex D has no equivalent in CITES and includes species that would be eligible for inclusion on the other Annexes. The import rules of the species listed in the last Annex have to be strictly controlled.51

As a general rule, commercial trade from, to and within the EU of wildlife listed in Annex A is prohibited. For the import, export and (re-)export of species in Annex B specific documentation is required. The EU rules on import of those species are stricter than those under CITES, as the EU Regulations require an additional export permit next to the import permit for the importation of species listed in Annex B into the EU.52 Import in wildlife specimens of Annex C-listed species only require a CITES export permit, a (re-export) certificate, or a certificate of origin, together with an import notification. No import permit is required for the importation of species listed in Annex C.53 Finally the import of specimens of wildlife listed in Annex D requires an import notification. This monitoring system is intended to detect early possible conservation concerns of the species listed under this annex.

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Table 4. Summary of the EU Wildlife Trade Annexes54

(iii) Working of the EU Trade Regulations

Documentation is required before trade can take place to or from the EU of species listed in Annex A, B or C of the Regulation (EC) No 338/97. For species listed in Annex D, documentation is only required for trade into the territory of the EU.

Only when certain conditions are met, the required documents can be issued. It is the task of the designated Management Authority of the EU member state, in collaboration with its Scientific Authority, to verify if the conditions are met. A shipment to enter or leave the EU can only be authorised if the relevant documents are presented to the relevant customs office. The table below gives an overview to which documents are needed for which kind of transactions.

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Table 5. Documents Needed for Trade into and from the EU, in Species Listed in Annex A, B, C or D of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations55

Multiple authorities in each member state of the EU are responsible for the enforcement of the compliance with the provisions of the Regulations, such as possession of certain documents/permits to enter into a transaction. If they have reasons to believe that one of the provisions has been infringed, they should take appropriate legal action to ensure the compliance.56 The Basic Regulation provides an Enforcement Group at the EU level, formed by representatives of each of the member state's authorities that have the enforcement responsibility. The European Commission is the chairman of the Enforcement Group. The task of the Group is to monitor the different enforcement policies within the member states and submit recommendations to improve the national enforcement mechanisms in wildlife trade legislation.57

[...]


1 A 'third country' is being defined by the European Commission as a country that is not a European Union member state.

2 WWF "Illegal wildlife trade" WWF http://worldwildlife.org/threats/illegal-wildlife-trade.

3 European Commission "Environment: Commission Consults on How EU Can Fight Against Dramatic Increase in Wildlife Trafficking" (Press Release IP/13/123, 7 February 2014).

4 Liana Sun Wyler and Pervaze A Sheikh International Illegal Trade in Wildlife (Nova Science Publishers, New York, 2008) at 9.

5 Sara Oldfield The Trade in Wildlife, Regulation for Conservation (Earthscan, London, 2003) at 16.

6 IFAW " Illegale handel bestrijden" IFAW http://www.ifaw.org/nederland/ons-werk/illegale- handel-bestrijden.

7 The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (signed 3 March 1973, entered into force 1 July 1975).

8 TRAFFIC "Wildlife Trade: What Is It?" TRAFFIC http://www.traffic.org/trade/.

9 House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Environmental Crime: Wildlife Crime: Government Response to the Committee's Twelfth Report of Session 2003-04 (United Kingdom Parliament, Tenth Special Report of Session 2007-08, 2008).

10 Sara Oldfield The Trade in Wildlife, Regulation for Conservation (Earthscan, London, 2003) at 66.

11 INTERPOL "Environmental Crime" INTERPOL http://www.interpol.int/Crime- areas/Environmental- crime/Environmental-crime.

12 N Webster Websters New 20th Century dictionary of the English Language (2nd ed., World Publishing Company, Cleveland, 1968) at 1368.

13 Kristie R Blevins and Terry D Edwards Wildlife Crime. In J. Miller in J Miller 21st Century criminology: A reference handbook (SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks CA, 2009) at 65.

14 Maylynn Engler and Rob Parry-Jones Opportunity or Threat. The Role of the European Union in Global Wildlife Trade (TRAFFIC Europe Report, June 2007).

15 Maylynn Engler and Rob Parry-Jones Opportunity or Threat. The Role of the European Union in Global Wildlife Trade (TRAFFIC Europe Report, June 2007) at 10.

16 Maylynn Engler and Rob Parry-Jones Opportunity or Threat. The Role of the European Union in Global Wildlife Trade (TRAFFIC Europe Report, June 2007) at 12.

17 WWF "Unsustainable and Illegal wildlife trade" WWF http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/species/problems/illegal_trade/.

18 R.K. Tiwari Environment and Human Rights (ABD Publishers, India, 2006) at 49.

19 WWF "Unsustainable and Illegal wildlife trade" WWF http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/species/problems/illegal_trade/.

20 INTERPOL "Environmental Crime" INTERPOL http://www.interpol.int/Crime- areas/Environmental-crime/Environmental-crime.

21 IEEP Brussels in Brief. Biodiversity and Wildlife Trade (IUCN, IUCN Newsletter, 2007) at 1.

22 WWF "Unsustainable and Illegal wildlife trade" WWF http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/species/problems/illegal_trade/.

23 Peter L Fitzgerald International Issues in Animal Law (Carolina Academic Press, Durham North Carolina, 2012) at 75.

24 The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (signed 3 March 1973, entered into force 1 July 1975), preamble.

25 Peter L Fitzgerald International Issues in Animal Law (Carolina Academic Press, Durham North Carolina, 2012) at 79.

26 Peter L Fitzgerald International Issues in Animal Law (Carolina Academic Press, Durham North Carolina, 2012) at 79.

27 CITES, arts. III-VII.

28 CITES, art. IX.

29 CITES, arts. V, §§1-2.

30 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora "The CITES species" CITES http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/species.php.

31 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora "The CITES species" CITES http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/species.php.

32 CITES, appendix I.

33 Ginette Hemley International Wildlife Trade (World Wildlife Fund, USA, 1994) at 1.

34 CITES, appendix II.

35 CITES, appendix III.

36 IEEP Brussels in Brief. Biodiversity and Wildlife Trade (IUCN Newsletter, 2007) at 2.

37 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora "The 180th Party: Iraq" CITES http://www.cites.org/eng/news/party/20140221_iraq.php.

38 Gaborone Amendment to the text of the CITES (retrieved 13 February 2012, entered into force 29 November 2013).

39 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora "CITES opens to accession by regional economic integration organizations" Juan Carlos Vasquez http://www.cites.org/eng/news/pr/2013/20131003_gaborone.php .

40 Gaborone Amendment to the text of the CITES (retrieved 13 February 2012, entered into force 29 November 2013) at §2, 5.

41 Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) [2008] OJ C115/47.

42 Art. 4,2(a) TFEU: internal market is a shared competence of the EU.

43 European Commission "Questions and Answers on Wildlife Trafficking" (Press Release MEMO12/91, 7 February 2014).

44 Art. 288, §2 TFEU.

45 European Commission and TRAFFIC Reference Guide to the European Union Wildlife Trade Regulations (February 2013), at 15.

46 European Commission and TRAFFIC Reference Guide to the European Union Wildlife Trade Regulations (February 2013), at 140.

47 European Commission "EU Wildlife Trade Legislation" EC (11 March 2014) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/legislation_en.htm.

48 Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the Protection of Species of Wild Fauna and Flora by Regulating Trade Therein [1997] OJ L 61/1–69.

49 Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 Laying Down Detailed Rules Concerning The Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 [2006] OJ L 31/3–14.

50 Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 792/2012 Laying Down Rules for the Design of Permits, Certificates and Other Documents Provided for in Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the Protection of Species of Wild Fauna and Flora by Regulating the Trade Therein and Amending Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 [2012] OJ L 242/13-45.

51 European Commission Directorate-General Environment Wildlife Trade Regulations in the European Union. An Introduction to CITES and its Implementation in the European Union (Publications Office of the European Union, Luxemburg, 2010), at 11.

52 European Commission and TRAFFIC Reference Guide to the European Union Wildlife Trade Regulations (February 2013), at 18.

53 European Commission and TRAFFIC Reference Guide to the European Union Wildlife Trade Regulations (February 2013), at 18.

54 IEEP Brussels in Brief. Biodiversity and Wildlife Trade (IUCN Newsletter, 2007) at 3.

55 European Commission and TRAFFIC Reference Guide to the European Union Wildlife Trade Regulations (February 2013), at 22-23.

56 Article 14(1) Regulation (EC) No 338/97.

57 European Commission Environment "Enforcement Group" EC (11 March 2014) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/eg_en.htm.

Details

Pages
63
Year
2014
ISBN (eBook)
9783656842828
ISBN (Book)
9783656842835
File size
2 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v284139
Institution / College
University of Auckland
Grade
A
Tags
role european union fight global illegal wildlife trade

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Title: The Role of The European Union in the Fight against Global Illegal Wildlife Trade