CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

CITES seeks to regulate international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants at sustainable levels to ensure that this trade does not threaten their survival.

CITES is mainly relevant to hunters in relation to the import/export of hunting trophies, but also as one of a number of key international agreements setting the global conservation agenda, establishing conservation principles and providing the tools and means for cooperation. Species covered by the Convention are listed in three Appendixes, subject to different levels of protection:

- For Appendix I species, the conditions to import a trophy are particularly strict and subject to quotas.

- Appendix II lists species that are not presently threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. It also includes so-called “look-alike species”, i.e. species of which the specimens in trade look like those of species listed for conservation reasons.

- Appendix III is a list of species included at the request of a Party that already regulates trade in the species and that needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation.

CITES currently has 183 Parties, including the 28 EU Member States which during CoPs, held every 3 years, are expected to speak with one voice and to vote as a block. FACE works on CITES in partnership with Safari Club International and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation.

FACE has participated on the following meetings:

- CITES CoP 17 In Johannesburg, South Africa (September 2016)

- CITES CoP16 in Bangkok, Thailand (March 2013)


Community-based Natural Resource Management - CBNRM

When correctly applied, CBNRM programmes are considered by the international conservation community as a highly promising tool in combining conservation of wildlife with poverty reduction.

It is in this combination that the success of these programmes lies because the social and economic benefits derived from sustainable use, including revenues from trophy hunting, provide sustainable incentives for local people to conserve wildlife.

The social and economic benefits derived from sustainable use, including revenues from trophy hunting, provide sustainable incentives for local people to conserve wildlife.

This is in particular true in Africa for species such as the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and lion (Panthera leo) which would otherwise risk being perceived by local people as nuisances, competing with land-use and livestock production, and sometimes posing a direct lethal threat to humans. Where the local communities on the other hand are effectively given responsibility for the management of species through CBNRM, it contributes positively to species conservation by rendering them a true value whilst increasing the welfare of the communities by addressing poverty.


The EU Wildlife Trade Regulations (the basic Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 and the implementing Commission Regulation (EC) No. 865/2006) directly transpose the provisions of CITES in the EU.

These regulations, being directly applicable in the Member States, are in many ways stricter than CITES, for example through an Annex A that prohibits commercial trade in species not otherwise listed by CITES (e.g. several large carnivores that are important for hunters and all birds of prey). The EU also adds an Annex D, of species for which import levels are monitored.

Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 provides the Commission with the possibility to restrict the introduction of species into the European Union. This is done after consultation with the countries of origin concerned and taking into account any opinion of the Scientific Review Group. Read more about the most recent Suspension Regulation.

European Commission on CITES:

See the page on Animal By-Products for information on health requirements for the import of hunting trophies into the EU.