Infringements of the CITES legislation are punishable by the law, which provides for fines with a minimum amount of 208 euros, that can be as high as 400,000 euros, and even prison sentences ranging from six months to five years depending on the seriousness of the offences.

Thus, the lack of a CITES certificate (yellow document in A4 format) for engagement in any commercial activity with Annex A specimens constitutes a criminal offence.

This offence is punishable by a fine, the amount of which is assessed in particular on the basis of the situation and the market value of the specimen (animal or plant species, or object covered by the CITES Convention).

In addition, the specimen may be seized and placed in a rescue centre. Offenders may also have to bear the accommodation costs.

The same applies for imports and (re)-exports of CITES specimens to or from the European Union without the required permits.

The lack of legal proof of origin (invoices, transfer documents, etc.) for your Annex B specimens also constitutes an offence punishable by penalties.

If you do not keep a CITES register or if it is poorly kept, you should also be aware that this constitutes a CITES infringement that is also punishable by a fine.

The use of permits that are falsified, invalid (e.g.: non-compliance with the restrictions included at the bottom of the document) or altered without the authorisation of the management authority is also punishable by penalties of greater or lesser severity.

Finally, you should be aware that any type of false declaration with a view to obtaining documents is also punishable.