Do you wish to purchase/sell CITES species or engage in an other commercial activity (exchange) in Belgium or in the European Union?

Purchasing, selling or any other commercial activity with specimens of Annex A species within the European Union (EU) requires the issuance of a CITES certificate.

This CITES certificate is issued if one of the following conditions is met:

1. the animal is acquired or imported prior to the species being subject to the rules on the trade in endangered animal species or
2. the animal is imported into the EU in accordance with the European regulations in force or
3. the animal is born and bred in captivity and its parents were acquired legally.

Any commercial activity involving Annex A specimens, live or dead, from a wild source is strictly prohibited.

Below you will find the procedures and verification to be carried out in order to comply with the CITES legislation:

Live Annex A specimens

1. Prior to purchasing, selling or engaging in a commercial activity with a CITES Annex A specimen, ensure that an original CITES certificate (yellow document in A4 format) corresponding to the specimen is present.

This document can be obtained via the Belgian CITES database.

This certificate can be seen as a passport. It follows the animal with each change in ownership, except if the certificate explicitly mentions that the animal may not change ownership (box 20 at the bottom of the certificate).

2. Read the certificate carefully prior to acquiring the animal.

In particular, check if it concerns a certificate for commercial transactions (at the top on the right) authorising all commercial transactions
(box 19.b of the certificate and case “no” located at the bottom of the certificate ticked) and
that no restrictions are mentioned in box 20.

 If box “yes” at the bottom is ticked, the certificate may only be used for a single transaction. Sale is permitted but any subsequent sale will require that you reapply for a new certificate.
 If you do not know if the certificate is valid for resale, contact the CITES department.

Please note that certificates from other EU countries are also valid in Belgium and that they permit trade.

3. Ensure that the live specimen is identified.

Depending on the type of animal, there are different requirements for marking:

 an electronic microchip for mammals (apes, tigers, etc.), reptiles (e.g.: tortoises) or other vertebrates (fish). The electronic microchip number must be mentioned in case 4 of the certificate;

 a closed leg-ring bearing a unique number for birds. Its number must be included in box 4 of the certificate.

What is an electronic microchip?

The electronic microchip is an unalterable microchip transponder bearing a specific number and meeting ISO standards 11784:1996 (E) and 11785:1996 (E). Actually, the electronic microchip number is composed of 15 figures.

 What is a closed leg-ring?

This seamlessly closed leg-ring consists of a ring or band in a continuous circle, without any break or join, which has not been tampered with in any way. It is applied in the first days of the bird’s life and is of a size that cannot be removed from the bird’s leg when the bird is fully grown. This leg-ring is commercially manufactured for that purpose.

If the live specimen is not identified or could not be identified for reasons of animal welfare, the certificate is in principle limited to a single transaction. In order to be able to resell the specimen subsequently, a new certificate will be required.

4. As a Belgian resident, remember to complete:

The register of departures with the animal(s) that you have just sold and for specimens that are dead, escaped, etc.!

The register of arrivals with the animal(s) that you have just acquired through purchase, birth or exchange.
Refer to the model registers available and read the explanations mentioned in these models.

The register must be kept in the location where the animals are kept and for up to five years following the last entry.
For certain species that reproduce easily in captivity, it is not necessary to keep a CITES register. A list is available of the species concerned.

The most frequently marketed live Annex A specimens (non-exhaustive list)


Reptiles
 Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni)
 Greek or Moorish tortoise (Testudo graeca)
 Marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata)
 Madagascar Boa (or Sanzinia madagascariensis)

Birds
 Barn owl (Tyto alba)
 Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
 Goffin’s cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana)
 Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)
 Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)
 Yellow-naped amazon (Amazona auropalliata)
 Yellow-headed amazon (Amazona oratrix)
 Buffon’s macaw (Ara ambigua)
 Military macaw (Ara militaris)
 Scarlet macaw (Ara macao)

Dead Annex A specimens and parts or  derivatives

For dead specimens, parts or derivatives (e.g.: ivory tusk or statuette, narwhal tooth, stuffed animal etc.) it must be possible to establish a connection between the specimen and the certificate: microchip in the stuffed specifies, very detailed description for the objects (size, weight, etc.). If no identification is possible, the certificate is limited to one transaction and therefore a subsequent sale will require a new certificate. In case of doubt, contact the CITES department.

Live or dead Annex B specimens

1. Prior to engaging in any commercial activity, purchasing or selling one or more CITES Annex B specimens, ensure that the specimen has legal proof of origin, such as for example an invoice mentioning the CITES import permit number, a declaration of transfer dated and signed by the breeder, etc. If it is a live bird, it can be fitted with a closed leg-ring, which makes it possible to trace the breeder.

2. As a Belgian resident, remember to complete:

The register of departures with the animal(s) that you have just sold and for specimens that are dead, escaped, etc.!

The register of entries with the animal(s) that you have just acquired through purchase, birth or exchange.

Refer to the model registers available and read the explanations mentioned in these models.

The register must be kept in the location where the animals are kept and for up to five years following the last entry.

For certain species that reproduce easily in captivity, it is not necessary to keep a CITES register. A list is available of the species concerned.

Summary table of the documents required within the European Union according to the type of species (Annexes)

Type of species  Procedures
Live Annex A • Obtaining an EC certificate (yellow A4 document)
• Identifying the specimen: 
     - Live animals other than birds: identified by electronic microchip
     - Live birds: identified by closed leg-ring

• Keeping CITES registers for arrivals and departures except:
     o for species frequently bred in captivity (see list),
     o for plant specimens


For more information, consult the CITES department.

Plants reproduced artificially: certificate not necessary

Annexe A products
e.g.: mounted specimens, skins, skulls, skeletons, ivory objects/tusks, musical instruments made from rosewood dalbergia, etc.
- EC certificate (yellow A4 document) except for worked items that are over 60 years old (subject to valid proof)
- Identification:
     - Stuffed specimen: by electronic microchip or closed leg-ring (bird), if not possible the certificate is limited to a single transaction
     - Object ivory elephant tusks : unique number written with indelible ink issued by the CITES department and very detailed description of the items: size (inner and outer curve, diameter at the base), weight.

- Keeping of CITES registers of arrivals and departures
Live Annex B specimens e.g.: grey red-rumped parrot or
dead specimens, parts or derivatives: mounted specimens, skins, skulls, skeletons, caviar, leather goods made from reptile leather
- Legal proof of origin:
Example:
Invoice mentioning the import permit number; declaration of transfer from the former owner
- Keeping of CITES registers of arrivals and departures except for:
- finished products made from skins (e.g.: alligator leather goods), hair or feathers;
- parts or derivatives of specimens for human consumption (e.g.: crocodile meat, caviar, etc.).
Annex C 
 
None
Annex D None