Applications can be physically delivered to the offices of the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification or emailed to [email protected]
What is CITES?
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international, legally binding agreement, which was entered into force on 1 July 1975. Barbados became a party to this Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) on the 9th December 1992.
Regulation of Trade
CITES regulates international trade in specimens of species of wild fauna and flora on the basis of a system of permits and certificates, which are issued when consignments of specimens leave or enter a country.
Each member country must designate a Management Authority responsible for issuing permits and certificates, subject to the advice of the Scientific Authority.
The CITES Management Authority
The major roles of the Management Authority include but are not limited to:
- issuing permits and certificates;
- maintaining records of trade;
- consulting with the Scientific Authority;
- advising the Minister on matters of policy;
- preparing annual reports.
The Biodiversity Conservation and Management Section, within the Ministry responsible for the environment, is charged with the responsibilities of the CITES Management Authority for Barbados. Contact information is as follows:
The Ministry of Environment and Drainage
10th Floor, Warrens Towers II,
Warrens, St. Michael,
Tel: (246) 535-4350
Fax: (246) 535-4377
The CITES Scientific Authority
The CITES Scientific Authority is a committee which advises the Management Authority on whether trade of specimens would be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. The Scientific Authority for Barbados comprises experts from the University of the West Indies (UWI) as well as representatives from the Customs & Excise Department, Veterinary Services Department, Plant Quarantine Department, Biodiversity Conservation and Management, Coastal Zone Management Unit and the Fisheries Division.
The plant and animal species listed, including their parts and derivatives, are subject to varying degrees of regulation and as such are categorized by three appendices.
Appendix I includes species that are endangered and for which trade is only authorised in exceptional circumstances. Both an import permit and export or re-export permit are required
Appendix II includes species that are threatened and may become endangered unless trade is strictly regulated. Appendix II also contains so-called “look alike” species, which are controlled because of similarity in appearance to other regulated species. Only an export permit from the country of export is required.
Appendix III includes species that are subject to regulation within the jurisdiction of a Party and for which the cooperation of other Parties is needed to prevent or restrict exploitation. An export permit from the country that listed the species or a certificate of origin is required from the country which did not list the species.
The enforcement of CITES in Barbados is the responsibility of the Management and Scientific Authorities, in addition to all citizens.
To ensure the adequate implementation of the provisions of the Convention, the Government of Barbados has put in place CITES specific legislation.
The Barbados legislation is the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Act, 2006 and gives the convention the force of law in Barbados.
The Act applies to all animals and plants listed in the Convention’s appendices and some locally threatened species.
Any person who:
- fails to make or furnish any declaration, statement, representation or information;
- fails to produce any permit or who for the purpose of obtaining a permit makes or furnishes any declaration, statement, representation or information that is false, or
- produces any permit which he knows or has reason to believe is false in any material particularly; or
- has not been given by the person by whom it purports to have been given, or has been in anyway altered or tampered with
Is guilty of an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $75,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term of 2 years or to both.
Trade with Non-Parties
The Convention requires trade with countries not Party to CITES be subject to documentation that substantially conforms with the requirements for CITES permits and certificates.
To avoid prosecution, you must obtain a CITES permit request form from the CITES Management Authority when trading in CITES listed species.
A CITES permit request form should be obtained from the Management Authority. The form should be completed and returned to the CITES Management Authority to facilitate issuance of the CITES permit.
The application process takes a minimum of two (2) weeks to complete. The process includes consultations with the Scientific Authority. In addition the process may also entail the submission of additional information and a site visit to inspect accommodation for biological diversity to be imported. These activities may lengthen the processing time.
After a thorough investigation is conducted the applicant may be issued with either a permit, a certificate of origin or a letter stating the specimen is not CITES listed. Alternatively the application may be refused.
When a permit has been issued the applicant should be aware that the original permit is accompanied by four copies
- Grey (original) – goes with the shipment
- Pink – kept by the Management Authority
- Yellow – kept by either the Veterinary Services Department or Plant Quarantine Department
- Blue – Customs & Excise Department
- Green – kept by the Applicant
The Veterinary Services or the Plant Quarantine Departments, divisions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, should then be approached (dependent on the nature of the specimen) for additional approval.
Where a refusal is the result from the Management Authority, the Ministry will notify the applicant in writing outlining the reason for the refusal. The applicant may appeal the decision in writing to the Minister within 6 weeks of receiving the notification of the decision.
Local Species Listed Under CITES
A number of species found in Barbados are listed under CITES.
- Green turtle (Chelonia mydas)
- Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)
- Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
- African green monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops sabaeus)
- Red-footed tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria)
- Queen Conch (Strombus gigas)
- West Indian mahogany (Swietenia mahogani)
Species of Special Interest
There is also a number of locally occurring hard corals listed under CITES, and these include:
- Brain coral
- Cactus coral
- Finger Coral
- Flower Coral
- Pillar Coral
- Staghorn Coral
Local species that may be adversely affected by trade
Included in the legislation are local species that may be adversely affected by trade and for these, you will also need an export permit for trade. These species are:
- Grass snake (Liophis perfuscus)
- Barbados racer snake (Mastigodryas bruesi)
- Worm/Thread snake (Leptotyphlops bilineata)
- Barbados leaf toed gecko )(Phyllodactylus pulcher)
- Tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia)
- Blue spotted anole (Anolis roquet extremus)
- Keeled tegu (Kentropix borckiana)
- Caribbean microteiid (Gymnothalmus underwoodii)
- Red footed tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria)
- African green monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops)
Personal and household effects
Personal and household effects exemptions include
Up to three (3) Queen conch (Strombus gigas) shells per person
Up to four (4) specimens of Crocodilian species per person
Up to a maximum of 250g of caviar per person
Up to three (3) rain sticks of cactaceae species per person
For more information please contact the Ministry of Environment and Drainage or refer to the CITES website, www.cites.org.