Exit mobile menu
Close Menu
home  /  login  /  register  /  search  /  Tel: 020 8844 2266
Menu Menu

Update on CITES in a 'No Deal' situation

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). have been looking at the implications of the UK leaving the EU with regards to the trade in endangered species under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

In the event of a no deal EU exit, there are over 30,000 endangered species and their products (from handbags to antiques) that will need permits and must travel through designated ports so may affect your members.

Below is included the current CITES guidance for a no deal scenario. In particular, attention is drawn to the list of designated ports, which does not currently include Eurotunnel, Dover or Holyhead for Day 1.


Guidance which sets out how people who trade in, or travel with, endangered animals or plants, or their products, would be affected if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-and-moving-endangered-species-protected-by-cites-if-theres-no-withdrawal-deal

Defra have also been reviewing where CITES goods can currently come into the UK, which can be viewed at, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/pdf/list_points_of_entry.pdf.

Trade in CITES goods between the UK and the EU can currently be undertaken through any UK port or airport due to free movement within the EU. In the event of a “No Deal, this will not be the case and Defra will designate specific ports and airports of entry and exit for the import/export of CITES goods. These changes will probably restrict the usable routes .

Currently there are just 10 ports and airports for CITES trade with countries outside the EU, but  Defra plans to increase this figure   to in this to 25 in the event of a No Deal scenario.  Additional  information on the new list of CITES designated ports by clicking here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-cites-listed-species-through-uk-ports-and-airports-after-brexit

It should be  noted that Eurotunnel, Dover and Holyhead are not currently proposed for designation for Day 1 (29 March 2019). This is to avoid potential delays at these ports as they experience large volumes of traffic passing through and any critical blockages caused by the new checks required on CITES goods could compromise access to food and other key commodities. There will be no facilities at these ports to get your CITES permits stamped.

Defra are aware that Dover and Eurotunnel are key routes for CITES trade between the UK and mainland Europe and are will be working with them and Border Force to enable future designation for handling CITES goods. Please note that the designation of ports will be reviewed (and amended as necessary) as more data is obtained after March 2019 on the actual levels of CITES trade between the UK and the EU.

If Members have any questions, please contact please send them to this mailbox: euexitcites@defra.gov.uk

Reset password