The 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP19) was held from 14 to 25 November 2022 in Panama City, Panama.
CoP20 will be held in 2025.
What is the CITES CoP?
The CITES CoP is where governments (CITES parties) around the world convene every two to three years to review and make decisions on the regulation of trade in endangered species.
Under CITES, trade is defined as import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea (for marine species taken on the high seas).
The CoP decides on:
- proposals to list, remove, or change the listing of species on the CITES appendices
- policy and implementation measures to improve the effectiveness of the convention
- the strategic direction of the convention (including budget matters) to enable the CITES Secretariat to function effectively.
Representatives of non-government organisations, industry groups and others with an interest in the Convention also attend CoP meetings. However, only CITES parties can vote on decisions at the CoP.
The previous CITES CoP (CoP18) was held in August 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Outcomes of the CITES CoP19
Delegates considered 52 proposals relating to more than 500 species, deciding on whether to increase or decrease controls on international trade in wildlife and wildlife products.
They also considered 91 agenda items proposing new measures and policies relating to the international wildlife trade.
More information on the CITES CoP19 is available at CITES CoP19.
- The full list of CoP19 agenda papers on the interpretation and implementation of CITES is available at: Agenda documents - CoP19
- A summary of CoP19 proposals to amend the species listed under CITES and their outcomes is available at: Decisions made on proposals to amend Appendices I and II.
Amendments to the CITES Appendices, including new listings, enter into force for all parties 90 days after the meeting (i.e., 23 February 2023), unless a delayed implementation date is agreed.
Australia implements CITES through its national environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The List of CITES Species included in the EPBC Act will be amended by 23 February 2023 to ensure that any Australian imports and exports of the species newly listed under CITES may continue.
Amendments to the CITES Appendices at CoP19
Australia is neither a range state for the majority of species covered by the amendments to Appendices I and II adopted at CoP19, nor does Australia have an industry in the international trade of the majority of these species. As such, there will be no consequences for Australian businesses arising from the listing amendments for the majority of these species.
The amendments that are relevant to Australia include listings:
- of an endemic Australian reptile, Tiliqua adelaidensis, to Appendix I;
- of four marine species taxa (requiem sharks, hammerhead sharks, guitarfish and sea cucumbers)
- for which Australia is a range state; and
- for species in which Australia is known to trade: Rhodiola spp. and brazilwood (Paubrasilia echinata).
The listing proposal for the pygmy bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua adelaidensis) was developed by Australia with input from state and territory governments and threatened species experts. It also received endorsement by the CITES Animals Committee (the CITES scientific and technical committee for fauna). There is evidence that international trade is a threat to the survival of this species and the listing to Appendix I was adopted by consensus.
Please note that change to the CITES Appendices for this or any species does not change the threatened status of this species under Australian, state or territory legislation, or by the IUCN, and will not affect conservation management of this species.
Proposals to include hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidae spp.) and guitarfish (Rhinobatidae spp.) in Appendix II to CITES were adopted. These listings are effective from 23 February 2023. Proposals to include requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae spp.) and three species of sea cucumber (Thelenota spp.) in Appendix II were also adopted with delayed listings. The requiem shark listing will come into effect after a 12-month implementation delay on 25 November 2023 and the sea cucumber listing will come into effect after an 18-month implementation delay on 25 May 2024. All these species are found in Australian waters and are caught in some fisheries.
The proposal to list Rhodiola spp. in Appendix II was adopted with the annotation “All parts and derivatives except: a) seeds and pollen; and b) finished products packaged and ready for retail trade”. This listing may affect Australian businesses conducting international trade in the species.
CoP19 adopted an amendment to the current annotation regulating trade in brazilwood (Paubrasilia echinata) in Appendix II. Australia imports a large number of finished/worked musical instrument bows made from brazilwood. The amended annotation exempts all re-exported finished musical instruments and instrument accessories from permitting requirements.
A number of reptile species, including rare lizard and tortoises, were also given additional protections due to concerns about the impact to wild harvest for the pet trade.
Do you trade internationally in any species listed on CITES, or other plants or animals?
- Find out if you need a permit