As one of the most important consumer markets of wild animals and plants, their parts and derivatives, the European Union (EU) has a special responsibility for ensuring that trade in wildlife and wildlife products is sustainable and does not lead to species concerned becoming endangered. For many years, legislation to govern this trade has been a conservation priority and, since 1984, the European Union (then the European Economic Community) has been implementing the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) through the EC Wildlife Trade Regulations, referred to henceforth as the EU wildlife trade regulations.
This guide is to be used as a u0091beginners guideu0092 or first reference material by anyone who wants to gain a quick overview of CITES and the EU wildlife trade regulations and their main provisions. It is by no means exhaustive; it is intended to provide people who are new to the subject of wildlife trade and CITES with a brief summary of the main issues. A more detailed Reference Guide to the EC Wildlife Trade Regulations, that explains all the relevant provisions as well as the procedures for trading in wildlife species covered by CITES and the EU wildlife trade regulations, is available in English on the following website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/home_en.htm