More on European coral import restrictions (fwd)

J. Charles Delbeek delbeek at
Tue Oct 12 08:09:50 EDT 1999

For those asking about the proposed ban on coral imports into the EU ...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 23:10:55 -1000
From: Svein A. Fossa <sfossa at>
Subject: More on European coral import restrictions

A brief update on the coral import situation in the European Union:

An extensive search, through personal contacts as well as on the Internet, 
has revealed that the new regulations on Scleractinia trade within EU 
pertain to the following:

The EU Scientific Review Group has, in meeting 16.09.1999, raised negative 
opinions (see explanation below) on the import of the following species 
from Indonesia:

Blastomussa merleti
Cynarina lacrymalis
Trachyphyllia geoffroyi
Euphyllia divisa
Euphyllia glabrescens
Plerogyra simplex

In order to explain the importance of SRG opinions, I have copied the 
following from :

Opinions of the Scientific Review Group (SRG)

These may exist in cases where the SRG has examined whether or not imports 
in particular circumstances would comply with the conservation requirements 
of Regulation 338/97. The SRG opinion may change rapidly if new information 
about the trade or conservation status of a species in a particular country 
of origin becomes available. The opinion of the SRG will normally be 
followed by individual Scientific Authorities but is only indicative and 
Scientific Authorities of Member States can give a different opinion to 
that of the SRG (e.g. if new information becomes available). Where there is 
no SRG opinion, the decision about whether or not the conservation 
requirements of Regulation 338/97 are met will be taken by the Scientific 
Authority of the Member State in question. Should they find that the 
conditions are not met, this information will be immediately relayed to the 
other Member States and a uniform position adopted by all Member States.

Community import restrictions

When the SRG has given a negative opinion about the acceptability of the 
imports of a certain species from a certain country of origin (or in the 
case of species suffering high mortality in transport, unlikely to survive 
in captivity, or proven to cause ecological threat to native species), the 
European Commission will consult with the country of origin concerned and 
may subsequently establish a binding import restriction, which will be 
published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Member 
States will respect these restrictions until such time as they are lifted.

Current Opinions and Restrictions

The EU Wildlife Trade Reference Database below shows the current SRG 
opinions and community import restrictions. It can be used as an INDICATION 
about whether or not an import permit might be issued in particular 

However it should be clearly understood that firstly all other conditions 
(valid export permit, suitable housing conditions for live animals etc.) 
for the issue of a permit must be met, and secondly that the conservation 
circumstances surrounding species can and do change and this may result in 
a different consequence than that implied by the entries in the EU Wildlife 
Trade Reference Database tables.

--- end of quote ---

To find an overview of regulations pertaining to individual species of 
Scleractinia - search from

Best wishes,
Svein A. Fossa

Bioddgaten 17
NO-4878 Grimstad, Norway
Tel: +47 37 09 18 88
Fax: +47 37 04 30 29
E-mail: sfossa at

The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium Web Site:

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