[Coral-List] question regarding importation of red coral to the USA

Andy Bruckner Andy.Bruckner at noaa.gov
Mon Sep 8 17:07:25 EDT 2003

Dear folks,

I would like to clarify one item that was mentioned in the email from 
Paul.  His discussion of the Appendix II (not annex II) listing was 
correct.  However, only stony corals (all scleractinian corals from 
shallow reefs and deep water, as well as Millepora, Stylaster, 
Distichopora, Heliopora and Tubipora) and also all antipatharians 
(black coral) are listed in CITES on Appendix II. Red or pink corals 
(Corallium spp.) as well as bamboo corals and other precious corals are 
NOT listed in either Appendix I or II.

Also the exporting countries management authoritzy is required to issue 
the export permit.  This is only supposed to be issued if the 
scientific authority from that country has determined that the trade 
will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild and 
the specimen was legally acquired.  Some countries like those in teh 
European Union also require import permits (the U.S: does not).

Hope this clears this up.



----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Hoetjes <paul&mieke at hoetjes.net>
Date: Saturday, September 6, 2003 11:24 pm
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] question regarding importation of red coral 
to the USA

> All stony corals, as well as black corals and some other deep 
> water corals
> lused for jewelry like red coral, bamboo coral and such, are 
> listed on Annex
> II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered 
> Species) (see
> the CITES website http://www,cites.org
> It is a common misconception that this means that their trade is 
> banned.This is not true. It only means that the country of origin 
> must issue an
> export permit before such species (or their products, e.g. jewelry 
> made from
> them)  are allowed into any other country (not only the USA) which has
> ratified CITES (most of the countries in the world). This is to 
> ensure that
> the country of origin can control the amounts of such species 
> leaving the
> country, and if it feels this is too much it can refuse to issue a 
> permit.Ingeneral, trade in Annex II species is allowed though it 
> is controlled, i.e a
> permit is needed. Lack of the permit leads to confiscation, fines 
> etc. by
> customs. Live or dead corals in the aquarium trade and souvenir 
> trade have
> presumably been imported legally with a permit.
> The origin of the misconception that species listed by CITES are 
> 'banned'from importation lies in the Annex I. This is a much 
> shorter list of species
> that are considered to be in actual danger of going extinct, i.e sea
> turtles, tigers, rhinoceros, etc.
> Hope this helps.
> Anne Cohen wrote:
> > Dear All
> > A jewellery supplier in Massachussetts contacted me regarding a 
> shipment> of "synthetic" red coral they received from Thailand, 
> that was
> > subsequently held but not confiscated by US Fish and Wildlife 
> who issued
> > the supplier with a "Notification of Wildlife 
> Importation/Exportation> Violation". Apparently USFW had tested 
> the items and found them to be
> > real coral.
> >
> > The jewellery supplier is anxious to learn more and avoid illegal
> > importations. I'd appreciate your comments and answers to these 
> specific> questions that were addressed to me:
> >
> > If it is "real" coral is all coral considered endangered and banned
> > from Importation into the U.S., or O.K. to import with a 
> license? We
> > have taken much time to research this, but the information  on 
> coral is
> > vast. It seems there are thousands of types of coral. Some 
> perhaps more
> > endangered than others? Is there any difference when importing 
> "live"> coral as compared to "dead" coral. It seems coral is very 
> easy to
> > purchase, both live (as for fish tanks) and the type for
> > ornamentation/jewelry. How can that be if it cannot be legally 
> imported> into the U.S.? Is coral cultivated in certain countries 
> for re-sale?
> >
> > Many Thanks
> > Anne
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