[Coral-List] CITES permit exemptions for corals
RichardPDunne at aol.com
Wed Oct 29 13:11:48 EDT 2008
Strictly speaking the document to which you were referred is an
interpretation of the Convention for European Union countries only.
The relevant provisions of CITES are:
Conf. 11.10 (Rev. CoP14) which contains definitions. Relevant to
biologists who collect coral samples which were once alive but in the
process of collecting/ preservation are killed, are the definitions of:
DEAD CORAL - pieces of coral that are dead when exported, but that may
have been alive when collected, and in which the structure of corallites
(the skeleton of the individual polyp) is still intact; specimens are
therefore identifiable to the level of species or genus.
THESE ARE SUBJECT TO CITES
CORAL FRAGMENTS (including gravel and rubble) - unconsolidated fragments
of broken finger-like dead coral and other material between 2 and 30mm
in diameter, which is not identifiable to the level of genus.
THESE ARE NOT SUBJECT TO CITES by virtue of
Conf. 9.6 (Rev.) "coral sand and coral fragments [as defined in the
Annex of Resolution Conf. 11.10 (Rev. CoP14)3] are not considered
readily recognizable and are therefore not covered by the provisions of
So yes by definition anything fitting into the definition of a CORAL
FRAGMENT under Conf. 11.10 (Rev. CoP14) is NOT covered by CITES
throughout the world by all parties to the Convention. This would
include tips of branching corals and also cores from massive corals less
than 30mm in diameter.
It also appears that specimens of (for example) decalcified coral
embedded in resin for electron microscopy, or other dead material in
formalin etc., where there is no skeleton (e.g., tissue slurry or other
tissue extracts) are also EXEMPT since they no longer have any skeleton
by which they can be identified. Additionally, specimens of this type
which have skeleton but fall within the 2-30mm size would be EXEMPT as
being Coral fragments.
Anyone like to comment further on this?
Richard P Dunne
Iliana Baums wrote:
> Dear colleagues,
> CITES never ceases to surprise me. After long struggles we had obtained
> a CITES permit to export small coral samples for DNA analysis. After
> dropping off the permit with Fish and Wildlife in the US, they called
> the next day with a few questions. During the conversation the gentleman
> told me that in fact I did not need a CITES permit for my coral samples
> because they were so small. I asked for the reference for this and was
> told to go to the CITES webpage and indeed found the following
> ?Overview of coral products in trade and relevant Resolutions /
> Decisions for implementation of CITES provisions in EU
> Note: fossil corals exempted from CITES, but no common CITES
> interpretation on definition of “fossil corals”
> Corals: Helioporidae spp. (Blue corals), Tubiporidae spp. (Organpipe
> corals), ANTHIPATHARIA spp. (black corals), SCLERACTINIA (order) Stony
> corals?(hard corals), Milleporidae and Stylasteridae. Please note: NB –
> there is no exemption for fossils of black corals (Antipatharia)
> Resolution Conf. 11.10 on definitions
> Coral fragments: Coral fragments (including gravel and rubble) –
> unconsolidated fragments of broken finger-like dead coral and other
> material between 2 and 30 mm in diameter, which is not identifiable to
> the level of genus. Res: 9.6 (Rev CoP12): not readily recognisable so
> not covered by convention, Not covered by convention, No CITES export
> permit and no EU CITES import permit required.
> Now, does this mean I can quit chasing CITES permits? Anybody know who
> to ask?
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