[Coral-List] CITES permit exemptions for corals

Richard Dunne RichardPDunne at aol.com
Fri Oct 31 07:47:59 EDT 2008

Dear Listers

Since posting the CITES position on Coral Fragments to Coral List in
response to Iliana Baums' query, it has been privately reported to me
that not all countries interpret this CITES exemption in the same way, 
including the US Government.

The position of all European Union Countries on this is very clear and
has been incorporated in EU law by virtue of Commission Regulation (EC)
No 318/2008 of 31 March 2008, which says:

"The following are not subject to the provisions of this Regulation
(i.e. CITES):
Coral sand, that is to say material consisting entirely or in part of
finely crushed fragments of dead coral no larger than 2 mm in diameter
and which may also contain,amongst other things, the remains of
Foraminifera, mollusc and crustacean shell, and coralline algae
Coral fragments (including gravel and rubble), that is to say
unconsolidated fragments of broken finger-like dead coral and other
material between 2 and 30 mm indiameter."

I have ascertained that the United Kingdom Government does not require
CITES permits for this material - including if for example it was
embedded in EM resin.

Obviously we need to find out from our respective Governments what their 
position is on this
change to CITES regulations and so avoid the absurd situation whereby a
scientist leaving say a EU country with this material in their possession
then has it confiscated on entry to another country because of the lack 
of a
permit, which the CITES convention does not require. Unless we do so 
then it is a
continuing problem for all researchers. As a first step in this 
direction I have contacted the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Richard P Dunne

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