Service standards and performance targets for protected species trade

The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) invites all applicants to continue to submit their CWS permit applications through the regular channels during the COVID-19 outbreak. While CWS will continue to strive to meet the published service standards, we would like to advise applicants that they may experience delays in obtaining a decision.

We issue permits to import and export protected species under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA), and the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations (WAPTR). Our service standards tell you how long it will normally take us to process and respond to your permit application. We base these timelines on our resources and our experience.

Current service standards summary

When you apply for a Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) permit, we give you a decision within the following timelines:Footnote 1

  • hunting trophy export permit (excluding Polar Bears): 21 calendar days
  • Polar Bear export permit: 70 calendar days
  • all other CITES permit types: 35 calendar days

If your application is incomplete, we will notify you and the time limit will be paused until we receive all missing information.

Background and detailed service standards

Service standards are necessary for good client service and important for managing performance because they:

  • set out expectations (both internally and externally)
  • drive improvement
  • contribute to results-based management

Our service standards set the timeframe for the Minister to issue or refuse to issue a permit under the WAPPRIITA and WAPTR. We regularly analyze performance data and review service standards for these permits.

Service standards and performance targets were reviewed in 2019 and no changes were made. The next review of service standards is scheduled for 2022.

Performance targets

We present performance targets in percentages of decisions provided for permit applications within our reporting timeframe (i.e. from April 1 of a year until March 31 of the following year).

For CITES permits:

  • 2013 to 2014: 80% of decisions made within the service standard
  • 2014 to 2015: 85% of decisions made within the service standard
  • 2015 to 2016 and onward: 90% of decisions made within the service standard

Performance reporting

We measure service performance for permits issued under the WAPPRIITA annually, beginning in reporting timeframe 2013 to 2014, and we post performance information online no later than June 1 for the preceding reporting timeframe.

We did not meet the performance targets for all CITES permits issued in 2019 to 2020.

Statistics relating to processing times for the issuance of these permits are provided in the following table:Footnote 2

Hunting trophy export permits: 1940 permits issued in reporting timeframe from April 2019 to March 2020
Reporting timeframe Target Performance

April 2013 to March 2014a

80% of permits issued within 14 days

49.7% of permits issued within 14 days

April 2014 to March 2015

85% of permits issued within 14 days

96% of permits issued within 14 days

April 2015 to March 2016

90% of permits issued within 14 days

77% of permits issued within 14 days

April 2016 to March 2017

90% of permits issued within 21 days

78% of permits issued within 21 days

April 2017 to March 2018

90% of permits issued within 21 days

90% of permits issued within 21 days

April 2018 to March 2019

90% of permits issued within 21 days

82% of permits issued within 21 daysFootnote 3

April 2019 to March 2020

90% of permits issued within 21 days

84% of permits issued within 21 days Footnote 5

April 2020 to March 2021

90% of permits issued within 21 days

Performance data to be provided by June 1st, 2021

Polar Bear export permits: 152  permits issued in reporting timeframe from April 2019 to March 2020
Reporting timeframe Target Performance

April 2013 to March 2014a

80% of permits issued within 80 days

92% of permits issued within 80 days

April 2014 to March 2015

85% of permits issued within 80 days

96% of permits issued within 80 days

April 2015 to March 2016

90% of permits issued within 80 days

97% of permits issued within 80 days

April 2016 to March 2017

90% of permits issued within 70 days

93% of permits issued within 70 days

April 2017 to March 2018

90% of permits issued within 70 days

96% of permits issued within 70 days

April 2018 to March 2019

90% of permits issued within 70 days

99% of permits issued within 70 days

April 2019 to March 2020

90% of permits issued within 70 days

86% of permits issued within 70 days Footnote 6

April 2020 to March 2021

90% of permits issued within 70 days

Performance data to be provided by June 1st, 2021

All other CITES permit types: 3290  permits issued in reporting timeframe from April 2019 to March 2020
Reporting timeframe Target Performance

April 2013 to March 2014a

80% of permits issued within 40 days

91% of permits issued within 40 days

April 2014 to March 2015

85% of permits issued within 40 days

98% of permits issued within 40 days

April 2015 to March 2016

90% of permits issued within 40 days

98% of permits issued within 40 days

April 2016 to March 2017

90% of permits issued within 35 days

96% of permits issued within 35 days

April 2017 to March 2018

90% of permits issued within 35 days

95% of permits issued within 35 days

April 2018 to March 2019

90% of permits issued within 35 days

93% of permits issued within 35 days Footnote 4

April 2019 to March 2020

90% of permits issued within 35 days

88% of permits issued within 35 days Footnote 5

April 2020 to March 2021

90% of permits issued within 35 days

Performance data to be provided by June 1st, 2021

a Please note that the 2013 to 2014 statistics include data for all permits issued during the reporting timeframe (April 2013 to March 2014). However, service standards for all CITES permits came into effect on December 1st 2013 and, for the purposes of these statistics, are being applied retroactively to permits issued between April 2013 and November 2013.

Service feedback

Any feedback on these service standards, or on any issue related to CITES permits, should be directed to ec.cites.ec@canada.ca.

Applying for a permit

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: