Trade in protected species: permit validation

Notice To All Exporters - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Permit Validation by Canada Border Services Agency

November 2008


The CITES requires that Canadian CITES export permits be validated and shipments inspected by the Canada Border Services Agency(CBSA) at point of export. This mandatory requirement is specified in the standard conditions of your permit.

CITES permits not validated by the CBSA at point of export will be considered invalid, resulting in detainment of shipments and possible seizure by the Customs authorities in countries of destinations.

Please also note that, effective May 1, 2008, the United States Fish and Wildlife Services Office of Law Enforcement began the implementation of a new U.S. regulation requiring that all Canadian CITES export permits be validated by the CBSA prior to any CITES regulated goods being exported from Canada to the United States of America (USA).

Validation by CBSA means that box 17 For Customs Use only of each permit needs to be completed by a BSO. The total number of shipping containers, the bill of lading or air waybill number (when available), the name of the port of export, the date of export, and the total number or quantity of each type of specimens or products authorized in blocks A, B or C of your permit that are actually exported, must be recorded.

Therefore, it is imperative that you see a Border Services Officer (BSO) at the border (land, airport or seaport) to have your CITES permit validated and shipment inspected prior to export from Canada.

If the goods are to be exported by mail, you could hire the services of a Customs Broker (Canadian Society of Customs Brokers ( whose responsibility will be to properly declare the shipment to CBSA, have a BSO validate your CITES permit and inspect your shipment. Once the shipment is approved by a BSO, the parcel can be mailed directly by the Customs broker. Please note that you cannot export using Canada Post directly, as there are no Border Services Officers (BSOs) at Canada Post offices to validate permits.

If you export using a courier company, as is the case for mailed shipments, you could hire the services of a Customs broker who will courier your shipment to its final destination. Several courier companies also offer Customs brokerage services. If a courier company is selected, the exporter should verify that the courier company will submit the export declaration and/or CITES permit to the CBSA for validation. You, as the exporter, must specify this requirement to the customs service provider. The exporter should note that there is normally a fee associated with the service.

CITES Management Authority Office
Environment Canada - Canadian Wildlife Service
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H3
Tel: (819) 997-1840
Fax: (819) 953-6283

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