Travel and souvenirs

Each year, millions of Canadians escape to international destinations for their holidays. While there, many travellers purchase souvenirs as reminders of a wonderful experience.

What people may not realize is that some souvenirs are made from wild plants and animals that are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss and harvesting practices that are not sustainable.

Due to international concern for their conservation in the wild, many plant and animal species are now protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); they are listed in the CITES Control list (Appendix II), which contains species that may become endangered if their trade is not regulated.

If you are in doubt whether the product contains endangered species, do not buy it. Reducing the demand for endangered species is an effective way to preserve wild populations for future generations.

In Canada, CITES is enforced and administered through the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) and its regulations, the Wild Animal and Plant Trade (WAPT) regulations. Federal permit requirements for CITES protected species are stipulated in this legislation.

Notice to travellers

By amending the WAPT regulations, Canada has conditionally exempted travellers from requiring permits for souvenirs made from wild plants or animals, which are listed under CITES.

Search the CITES database to learn more about which species are protected by CITES.

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