Introduction

CITES is an international agreement that regulates and monitors trade in animal and plant species to ensure it does not threaten their long-term survival in the wild.

Green gecko (Naultinus elegans, App II). Photo: G R Parrish.
Green gecko (Naultinus elegans, App II)

Over 34,000 species are covered by CITES which monitors and regulates trade in endangered species through a system of permits and certificates. These documents are needed to cross borders with any CITES species or any product containing CITES species.

Species are listed in three different 'Appendices', depending on their conservation status and how much they are traded. Permit requirements are different for each Appendix.

  • Appendix I species are the most endangered, and trade is more restricted for those species.
  • Appendix II species can withstand more trade.
  • Appendix III species are those where individual countries have asked for help to protect those species.  

CITES is implemented in New Zealand through the Trade in Endangered Species Act 1989 (TIES Act). The administration of CITES is provided by the Department of Conservation. The New Zealand Customs Service and Ministry for Primary Industries are responsible for border controls.



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