The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an agreement to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Some species of wildlife can be legally traded, but many require permits to cross international borders. Over 5,000 animal species, subspecies and populations and over 29,000 plant species, subspecies and populations are listed under CITES. In Canada, CITES is administered by Environment Canada and is implemented under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) and the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations.
A CITES permit may be required if you are taking a CITES-listed plant or animal, or their parts or derivatives, out of the country. For example:
- Wildlife specimens
- Exotic pets
- Hunting trophies
Search here to see if your wildlife species is listed under CITES.
There are non-commercial exemptions for souvenirs, and personal and household goods, but restrictions apply. Please refer to the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations, or the Environment and Climate Change Canada website.
It is your responsibility to know if you are conducting trade in wildlife species (flora and fauna, and their derivatives) listed in CITES, as well as to follow all of the requirements to legally transport and/or have these species or products in commerce. This includes complying with any other applicable wildlife regulations that apply in the jurisdictions in which the species is transported, imported or exported.
You must have all necessary permits BEFORE you transport, import or export a listed wildlife species, or an item containing a part/derivative of a listed wildlife species.
All CITES permits must be presented to, and validated by, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the border. CITES permits not validated by the CBSA at the time of import or export will be considered invalid, and could result in the shipment being stopped and/or confiscated.
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