Industry Advisory on New Rosewood Trade Regulations
A number of species of timber commonly referred to as rosewoods have recently been included on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The Appendix II listing will take effect on 2 January 2017, and any imports or exports of items containing rosewood will generally require CITES documentation from this date. The listing is intended to regulate international trade to ensure that ongoing trade can continue, but only in a sustainable manner. Countries harvesting and exporting rosewood will now be required to demonstrate that international trade is sustainable.
Australia’s federal Department of the Environment and Energy implements CITES requirements under national environment law (the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999). The Department has provided the following details on CITES requirements for rosewoods once the listing comes into effect on 2 January 2017.
Synopsis of the regulatory requirements resulting from the listing of Dalbergia spp. (rosewood) on Appendix II of CITES, which includes Indian rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia, Dalbergia sisso).
The listing applies to both raw timber and finished products, with the exception of:
- a) Leaves, flowers, pollen, fruits, and seeds,
- b) Non-commercial exports of a maximum total weight of 10 kg per shipment,
- c) Parts and derivatives of Dalbergia cochinchinensis, which are covered by Annotation # 4, and
- d) Parts and derivatives of Dalbergia spp. originating and exported from Mexico, which are covered by Annotation # 6.
As our industry will primarily be importing/exporting timber and finished products for commercial purposes, the above exemptions will not apply, and CITES documentation will be required.
- If you are exporting from existing stocks of rosewood, provided they were harvested before the listing date (2 January 2017), you will be required to obtain a CITES pre-Convention certificate from the Australian CITES Management Authority (the Department of the Environment and Energy). Pre-Convention certificates certify that the item was obtained before the CITES listing took effect. They are issued free of charge, and are valid for a period of 6 months. The Department suggests members also contact the CITES Management Authority of the importing country to find out if there are any import requirements for pre-Convention items – you can find the contact details here: https://cites.org/eng/cms/index.php/component/cp .
Evidentiary requirements for a pre-Convention certificate:
To obtain an Australian CITES pre-Convention certificate you will need to demonstrate the specimen is not an Australian native species, that the specimen was obtained legally, and that it is a pre-Convention specimen.
You will have to demonstrate this with records that pre-date 2 January 2017.
Examples of how to demonstrate the origin and legal source of the specimen:
– Receipt of purchase stating the country of origin
– A record of the shipment or transit of the item into Australia
– A Statutory Declaration and supporting information detailing how the item was acquired
Examples of how to demonstrate a specimen is a pre-Convention specimen:
– An independent age assessment of the item demonstrating it was obtained prior to 2 January 2017.
– A Statutory Declaration with relevant supporting information demonstrating the specimen was obtained prior to 2 January 2017.
For re-export of specimens harvested after the listing date (2 January 2017):
- If you are re-exporting rosewood harvested after the listing date (2 January 2017), you will be required to obtain an Australian CITES re-export permit from the Australian CITES Management Authority (the Department of the Environment and Energy). These are valid for a period of 6 months, and are issued at a charge of $65 for a single use permit, or $163 for a multiple use permit – a single use allows one shipment per permit, whereas a multiple use allows multiple shipments under the one permit, provided they occur within the 6 month validity period and do not exceed the total number of specimens outlined on the multiple use permit. It is recommended that you also contact the CITES Management Authority of the importing country to find out what import requirements they may have.
Evidentiary requirements for a re-export permit:
To obtain an Australian CITES re-export permit, you need to demonstrate the specimen was legally (re) exported from the last country of export and imported into Australia. Documentation required includes:
– The CITES (re) export permit the country of last (re) export
– The Australian CITES import permit
Please note the acquittal paperwork for the import of the specimen must be complete and returned to the Department before a re-export permit can be granted.
- If you are importing from existing stocks of rosewood harvested before the listing date of 2 January 2017, you will require a CITES pre-Convention certificate from the exporting country. This certificate will need to travel with the shipment. You do not need any documentation from Australia to import pre-Convention items. The Department advises that you send a copy of the overseas pre-Convention certificate to them via email so they can confirm the pre-Convention certificate meets Australia’s requirements (as each CITES Party issues pre-Convention certificates differently).
- If you are importing rosewood harvested after the listing date (2 January 2017), you will require a CITES (re) export permit from the exporting country and an Australian CITES import permit. These are valid for 6 months and can be issued for a single use import or for multiple imports. Both permits must be issued prior to the shipment occurring, and be valid until the shipment has taken place.
Contact the Wildlife Trade Permits team on (02) 6274 1900 (option 3) or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on CITES permits.
Which species of rosewood will be listed under CITES on 2 January 2017?
- All species of the Dalbergia genus except Dalbergia nigra (Brazilian rosewood), which is already listed on Appendix I of CITES
- Pterocarpus erinaceus
- Guibourtia demeusei, Guibourtia pellegriniana, Guibourtia tessmannii (collectively referred to as African rosewood, Akume or Bubinga)
What does this mean?
From 2 January 2017, international imports and exports of items or products containing any of these newly listed rosewood species must be accompanied by relevant CITES documentation.
Species listed on Appendix II of CITES may be traded internationally, provided the trade has been determined to be non-detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. Once deemed sustainable, trade is generally regulated through permits that authorise the import or export of the item containing the CITES listed species.
Imports and exports of most items containing rosewood will require CITES documentation, including items / products obtained before 2 January 2017.
CITES documentation is generally not required for imports and exports of personal items of up to 10 kg per shipment containing either Dalbergia or any of the three listed Guibourtia species.
How much does a CITES permit cost?
A single use CITES permit (for one single export or import) costs $65.
A CITES multiple consignment authority (which allows multiple exports or imports within a six month period) costs $163.
A pre-Convention CITES certificate, which is required to certify that the item was obtained before the listing came into effect, is free.
How long does it take to issue a CITES permit?
Under Australian law, a CITES permit application must be assessed within 40 business days of all relevant information being received from the applicant. To minimise disruption to businesses during the transitional period, the Department will try to process any permit applications for rosewood as quickly as possible, within available resources.
Why has the listing occurred?
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement that aims to ensure that international trade in wild plants and animals does not threaten species’ survival in the wild. Rosewood has been listed on Appendix II to CITES because international trade in these timbers needs to be controlled to avoid impacts on their survival in the wild.
What is the position where a shipment is currently on the water containing pre-CITES wood or products, and will not berth before January 2, 2016?
Where possible the department recommends you avoid /delay shipments that may fall into the timeframe of being shipped prior to listing and arriving after listing, though we understand that will not always be possible. If Australian Border Force seizes your shipment, you may apply to the Department for the return of your specimens. The Department will take a pragmatic approach and consider all available information regarding the timing of the shipment and supporting documentation when assessing your application for release.
How can I find out more?
More information on how to obtain a CITES permit is available from the Department of the Environment and Energy at http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade or:
Wildlife Trade Regulation
Department of the Environment and Energy
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6274 1900
Facsimile: (02) 6274 1921