Summary of EU trade 2010

This report provides a detailed discussion of the information submitted by the Member States of the European Union and candidate countries in their 2010 annual reports to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). Annual reports to CITES contain information on trade in species listed in the CITES Appendices and the Annexes of (EC) No 338/97 and subsequent updates. The analysis includes data from all 27 EU Member States and the three candidate countries (Croatia, Montenegro and Turkey) that had submitted their annual reports for 2010 at the time of writing (October 2012). Analysis of candidate country trade therefore does not include information on Iceland or FYR Macedonia.

All trade data submitted by EU Member States in their 2010 annual reports to CITES is available via the CITES Trade Database and also via the EU Annual Report to CITES 2010.

Noteworthy patterns of trade

The number of taxa showing noteworthy patterns of trade in 2010 was slightly greater than in 2009, with 48 of the same taxa selected as in 2009.

CITES trade data for 2010, as reported by EU Member States and candidate countries, were analysed to identify taxa showing noteworthy patterns of trade. The selection process included imports reported as wild-sourced, ranched or source ‘unknown’, or reported without a source specified. Imports were considered noteworthy according to four criteria:

  • High volume of imports in 2010;
  • Sharp increase in imports in 2010;
  • Overall increases or decreases in imports between 2001 and 2010;
  • Long-term variability in imports between 2001 and 2010.

In total, 77 taxa (18 mammal, 17 reptile, 6 fish, 24 invertebrate and 12 plant taxa) were selected on the basis of a high volume of trade and/or a sharp or overall increase in trade reported by EU Member States. Four taxa (Crocodylus siamensis, Lycalopex griseus, Lynx rufus, Arctocephalus pusillus) met the criteria for selection on the basis of a high volume of trade or sharp increase in trade reported by candidate countries, including one Annex A species and three Annex B species.

Species valuation

The overall value of CITES-listed animals and animal products imported by the EU in 2010 was estimated at USD3.5 billion (USD3,550,165,163 or ~EUR2.8 billion).

To determine the monetary value of EU imports of CITES-listed species in 2010, a preliminary methodology was developed by UNEP-WCMC using EU-reported import volumes and species-specific value data (submitted to United States Customs and included within the United States annual report to CITES).

The vast majority of this value (USD3.1 billion) represented trade in caviar extract. The value of the remainder of imports was estimated at over USD403 million (~EUR329 million) and comprised leather products (49%), skins (35%), live animals (5%) and caviar (4%), amongst others. A significant proportion of the overall value of the trade to the EU therefore appears to be in high value, luxury goods.

Exports and re-exports

Anguilla anguilla was the species that was exported at the highest levels from the wild; live plants, live sturgeon eggs and reptile skin pieces were (re)-exported at the highest volumes overall.

In 2010, the EU and candidate countries exported captive-bred and artificially propagated specimens of many species, in addition to a small number of wild-collected native species.

Exports of wild-collected CITES-listed species native to the EU were mainly reported for scientific and commercial/hunting trophy purposes, with CITES Appendix 1/ Annex A species exported for zoos, scientific, educational or re-introduction purposes.

Both the EU and candidate countries act as entrepôts for non-manufactured parts; some products and live specimens imported from producer nations, as well as products originating within the EU and candidate countries are  (re-) exported at high volumes. Much of the high volume trade was in (re-)exports of non-native species. Mammals, invertebrates and plants were traded under a variety of terms, whereas high volume trade in birds was predominantly in live animals, reptiles were mainly traded as skins pieces and trade in fish was primarily in the form of live eggs.

Exports of wild collected specimens from the EU in 2010

  • Mammals:             9 Annex A species; 2 Annex B species
  • Birds:                    7 Annex A species; 1 Annex C species
  • Reptiles:               5 Annex A species
  • Fish:                     1 Annex B species
  • Invertebrates:       6 Annex B taxa
High volume (re-) exports from the EU in 2010

  • Mammal taxa:                    12
  • Bird taxa:                           16
  • Reptile taxa:                      18
  • Amphibian taxa:                  0
  • Fish taxa:                            6
  • Invertebrate taxa:                4
  • Plant taxa:                         32
  • Timber taxa:                        4

Trade in non-CITES species

Imports of non-CITES species principally comprised reptile skins and skin products, dried plants and plant derivatives. Exports of non-CITES species consisted mainly of live, captive bred Columba livia exported by Spain for commercial purposes.

EU imports of non-CITES taxa listed in the EU Annexes in 2010 principally comprised Annex D reptile skins and skin products, dried plants and plant derivatives, the majority of which were reported without a source. Trade was principally for commercial purposes or reported without a purpose. The primary species in trade were the same as in 2009.

The EU reported imports of six non-CITES Annex A and B species in 2010, the majority of transactions comprising live Trachemys scripta elegans (primarily source ‘F’).

(Re-)exports of non-CITES taxa listed in the EU Annexes in 2010 principally consisted of live, captive-bred Columba livia traded for commercial purposes.

Main non-CITES, Annex D species imported in 2010:

Homalopsis buccata, Elaphe carinata, Elaphe radiata, Harpagophytum spp., Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Cetraria islandica, Gentania lutea