CITES Import Permit


This permit is required to import specimens of species listed in Annex A or B of Regulation (EC) 338/97 into the European Union (EU); the issuing of permits is regulated by Article 4, paragraphs 1, 2, and 6 of the Regulation. An import permit application should be submitted prior to goods arriving in the EU to allow time for consideration of the application, subsequent authorization, and issue of the import permit.

The import permit application form (model shown in Annex I of Regulation (EC) 865/2006) is a set of five forms:

  • original (Form number 1); grey.
  • copy for holder (Form number 2); yellow.
  • copy to be returned by Customs to the issuing authority (Form number 3); green.
  • copy for the issuing authority (Form number 4); pink.
  • application form to be completed by applicant (Form number 5); white.

Whenever a shipment includes several species, or when important information is to be included such as a list of markings on crocodile skins, labelling of caviar containers, photographs to assist identification, etc., annexes should be attached to the main document.

An import permit is valid for one year, as from the date of issue, during which time the goods can be imported into the EU. However, an import permit shall only be valid when it is accompanied by the relevant valid document from the country of export or re-export.

If an import permit has expired without having being used, or if the CITES export or re-export document has expired, the import permit shall no longer be valid and should be returned to the issuing CITES Management Authority.

Application Requirements

Permit applications should be submitted at least one month in advance; depending on the species concerned, the country of origin, or the purpose of trade, certain permit applications may take some time to process.

In the case of import permit applications involving wild specimens of species listed in Annex A, applicants should justify the need for the introduction of such specimens, and provide information on the purpose for which they are to be used. In the case of live animals, details should also be provided on intended housing facilities.

Import permit applications relating to captive-bred specimens of species listed in Annex A, and to specimens of species included in Annex B do not require any justification for their introduction, as described in the previous paragraph. However, in the case of live animals, applicants should submit a detailed description of intended housing facilities.

If the application meets all necessary requirements, the SOIVRE Inspection Services shall duly issue an import permit, and importer shall receive the import permit forms marked "original" and "copy for holder".

Application form download

Customs and inspection procedures

The import permit and the original CITES document (export or re-export permit issued by the country of origin) shall be submitted along with the goods to the Customs authorities at the first point of entry in the EU.

When goods are imported directly to Spain, once the shipment has arrived, and prior to Customs clearance, an application for inspection should be submitted to one of the 12 SOIVRE Inspection Services using the Species under Control Inspection Document (DIESAC).

Customs clearance may be completed at any of the EU Customs posts that are authorized to clear CITES specimens entering or leaving the EU. A list of authorized Border Inspections Posts (BIPs) is available on the European Commission Website (see PDF file "Places of introduction and export"). The European Commission has published some useful General Guidance [PDF] [50.75 kB] on CITES entry points (available in English on the Commission website).

Customs should complete box 27 on the import permit, and return the form marked "copy for holder" to the importer. Customs will then forward the original import permit to the CITES Management Authority of the issuing country.

No goods should leave the EU until an authorized permit has been issued, and all applicable inspection and Customs procedures have been completed.