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List of CITES Species Amendment (Conference 18) Instrument 2019

Authoritative Version
  • - F2019L01492
  • In force - Latest Version
Lists as made
This instrument amends the List of CITES Species for the Purposes of the Act (29/11/2001) to amend the list of species included in the Appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Administered by: Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislation (Exemptions and Other Matters) Regulation 2015 s12 item 24
Registered 22 Nov 2019
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR25-Nov-2019
Tabled Senate26-Nov-2019
To be repealed 29 Aug 2020
Repealed by Division 1 of Part 3 of Chapter 3 of the Legislation Act 2003

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

(Issued by the Authority of the Minister for the Environment)

 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

 

List of CITES Species Amendment (Conference 18) Instrument 2019

 

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act) provides for the protection of the environment, including wildlife that may be adversely affected by trade, and the implementation of Australia’s international environmental responsibilities.

Section 303CA of the Act provides for a list of species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (the Convention) for the purposes of the Act (the list). Under subsection 303CA (3) of the Act, the list must include all species from time to time included in any of Appendices I, II and III to the Convention. Subsections 303CA (9)(b) and (9)(c) of the Act provide that the Minister may amend the list, as necessary, so that it includes all species required to be included in the list under subsection 303CA (3) and so that the notations in the list are consistent with the Convention.

Under Article XVI, paragraph 1 of the Convention, a Party may propose amendments to Appendix I or Appendix II at a meeting of the Conferences of the Parties (the Conference). Amendments generally enter into force for all Parties 90 days after the Conference at which they were adopted, unless a delayed entry is agreed.

The 18th Conference of Parties of the Convention (Conference 18) (Switzerland, 17-28 August 2019) agreed to 46 amendments to Appendices I and II. The Convention’s Notification to the Parties 2019/052 (dated 3 October 2019) has advised of the species amendments adopted at Conference 18. Note that four of the amendments agreed at Conference 18 (and a further six related changes to the list) have a delayed entry into force to enable implementation issues to be resolved. The delay is 12 months
(28 August 2020). The Conference also agreed to a number of nomenclatural changes for species already included on the Appendices.

As Australia does not propose to lodge a reservation to the amendments, they will enter into force for Australia on 26 November 2019 (other than for those species for which a delay is agreed). As a consequence of Notification 2019/052, it is necessary to amend the list of CITES species under the Act. The purpose of this Instrument is to effect these amendments. Schedule 1 of this Instrument outlines the amendments that enter into force on 26 November 2019 and Schedule 2 outlines the amendments that enter into force on 28 August 2020.

This Instrument is consistent with Australia’s strong commitment to the Convention and to international cooperation for the protection and conservation of wildlife more generally. The amendments put into effect by this Instrument are considered to have minimal impact for Australia. Australia is not a range state for the majority of the species covered by the listing proposals (that is, they do not occur naturally in Australia). While there are trade implications in particular for the listing of sea cucumbers, mako sharks, guitarfishes and wedgefishes, the impacts are expected to be minor. If the amendments for these traded species were not put in place, Australian businesses would not be able to continue to trade internationally.

Exporters of these species will be affected to the extent that they will require Convention export permits, but the cost of these is minimal (approximately $172 for a permit valid for multiple use over a six-month period). For specimens acquired prior to 26 August 2019, a pre-Convention certificate is required and can be obtained from the Department of Environment and Energy free of charge. Shipments without appropriate permits risk seizure by Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection, on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Energy, or rejection or seizure by importing countries.

The Instrument contains amendments additional to those adopted at Conference 18. Amendments include reflecting changes to Appendix III, which can be done unilaterally by Convention Parties, and often occur at the same time as amendments to Appendices I and II. As such, additional amendments to the instrument include adding a number of reptile species in Appendix III at the request of Cuba, and removing several species from Appendix III at the request of Costa Rica. These amendments ensure that the list of CITES species for the purposes of the Act is consistent with international CITES listings. Other amendments include minor administrative changes for consistency across the list; this includes removing references to previous nomenclature on a number of species of the Family Felidae (i.e. deleting ‘formerly included in genus Felis’ from each relevant list entry). One duplicate entry (for Cuora spp.) has been deleted.

Due to the timing of the circulation of the Notification, the amendments will come into force prior to the completion of the 20 day joint sitting period that the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) usually requires for consideration of treaty actions. The former Minister for the Environment wrote to the former Chair of the JSCOT on 7 March 2019 notifying him of the proposed amendments and advising him that the 20 day sitting period will not be observed before the amendments take effect. The Minister for the Environment again wrote to the Chair of the JSCOT on 14 August 2019, and again on 24 October 2019 to advise of the outcomes of Conference 18 and advise that a National Interest Analysis of the Conference 18 amendments to Appendices I and II will be tabled in Parliament at the earliest opportunity for consideration by the Committee.

Prior to Conference 18, the Department of Environment and Energy wrote to relevant state/territory and Commonwealth agencies, non-government organisations, and industry, seeking views on listing proposals to be considered by the Conference. The Department also provided this information on its website and invited comments from the public. Feedback provided to the Department through this consultation included species-specific scientific information and information on Australian trade. Once  decisions were made by Conference 18, the Department communicated these to stakeholders in the same manner.

The Instrument is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003.

Section 42 of the Legislation Act 2003 (disallowance of legislative instruments) does not apply to this Instrument (see Legislation (Exemptions and Other Matters) Regulation 2015, section 10, item 15).

Schedule 1 of this Instrument commences on 26 November 2019, and Schedule 2 commences on 28 August 2020.

Authority: Section 303CA of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.