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New Import and Export Restrictions on Three Parrot Species

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a final rule that, effective July 24, will list the Philippine cockatoo and the yellow-crested cockatoo as endangered, and the white cockatoo as threatened, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

This rule makes it illegal for any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction to take (includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap or capture) within the U.S. or upon the high seas; import or export; deliver, receive, carry, transport or ship in interstate commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any of these three parrots. It also is illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport or ship any such parrots that have been taken in violation of the ESA. Permits may be issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving these birds, under certain circumstances, including for scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, and for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities.

However, the FWS is also issuing a final special rule that allows the import and export of certain captive-bred white cockatoos without a permit. This special rule applies to all commercial and non-commercial international shipments of live white cockatoos and parts and products, including personal pets and research samples. It allows a person to import or export a specimen that was held in captivity prior to June 24 or that was captive-bred, provided the import is authorized under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the Wild Bird Conservation Act and export is authorized under CITES. Imports and exports of specimens that have been held in captivity prior to June 24 or that were captive-bred will be allowed without a permit provided the provisions of CITES and the WBCA are met. With respect to captive-bred specimens, the CITES export permits will need to indicate that the specimen was not taken from the wild by using a source code on the face of the permit other than U (unknown) or W (taken from the wild). If the specimen was taken from the wild prior to June 24, the importer or exporter will need to demonstrate that the cockatoo was taken from the wild prior to that date. Under this rule, a person will need to provide records, receipts or other documents when applying for permits under CITES and the WBCA to show the specimen was held in captivity prior to June 24.

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