With 50 days until the end of the Transition Period, the government is urging consumers and the antique industry to check online guidance around importing and exporting products which are covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
CITES is an international agreement which protects more than 37,000 species of animals and plants including both live specimens and products made from their parts.
Popular antique and vintage products such as furniture made from rosewood, reptile skin accessories and tortoiseshell boxes will all need documentation from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in order to be legally transported between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021.
Other commonly traded antique products that will also be affected include taxidermy, whale teeth, whalebone used in vintage garments and worked ivory such as that found in carvings, piano keys, jewellery, furniture and inlay in various decorative items.
All UK import and export permits are valid for six months, and people are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, allowing at least 30 days for them to be processed, assessed and a decision made.
Emma Biggs, APHA Head of International Trade and Customer Service Centres said:
CITES plays a leading role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the survival of endangered species in the wild.
People who are planning on moving either animal or plant products into or out of GB from 1 January should check online guidance on CITES products before arranging travel and apply for documentation if needed.
Businesses and individuals based in Great Britain who are planning on moving objects should first check to see if items are included in the CITES species list. Goods that are covered by CITES must have the relevant documentation and travel through one of the 29 designated UK Points of Entry and Exit (PoE). A full list of UK land, sea and air ports alongside further information on how to apply for a permit can be found on Gov.UK.
Those who plan to move CITES products outside of Great Britain should also check the requirements of the intended import country with the relevant management authorities on the CITES National Authorities page.
The government remains committed to protecting nature and biodiversity whilst also minimising disruption for businesses at the end of the Transition Period. You can contact APHA for support with trading or moving endangered animals or plants listed under CITES.