This report provides a comprehensive overview of international wildlife trade by EU Member States and candidate countries[1] in 2012. Species under international trade management are listed in the Appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Annexes of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations[2], which enforce CITES in the EU. The aim of this analysis is to inform future trade management in the EU, in order to ensure that international trade in wildlife is sustainable.

For the first time, this year’s Analysis includes a section providing a broad overview of the EU and candidate countries’ trade in 2012. A preliminary analysis of the economic value of EU exports in 2012 is also included, to contribute to the analysis of import value that has been included since the valuation methodology was first developed by UNEP-WCMC for the 2010 Analysis. As in previous years, the report also comprises an analysis of species showing noteworthy trends in imports of wild-sourced and ranched specimens; a detailed summary of wild-sourced and high volume exports; and an overview of trade in species listed in the EU Annexes but not listed in CITES. A detailed listing of possible discrepancies in imports reported by Member States and candidate countries compared to exporter-reported data is also included here.

EU Member States (27) and candidate countries (6) in 2012. Overseas territories outside the European region are not shown.

Data included

Data on trade in species listed in the CITES Appendices/EU Annexes are reported by Parties in their annual reports to CITES and made available via the CITES Trade Database. The data used for the analysis were extracted from the CITES Trade Database on the 9th of May 2014, following the submission of CITES annual reports by Member States and key trading partners. The analysis includes data from all 27 Member States and the five candidate countries (Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) that had submitted their annual reports for 2012 at the time of data extraction. All trade data submitted by EU Member States in their 2012 annual reports to CITES is available via the CITES Trade Database and also via the 2012 EU Annual Report to CITES, which can be downloaded here.

Details of the annual reports submitted by EU Member States for 2012 are provided here, while the 78 non-EU CITES Parties (including candidate countries) and dependent territories that had submitted their annual reports for 2012 at the time of the analysis are listed here, along with an indication of whether each report was compiled on the basis of actual trade or permits issued. Nineteen per cent of EU Member States specified that their report was compiled on the basis of actual trade, compared to only 8% of non-EU Parties; the majority of non-EU Parties (59%) did not specify the basis of reporting, compared to a quarter of EU Member States.

Data on trade between EU Member States were excluded from the analysis[3]. Trade recorded as a seizure/confiscation (source ‘I’) was also excluded, as reporting is inconsistent and data are therefore incomplete within the CITES Trade Database. Trade in artificially propagated Appendix II plants and re-exports of manufactured articles was excluded from certain sections of the analysis; where this is the case, this is specified in the introductory paragraph of the relevant section. Where appropriate, conversion factors were applied to terms and units to facilitate analysis. Further methodological detail relating to the ‘Species valuation’ section is included here. Throughout the report quantities have been rounded to whole numbers, where applicable, unless otherwise specified.


Terminology used in the report is defined in the Glossary. In several instances the “top commodity” or “top taxon” in trade are referred to, meaning the commodity or taxon traded in the highest number of units, respectively; whether they be, for example, numbers of live animals, cubic metres of timber or kilograms of meat. Throughout the text, certain country names have been abbreviated; a key to these abbreviations is provided in the Glossary. “Region” refers to CITES region[4]. Explanations of CITES source and purpose codes, as defined in Annex IX of Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 can also be found in the Glossary.


[1] Six countries were candidate countries to the EU in 2012: Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. All candidate countries with the exception of Iceland had submitted annual reports for 2012 at the time of analysis (May 2014).

[2] During 2012, the relevant EU Wildlife Trade Regulations were Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 amended by (EU) No 709/2010 and subsequently (EU) No 101/2012, and Implementing Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 amended by (EC) No 100/2008 and subsequently (EU) No 791/2012.

[3] EU Member States are not required to report on trade within the EU, but some do, and this data is included within the CITES Trade Database.