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Introduction of a System to Issue Alligator Skin Tags

Notice on the Introduction of an Alligator Skin Tag System under the CITES Resolution

August 13, 2019

Based on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (hereinafter referred to as “CITES”) Resolution, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will introduce, in October 2019, a system to issue alligator skin tags to applicants who intend to re-export alligator skin that was imported and processed in Japan.

All alligator species are subject to regulations under CITES.

In addition, the CITES Resolution recommends the following for the purpose of ensuring traceability of skin, flank or calico of alligator species (including raw skin, tanned skin and cut raw or tanned skin, and excluding skin products, waste and powder, and live alligators, as well as those prior to the application of CITES; hereinafter referred to as “alligator skin”) upon their international trade:

  1. Alligator skin should be exported by attaching a tag showing identification data issued by the country of origin (hereinafter referred to as an “alligator skin tag”).
  2. Even if an alligator skin tag that had been attached at the time of import came off in the process of processing and segmentation after import, such processed or segmented goods may be re-exported by attaching a new tag issued by the re-exporting country.

Signatory countries to CITES may introduce this system at their discretion.

Japan is not a country of origin of alligator species, but there are businesses that import alligator skin from abroad and process and re-export their products. As Japan has not introduced an alligator skin tag system, when an alligator skin tag comes off during processing in Japan or when there is alligator skin originally without an alligator skin tag due to segmentation, those businesses could not re-export such alligator skin by attaching new tags with identification data based on the CITES Resolution.

Therefore, METI decided to introduce a system in October 2019 to issue alligator skin tags when re-exporting imported alligator skin after processing based on the CITES Resolution.

Through the introduction of this system, import and export of any alligator skin without appropriate alligator skin tags will no longer be permitted. METI thereby intends to ensure the effectiveness of Japanese domestic measures based on the CITES Resolution for the purpose of preventing illegal trade and properly managing alligator resources.

Division in Charge

Office of Trade Licensing for Wild Animal and Plants, Trade Control Department, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau

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