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Simplification of Import/Export Procedures for Goods Related to CITES

Notice on the Introduction of a Comprehensive (Import/Export) Approval System for Specific Science Facilities

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 a system in October 2019 to simplify import/export procedures for goods for scientific purposes among science facilities.

Under CITES, when internationally trading designated flora or fauna or products using them (hereinafter referred to as “goods”), individual export procedures and also import procedures for some goods are required.

At the same time, from the perspective of promoting scientific research on wild animals and plants, with regard to international trade of goods for scientific purposes among science facilities registered with the CITES Secretariat, import/export procedures under CITES are exceptionally exempted on the condition of attaching labels certified by the authorities of the respective countries (METI for Japan) to the relevant goods.

Japan has not introduced this system, but the system has already been introduced by 72 countries worldwide, including most advanced economies, and disadvantages and the clerical burden due to not registering Japanese science facilities have been increasing. Accordingly, a meeting consisting of intellectuals has discussed measures to prevent unintended use, resale, or other illegal acts concerning goods imported for scientific purposes, and decided to introduce the system in October 2019.

After the introduction of the system, science facilities that file the required notification on the establishment of a proper import/export management system and are found to be appropriate will obtain issuance of a comprehensive import/export approval under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (valid up to three years) and will be registered with the CITES Secretariat by the authority. They will be able to skip individual import/export procedures for trade of goods among registered domestic and foreign facilities on the condition of attaching labels to those goods.

Division in Charge

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

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