This report provides a comprehensive overview of international wildlife trade by EU Member States and candidate countries[1] in 2013. 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.

The report comprises a broad overview of the EU and candidate countries’ trade in 2013; 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; an analysis of the economic value of EU imports and exports in 2013; 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 data reported by exporting countries is also included here.

Figure 1.1. EU Member States (28) and candidate countries (5) in 2013. 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 6th of May 2015, following the submission of CITES annual reports by Member States and key trading partners. The analysis includes data from all 28 Member States and the four candidate countries (FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) that had submitted their annual reports for 2013 at the time of data extraction. All trade data submitted by EU Member States in their 2013 annual reports to CITES is available via the CITES Trade Database and also via the 2013 EU Annual Report to CITES, which can be downloaded here.

Details of the annual reports submitted by EU Member States for 2013 are provided here, while the 71 non-EU CITES Parties (including candidate countries) and dependent territories that had submitted their annual reports for 2013 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. Twenty-one per cent of EU Member States specified that their report was compiled on the basis of actual trade only, compared to 8% of non-EU Parties; the majority of non-EU Parties (67%) did not specify the basis of reporting, compared to 36% 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 and III plants and re-exports of Appendix II and III 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 chapter. Where appropriate, conversion factors were applied to terms and units to facilitate analysis. Further methodological detail relating to Chapter 5 (Species valuation) 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 of terms. Throughout the text, certain country names have been abbreviated; a key to these abbreviations is also 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, are included 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.

[1] Five countries were candidate countries to the EU in 2013: FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. All candidate countries with the exception of Iceland had submitted annual reports for 2013 at the time of analysis (April 2015).

[2] During 2013, the relevant EU Wildlife Trade Regulations were Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 amended by (EU) No 1158/2012, and Implementing Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 amended by (EC) No 100/2008, (EU) No 791/2012 and (EU) No 792/2012.

[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.

[4] According to