Following a recent event organised by the British International Freight Association (BIFA), the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued additional guidance on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Robert Keen, director general of the trade association that represents the UK’s freight forwarding sector says: “One of the consequences of Brexit will be that freight forwarders and customs agents will become involved in regimes with which they may not have been previously.
“One such area is CITES, which is much wider ranging than people might have thought.
“BIFA Members expressed their concerns about how the movement of products covered by this regime, which are manufactured in the EU – using for example lizard, snake or crocodile skins – and currently freely imported into the UK, might be affected post-Brexit.
“BIFA sought greater guidance from DEFRA, which resulted in a well-attended regional meeting in Dover.
“Following that meeting, the government department issued further and broader guidance to be used in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, which sets out how people who trade in, travel with, or handle the shipment of endangered animals, plants or products thereof would be affected.
“The guidance includes further information on the list of CITES-designated ports, including specific guidance for ro-ro services.
“As a body that represents and lobbies on behalf of the UK freight forwarding sector, this is a perfect example of the work that BIFA does to assist its members, which are responsible for handling the shipment of a significant proportion of the UK’s visible import and export trade.”