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House of Deputies. (Photo: Leandro Kibisz/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Legislators approve bill allowing CITES convention implementation

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 23:00 (GMT + 9)

The Chamber of Deputies approved the amendments made by the Senate to the bill that allows the implementation of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) adopted by decree in the case of Chile in January 1975. The text will be sent to the Executive for promulgation.

CITES Convention establishes controls for the international trade in specimens of certain species listed in three appendices:

  • Appendix I contains all endangered species and trading them only under exceptional circumstances is authorized;
  • Appendix II contains species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but whose trade must be controlled to avoid incompatible use with their survival;
  • Appendix III records the species that are protected in at least one country, which has requested assistance from other CITES Parties to control their trade.

The bill approved by the House, with Senate’s amendments, received clarification of the powers of the administrative authorities, within their respective powers to act against crimes in this area, for example, to impound animals that are subject to International Trade.

In addition, the rules relating to registration of species was modified to create a single national list of international trade of specimens pertaining to this legal framework and redefining disabilities in the field.

The new text also specifies that in the case of live specimens that are seized or confiscated, the administrative authority shall also ensure the timely transfer to the destination, with the material conditions suitable for the species.

The framework of crimes and penalties is also reformulated. For example, the owners of exotic species not proving their legal origin are sanctioned and will be disqualified to register any international trade activity on specimens of the species embodied in the Convention.

Likewise, those entering or removing from the country the species listed in the CITES will incur the crime of smuggling if they are not submitted to the customs or pay duties and taxes and other charges, where appropriate; hiding them; using fake, adulterated or biased or permits and certificates evidencing their legitimate origin, source or the way they were obtained. In this case, the penalties include imprisonment and fines of up to 200 UTM (over nine million pesos).

In addition, the sale or display for commercial purposes and storage, custody, transportation or distribution for commercial purposes qualifies as smuggling. In both cases, if the origin of the species is not legally accredited.

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