CITES Permit/Certificate (CPC)


With these documents, the issuing authority confirms that the conditions for authorising the trade in species listed in the the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), parts or derivatives thereof, are fulfilled. This means that the trade is legal, sustainable and traceable in accordance with Art. III, IV and V of the convention. It aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

The types of permits and certificates include the Export Permit, Import Permit, Introduction from the Sea Certificate, Re-Export Certificate, Certificate of Origin and special provisions of the convention (Pre-Convention Certificate, Musical Instrument Certificate etc.).


Issuer: CITES Management Authority with supporting information from the CITES Scientific Authority when required by the convention.

Sender or receiver: traders (exporter, importers), zoos, academic institutions, research bodies etc.

Customs or border control authorities need to have access to the ePermitting system.

Legal requirement

Articles III, IV, V, VI and VII of the CITES

Stricter domestic laws and measures, or simplified procedures under the convention may be followed for the issuance of CITES permits or certificates.


There are two data models. The mapping between the CITES implementations in the two data models enables B2G and G2B data exchanges to be shared efficiently.

  • UN/CEFACT Reference Data Models: The CITES ePermit data model subset is based on the UN/CEFACT Buy-Ship-Pay global supply chain reference data model.
  • WCO Data Model: The data model is based on the WCO Data Model version 3.11.

The CITES ePermitting data models are available in CITES Electronic Permitting Toolkit Version 3.0, available in English, French and Spanish. The class diagrams and the schemas are also available in html.

The description of CITES Permits and Certificates and the Standard CITES Form are available in Resolution Conf 12.3 (Rev CoP19) on Permits and Certificates.


UN/CEFACT BSP Data Model defines its semantics from the perspective of the global supply chain which supports the B2B data as well as the B2G data across trade, transport and cross-border management.

WCO defines all the semantics in its data model from the perspective of the cross-border agency regulatory processes thereby supporting G2G and G2B data exchange requirements.


There are no global platforms for exchanging eCITES permits and certificates.

Species+ API, developed by UNEP-WCMC, provides the up-to-date lists of species in the CITES Appendices including details of quota, suspension etc. This API can be integrated with ePermitting systems.


Mandatory information (data elements) that should be included in CITES permits and certificates are available in Annex 1 of the Resolution Conf 12.3 (Rev CoP19) on Permits and Certificates.

Under normal procedures, all data elements are required. However, under Exemption and other special provisions (Article VII of the Convention), or in case of stricter domestic measures by countries additional information or conditions may apply.


The adoption of digitalisation for the CITES permit/certificate could increase by:

  1. improving the capacity and resources of the CITES Management Authorities to implement and manage the ePermit systems;
  2. enabling the interoperability of ePermit systems with other national systems like National Single Windows;
  3. increasing the collaboration among Management Authorities and Customs or border control authorities.