Saturday, February 4, 2017

New Endangered/Threatened Species Regs Create Confusion in Wool Trade

On January 2, 2017, certain sheep (Ovis aries) were added to CITES (The Washington Convention) and require additional documentation for international trade. However the domesticated form Ovis aries aries is not subject to the provisions of the Convention. There relevant part of the CITES Appendices reads:

Appendix IAppendix II

Ovis aries ophion

Ovis aries vignei

Ovis aries (Except the subspecies included in Appendix I, the subspecies O. a. isphahanica, O. a. laristanica, O. a. musimon and O. a. orientalis which are not included in the Appendices, and the domesticated form Ovis aries aries which is not subject to the provisions of the Convention)

Shortly after this change Agathon Associates began receiving notes from clients indicating that they have been asked to provide additional information regarding shippments of wool products, in the form of these additional declarations (or words of the same effect) on invoices for wool products:

  1. Raw Materials are NOT made of OVIS ARIES OPHION or OVIS ARIES VIGNEI.
  2. Raw Materials are made of BRED/DOMESTICATED OVIS ARIES ARIES.

These declarations appear to be in order in light of the January 2nd action relating to certain products of Ovis aries.

Agathon Associates will monitor this new requirement and update as necessary.


CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. These require that all import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. ('Re-export' means export of a specimen that was imported.)

The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need. (For additional information see CITES Species.)

Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.

Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.

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