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Coral importation licences (FOI)

Coral importation licences (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 05 December 2017.


I would like to know the rationale for requiring a CITES licence to import coral species into Jersey that have been imported into the UK with their own CITES licence.

If the coral has been purchased from a reputable distributer then why would such a barrier be put in place?

Many corals are aquacultured (grown in aquariums) and distributed - creating a huge conservation benefit.

I and many others believe you should revisit your rules relating to coral, and that a more pragmatic approach will result in better conservation of these species.


Jersey is an entirely independent jurisdiction for the purposes of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and is not part of the UK or the EU. We enact the Convention through our own local legislation which mirrors international practice and has been approved by the Secretariat. To comply with the Convention, Article 19 of the Endangered Species (CITES) 2012 (Jersey) Law requires that export licences from the country of origin are needed for all Appendix II species to legally enter Jersey from every jurisdiction.

Internationally the decision has been made through the Convention to add many coral species to Appendix II to manage the trade and ensure conservation in the wild of these species.

Traded legal, artificially propagated coral such as that mentioned in the request needs to be proven as such and that is the purpose of the permit system. Reputable dealers will understand this and should be able to easily contact the UK’s CITES Management Authority (AVHLA) and obtain the correct paperwork to enable the issue of an export permit from the UK and into Jersey – essentially a transaction between two entirely separate jurisdictions through the lens of CITES.

Jersey does not have the ability to vary the international ruling on our jurisdictional status nor can we apply less rigorous permitting procedures for species deemed to be of international conservation concern. Importantly we would not wish to deviate from decisions made by the International CITES authorities as the Island takes international conservation very seriously.

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