Most Read Contributor in Cayman Islands, September 2016
The Cayman Islands Government has commenced legislation that
improves international trade in certain plants and animals.
The Endangered Species (Trade and Transport) Law 2004 was passed
11 years ago, in order to have the legislation technically in
place. It was commenced on 1 July this year. By bringing it into
effect, Cayman has increased its technical compliance with the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Flora and Fauna (CITES).
CITES is an international agreement for global species
conservation that has been extended by the UK to Cayman. It
subjects international trade in specimens of selected species to
As there have been changes to CITES since the ESTTL was passed,
further updates to the law will be required in order to ensure that
Cayman is fully compliant with its provisions. Being assessed by
the UK and CITES Secretariat as fully compliant will enable Cayman
to avoid international trade restrictions, which may be imposed on
noncompliant jurisdictions in 2016.
In its current form, the ESTTL provides greater oversight for
permits, importations, and other activities related to the trade
and transportation of locally and internationally listed endangered
species. It therefore provides more trade safeguards for endemic
flora and fauna.
Furthermore, only certain air and sea ports in Cayman will be
designated to handle imports and exports, which will improve the
inspection process for plant and animal species listed in CITES
that are being traded through the Islands.
The law also helps Cayman's economy, by facilitating
sustainable trade of both locally occurring and CITES-listed
species such as black coral and queen conch, pointed out Minister
of Environment Wayne Panton.
'We must have proper mechanisms in place that allow local
vendors, who sell these products to international clients, to trade
in these species in ways that are completely compliant with the
CITES framework', he said.
One of those mechanisms is the Scientific Advisory Committee,
created in the ESTTL in order to advise Government in relation to
the law, to ensure that its intent is upheld.
Department of Environment Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie, who will
chair the committee, said the ESTTL replaces the previous Cayman
Islands CITES legislation, titled The Endangered Species Protection
and Propagation Law (1999 Revision).
She also noted that the ESTTL intersects with The National
Conservation Law, 2013; Animals Law (2013 Revision); and Plants
(Importation and Exportation) Law (1997 Revision) in relation to
the importation of live specimens of listed species. Persons who
are applying for import or export permission under any one of these
laws are still advised to apply for matching permissions under the
other laws, as relevant.
In the ESTTL, Part IV deals with the registration of businesses
and persons selling or carrying out other activities with listed
species. Its purpose is to improveCayman's ability to track and
control trade in local species, Mrs Ebanks-Petrie explained, which
therefore will make it harder for poachers to 'launder'
species that are taken illegally.
'By making it harder for poachers, we'll make it easier
for business owners who are conducting transactions in the legal
international trade of listed species', she said.
Mrs Ebanks-Petrie said that Part IV of the ESTTL will be brought
into force at a later date but until then, Cayman is continuing to
track and control international trade under previous legislative
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