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UK:  Import / Export Regulations


Hybrid animals and CITES

Certain hybrid animals may be subject to the provisions of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and will require a CITES permit to enter the UK from third countries.

A hybrid animal regulated under CITES is one that in its previous four generations has a parent the species of which is listed in Appendix I or II of CITES.

Prionailurus bengalensis bengalensis is listed in Appendices I & II of CITES.

(Only the populations of Bangladesh, India and Thailand are in Appendix I - all other populations are included in Appendix II)

Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals..  They are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial.

Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. It also includes so-called "look-alike species", i.e. species of which the specimens in trade look like those of species listed for conservation reasons . International trade in specimens of Appendix-II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate. No import permit is necessary for these species under CITES (although a permit is needed in some countries that have taken stricter measures than CITES requires)

As a result of this, you require  permits if you wish to import / export  hybrids of the species  which are F1, F2, F3 or F4 generation captive bred. F5 generation hybrids of the species are not subject to CITES regulations.

Below are some Guidance notes relating to the CITES regulations.  For further details visit

  • General guidance notes for Importers and Exporters

  • Guidance notes for Personal Ownership Certificates

  • Additional guidance notes for breeders

For more information on CITES, please contact Defra’s Wildlife Species Conservation on:

Tel: 0117 372 8749
Fax: 0117 372 8206

It is the responsibility of the owner or person accompanying the animal to the UK to ensure that CITES requirements are met where appropriate. The enforcement of CITES and the checking of these permits is carried out by HM Revenue & Customs.

What is CITES?

The 'Washington' Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, more commonly known as CITES, aims to protect certain plants and animals by regulating and monitoring their international trade to prevent it reaching unsustainable levels. The Convention entered into force in 1975, and the UK became a Party in 1976. There are now over 160 Parties. The CITES Secretariat is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme. The UK Government strongly supports CITES as an essential instrument for helping to safeguard globally threatened species.

Defra is the UK CITES Management Authority and is responsible for ensuring that the Convention is properly implemented in the UK, which includes enforcement and issuing permits and certificates for the import and export, or commercial use of, CITES specimens. Applications for CITES permits are referred to a designated CITES Scientific Authority for advice on the conservation status of the species concerned.

The UK has two independent Scientific Authorities: the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) for animals, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for plants. Enforcement of the Convention at borders is primarily carried out by HM Customs and Excise: inland the Police and Defra's Wildlife Inspectorate have lead responsibility.


CITES Policy
Global Wildlife Division
Zone 1/16, Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay


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