The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) yesterday (March 28) hosted a CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species – webinar jointly with Defra, key UK government agencies, and bodies. Initiated by the HTA following increased reports of compliance challenges, the webinar had over 100 participants. The session aimed to inform those involved in the movement across the UK border of trees, plants, and bulbs covered by CITES controls. Participants heard about the rules, how to be compliant and future developments in policy and system processes.
HTA has also set out to the UK CITES-responsible bodies some of the challenges experienced by the sector and ambitions to see a number of improvements to user experience. This includes an increased speed in processing import permit applications for live plants and full digitalization of the CITES application permit process. Attendees also expressed concerns over the handling and destruction of seized plants.
Sally Cullimore, HTA Technical Policy Manager, said, “We welcome the support for today’s meeting. The level of attendance showed the importance and need for communication, information, and understanding of how CITES rules work. HTA’s priorities are to support members with their knowledge and compliance with CITES rules and highlight to decision-makers the impact on trade that the current unsuitable arrangements are having.
“We look forward to working with the authorities to improve the system and its application for UK horticulture and to ensure no trade is lost and consumer choice maintained.”
For more information:
Horticultural Trades Association