|No. 676 Lausanne, 30 June 1992
National Legislation Prohibiting the Export of Corals and Tridacnidae
1. The Secretariat has been increasingly concerned about enforcement policy in the Philippines regarding the export of corals and specimens of Tridacnidae spp. from that country. National legislation in the Philippines has banned the export of specimens of these CITES species, with the exception of Tridacna crocea and finished products from black corals (Antipatharia spp.). The Secretariat has assisted the Management Authority of the Philippines in the enforcement of this national legislation, through the issuance of Notifications to the Parties Nos. 404 and 514 (for corals) and No. 663 (for Tridacnidae).
2. The recent temporary lifting of these trade bans by the Government of the Philippines to allow the export of stockpiled specimens has, in many cases, created problems of implementation and interpretation of the Convention for importing Parties and the Secretariat. Evidence in some cases indicates that some recent shipments have contained freshly taken specimens, while others have contained either quantities in excess of the amounts authorized for export or specimens of species which do not correspond to those indicated on the export permits. These exports are in contravention of Article IV, paragraph 2(b), of the Convention. These problems have resulted in several shipments being seized by importing countries. The Secretariat believes that the Government of the Philippines has not adequately monitored the export of these stockpiled specimens.
3. At the twenty-eighth meeting of the Standing Committee (22-25 June 1992), the Secretariat informed the Committee of these problems. As a result, the following recommendations were made by the Standing Committee to the Secretariat:
(NOTE: As T. crocea has not been included in a ban on export, specimens of this species are excluded from these recommendations.)
a) Until further notice, the Secretariat should not transmit to the Parties information received from the Philippines on the temporary suspension of bans on export of specimens of marine species listed in the CITES appendices. The Management Authority of the Philippines should be responsible in the future for informing countries of import about such actions.
b) Effective immediately, the Secretariat should no longer recognize the existence of any pre-ban stockpiles of corals and Tridacnidae in the Philippines.
c) The Secretariat should ask the Management Authority in Quezon City to restrict the issuance of export permits for marine species to a central authority, although the current policy is to issue permits within the regional offices.
d) The Secretariat should urge the Government of the Philippines to adopt and strictly implement management programmes for marine species.