Juvenile white rhino - this species was listed in 1975 when CITES was established.

Image: Franco Pecchio | Creative Commons


CITES is an international agreement that regulates and monitors trade in animal and plant species to ensure it does not threaten their long-term survival in the wild.


Over 34,000 species are covered by CITES which monitors and regulates trade in endangered species through a system of permits and certificates. These documents are needed to cross borders with any CITES species or any product containing CITES species.

Species are listed in three different 'Appendices', depending on their conservation status and how much they are traded. Permit requirements are different for each Appendix.

  • Appendix I species are the most endangered, and trade is more restricted for those species.
  • Appendix II species can withstand more trade.
  • Appendix III species are those where individual countries have asked for help to protect those species.  

CITES is implemented in New Zealand through the Trade in Endangered Species Act 1989 (TIES Act). The administration of CITES is provided by the Department of Conservation. The New Zealand Customs Service and Ministry for Primary Industries are responsible for border controls.

Related links

CITES website:

New Zealand information:

Other relevant information:



DOC CITES Officer - Auckland
Phone: +64 9 307 9279
Email: cites@doc.govt.nz
Private Bag 68908
New ton, Auckland 1145

DOC CITES Officer – Wellington
Phone: +64 4 496 1096
Email: cites@doc.govt.nz
PO Box 10420
Wellington 6143

DOC CITES Officer – Christchurch
Phone: +64 3 371 3700
Email: cites@doc.govt.nz
Private Bag 4715 Christchurch
Mail Centre Christchurch 8140


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