Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is making a change to a service it provides to businesses exporting deer and other animal products.

Date:  15 June 2018

DOC has been issuing Certificates of Export for non-CITES species of deer, tahr and chamois, that have been legally hunted and farmed in New Zealand, to provide assurance to border authorities in importing countries that products from these animals have been exported legally.

DOC has been providing this service because it manages the CITES – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – permitting system in New Zealand.

As none of these products are from CITES-listed species, New Zealand legislation does not require their individual certification.

CITES is a legally binding agreement between more than 180 countries. The aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade in specimens of endangered, threatened or exploited animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Around 6000 species of animals and 30,000 species of plants are protected under CITES. The illegal trade in CITES specimens is worth billions of dollars a year.  

New Zealand joined CITES in 1989 and passed the Trade in Endangered Species Act 1989. Under this Act, DOC issues permits for CITES-listed specimens exported from or coming into New Zealand.

DOC is working to phase out Certificates of Export, and replace them with a letter from the Director-General of DOC.

The letter is available on on this website in draft form. 

The letter will list seven species of introduced deer plus Himalayan tahr, chamois and possums. These are introduced species that can be legally hunted and exported as trophies, velvet, fur and meat and are not CITES listed.

Exporters will be able to download the final version of this letter from the DOC website at no charge and use it, along with other export documents,* to get their products into overseas markets from 17 July 2018.

For now, DOC continues to issue Certificates of Export for non-CITES species. DOC is working with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade and reaching out to exporters who have received DOC Certificates of Exports in the past, as it prepares to change this service.

DOC intends to cease providing Certificates of Export on 27 July 2018.

DOC is currently engaging with CITES regulatory authorities in importing countries on this matter. Initial outreach has been to officials in the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Korea. 

* Other documents can include MPI export certificates for food safety and/or animal health, Chamber of Commerce documents, Letters of Credit, or Customs declarations.


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