New EU Trophy Import Rules in Effect Despite Procedural Violations
EVEN THOUGH THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION DID NOT FOLLOW ALL MANDATORY PROCEDURAL STEPS FOR RULE CHANGES, NEW IMPORTATION RULES IMMEDIATELY APPLY FOR EU HUNTERS WHO HAVE RECENTLY HUNTED, OR ARE PLANNING TO HUNT WHITE RHINO, LION, ELEPHANT, HIPPO, ARGALI SHEEP, AND POLAR BEAR.
The European Union (EU) has started enforcing rules that make it more difficult to import hunting trophies of these six species into the EU. The European Commission failed to consult and get approval from the European Council for the rules. Despite acknowledging this error, the European Commission has stated that it is now enforcing the rules prior to Council approval. SCI previously alerted its members of the EU’s actions and stated that the new rules could not go into effect prior to approval from the European Council. Because the European Commission has decided to violate its own procedures, we are now revising the information provided in that alert.
Under the new rules, a trophy of any of the six species cannot be imported into an EU country without an import certificate issued by the wildlife authority of the importing country. The importing country will refuse to issue a certificate if it considers, on scientific advice, that the hunt was harmful to the species, or that the country where it was hunted has failed to confirm that the animal was legally taken. The wildlife authority has to take into account the views of the EU Scientific Review Group, but does not necessarily have to follow the Group’s advice. These new requirements will apply even to animals taken prior to the adoption of the new importation rules.
What should you do?
If you have hunted any of these species but have not yet imported your trophies, you should apply for an importation permit as soon as possible.Be aware when you are booking a future hunt for these species that you will not know for certain in advance whether you will be able to import the trophy.Contact the wildlife authority in your country before the hunt and before the shipment of the trophy so you understand whether you are likely to get an import permit, and what the procedures are. Contact details can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/links_national_en.htm
Via the following link, you can find information related to the changes in EU wildlife trade law: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/news_en.htm
First For Hunters,
Safari Club International