§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what checks are made on illegal imports of products made from endangered species; what plans she has to extend the ban on the import of products made from endangered species; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 16 April 2002]: The United Kingdom is a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which controls and monitors international trade in endangered species and products derived from them.1197W
CITES is implemented within the EU by Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 939/97.
HM Customs and Excise enforce the controls imposed by these Regulations, targeting their checks on the importation of items covered by the legislation on the basis of assessed risk, or as a direct result of intelligence received (including advice from my Department). Any offences detected would result in seizure of the goods concerned and may result in the prosecution of the individuals or company involved where appropriate.
CITES does not ban trade in all endangered species. Over 30,000 animals and plants are currently listed in the three Appendices to CITES, of which only around 800 are listed in Appendix I, effectively banning them and their derivatives from trade except under exceptional circumstances. We have no plans to seek to include more species in Appendix I.