Juan Vasquez, secretary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) said that in accordance with UN policy, the transport of the two pandas to Taiwan would be a matter of “internal or domestic trade” and as such does not need to be reported to CITES.
Vasquez said on Monday that there is no requirement that each individual instance of international trade in endangered species be immediately reported to the organization, and that it is sufficient to issue a summary report by the end of the year. He said there was no requirement at all to report domestic trade since CITES only regulates international trade.
Vasquez also said that according to his knowledge, neither Taiwan nor China had submitted any documents regarding the pandas to CITES, but that he couldn’t be certain. The main point, Vasquez said, was that it was not necessary to do so.
CITES lists pandas as an endangered species and prohibits their commercial import and export. Authorities in both the exporting and the importing country must approve the export and import activities.
Although within the UN framework Taiwan is treated as a province of China and is not a signatory to CITES, it is following CITES regulations to a certain extent as Taiwanese and Chinese authorities have approved the documents, which reportedly list the Taipei Zoo and Wolong Nature Reserve Management Office.