National Target

  published: 10 May 2019

Objective 5.9 - Encourage the implementation of CITES with the aim of supporting conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity.


The aim of the CITES Convention is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Species that are, or in the future might be, endangered by trade, are listed in one of the three CITES annexes. If a species is placed on these lists, the trade in that particular species is subject to strict regulations. By continuous follow-up of the status of the population, trade in specific species-country combinations may be prohibited.

Belgium, as a Member State of the European Community, implements the CITES legislation through two EC Regulations together with the Belgian CITES Act of 1981. Different goals will be prioritised, with the goal of improving the implementation of CITES in Belgium in the short to medium term. In this way, Belgium has and will continue to explore innovative means of increasing capacity and improving enforcement for example by assisting in the exchange of knowledge and expertise at national and EU level.

Belgium has developed an online database system which allows clients to apply for CITES documents via the CITES portal website ( This system is up and running since 2015 and facilitates the application for the clients as well as the handling of applications for the CITES Management Authority. A dedicated website is also developed which provides detailed information on the implementation of CITES in Belgium.

On the enforcement site a special unit has been set up that can undertake CITES investigations for the internal trade. This team comprised of 8 people not only covers the CITES controls but also those for the Invasive Alien Species Act as the European Timber Regulation, thus working in an efficient manner on linked legislations.

Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
4. Use of natural resources