Executive summary

This report provides a detailed analysis of the trade data submitted by EU Member States and candidate countries in their annual reports to CITES for 2014.


Just under 95 000 import transactions were reported in 2014 by the EU, a comparable number to 2013. Live plants, leaves and stems were the most highly traded commodities, followed by reptile skins and timber. The majority of imports were wild-sourced and for commercial purposes.

Artificially propagated leaves and stems, wild-sourced reptile leather products and wild-sourced bark were also imported at notable levels in 2014.


Live plants, reptile small leather products and live fish eggs were the commodities (re-)exported at the highest quantities overall. As in 2013, Tridacna maxima (Small giant clam) was the species (re-)exported by the EU at the highest levels from the wild in 2014.

The EU reported just under 200 000 (re-)export transactions in 2014, more than twice the number of imports, these were predominantly re-exports for commercial purposes.

Wild-sourced (re-)exports originating in the EU in 2014 were also mainly for commercial purposes, with the remainder mainly comprising Ursus arctos hunting trophies and trade for scientific purposes. The majority of (re-)exports of Annex A taxa were captive-produced or artificially propagated for commercial purposes, with seeds the most highly traded Annex A commodity.


The financial value of EU imports of CITES-listed animals and animal products (excluding caviar extract) in 2014 was estimated at ~EUR641 million (USD717 million) with animal exports (excluding caviar extract) estimated to be more than double, at ~EUR1.1 billion (USD1.2 billion). For plants, imports were valued at ~EUR261 million (USD286 million) while exports were valued at ~EUR91 million (USD102 million).

For the first time, this analysis developed methodology to estimate the value of plant trade to the EU. To estimate the monetary value of EU trade in animal CITES-listed species in 2014, species-specific value data (submitted to US Customs and included within the US annual report to CITES) were applied to EU-reported import and export volumes. This was done for plants using prices gathered from online commerce websites.

The most valuable commodities by total value were leather products and skins for imports and garments for exports.

The most valuable commodities imported were live plants, bark and timber while export value was dominated by carvings and live plants.


In 2014, non-CITES imports primarily comprised reptile skins, dried plants and plant derivatives. Of the six non-CITES species exported, the top species in trade was Columba livia (Rock dove) with exports increasing by over five-fold between 2013 and 2014.

EU imports of non-CITES taxa listed in the EU Annexes in 2014 principally comprised Annex D reptile skins, dried plants and plant derivatives, the majority of which were reported without a source or purpose specified. Species imported at notable levels include Homalopsis buccata (Masked water snake), with imports of skins increasing by 14% compared to 2013, and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry), with imports of leaves by weight exceeding 100 000 kg in 2014.

Eight non-CITES Annex A and B taxa were imported by the EU in 2014; as in previous years the top taxon in trade was Trachemys scripta elegans (Red-eared slider), imported as live animals primarily for scientific purposes.

Six non-CITES taxa listed in the EU Annexes were exported in 2014; the majority of trade comprised live, captive-bred Columba livia (Rock dove) traded for commercial purposes.