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In a notice sent out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) it warned of changes to the transit of CITES-listed items.

It said in the “event of a No deal EU exit… CITES-listed animals and plants would require permits to travel between the UK and the EU, and would only be able to travel through certain ports”.

There are 23 points of entry/exit listed under the government’s new guidelines. The full list of designated ports that will be available in a No deal scenario can be found on the Defra website

“Potential delays”

However busy routes including the Eurotunnel, Dover and Holyhead will no longer be able to handle CITES-listed transit.

The government said the change is “to avoid potential delays at these ports as they experience large volumes of traffic passing through. Businesses or individuals who regularly use these routes may need to make alternative arrangements as there will be no facilities at these ports for CITES permits to be stamped.”

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) lists include 35,000 species of animals and plants. For the art and antiques trade they contain objects such as rosewood furniture, musical instruments with ivory parts and narwhal tusks.

In the event of a No deal, trading in or moving CITES-listed species outside the UK would need to check the specific requirements with the intended import or export country on the Global CITES website, and either apply to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for a CITES permit or request and complete an import notification form.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “This Government has been absolutely clear on our commitment to deliver the Brexit deal negotiated with the EU. But the government is preparing for any eventuality.

“That’s why we are taking the responsible step of ensuring people and businesses understand the potential impacts of No deal – such as the transport of protected goods and animals between the UK and the EU –  to help minimise any potential disruption.”