Sri Lanka has become the first country to go live with an electronic permit system developed by UNCTAD and the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The country’s Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) rolled out the system dubbed “eCITES BaseSolution” on the 14th of February to effectively control legal trade in CITES-listed species and to support prevent illegal trade.
The system issued its first-ever eCITES permit after it went live recently.
Switzerland funded the joint development of the solution by the CITES Secretariat and UNCTAD’s customs automation program, ASYCUDA.
According to CITES, it is a cost-effective system for interested national management authorities to manage and regulate legal trade in CITES-listed species.
“We hope this tool will strengthen Sri Lanka’s work in issuing and reporting CITES permits, minimizing human error and improving the connection with different authorities at the national level, leading to a more effective implementation of the CITES regulatory framework,”CITES head Ivonne Higuero said.
The system offers automated support for CITES permit application, processing, issuance and annual reporting.
It allows faster and more robust reporting by authorities, provides better data to decide on non-detriment findings and enables government agencies to better target their inspections and identify actors that break the law.
Also, it facilitates the exchange of electronic permits and information across borders, which increases transparency and prevents the use of fraudulent permits.
The solution improves collaboration between international and national agencies in implementing CITES provisions.
CITES pointed out that the system can be implemented in other countries through a technical assistance agreement between UNCTAD and the beneficiary country.