International trade in wild fauna and flora species can endanger the survival of these species unless it is controlled. With the view to establish control of international trade in these species, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known as CITES, was adopted and entered into force in 1975. According to CITES, international trade in the species listed in appendices to the Convention is permitted only to the extent in which the survival of these species is not endangered. The Convention regulates international trade in wild fauna and flora species, their import, export and re-export which are carried out on the basis of permits and certificates issued only after the prescribed conditions have been met. The Convention, to which over 175 countries have acceded, provides for various types of protection of over 30 000 fauna and flora species, whether live specimens or any part or derivative thereof.
CITES is implemented in the EU along with the EU regulations laying down rules concerning the trade in wild fauna and flora species (the basic regulation, the implementing regulation, the regulation on permits, the regulation on a provisional prohibition of the introduction into the EU). All EU regulations on trade in wild fauna and flora species are directly applicable in all Member States which must adopt national legislation in order to ensure effective enforcement of these regulations. Furthermore, they must impose appropriate sanctions for infringements of regulations.
The authority competent for issuing documents necessary for introduction, export or transit of endangered wild fauna and flora species is the Slovenian Environment Agency.
Customs authorities are responsible for checking whether consignments of specimens of endangered fauna and flora species are accompanied by appropriate permits or certificates upon their introduction into the EU, export or re-export from the EU or transit through the EU.