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CITES and UNESCO conventions

 

Sale of endangered animal and plant species – CITES

Lauritz.com and CITES
Lauritz.com complies with all current rules for sale of endangered animal and plant species. The appropriate national authorities establish the framework within which taxidermy animals, trophies and skins may be traded at auction in the respective country. In all auction sale at Lauritz.com we always follow all the guidelines from the national authorities who administer the CITES convention in the country, where the Lauritz.com auction house is located. This means that we follow the national authorities' regulations and decisions right down to the specific object. This ensures compliance with all international legislation in the area based on CITES’ ethical stance. We have fully established procedures designed to ensure that at any time we are in compliance with CITES. In addition to all our specialists having direct access to the convention’s text, all our specialists receive continuous training, and we consult relevant professionals and authorities. Furthermore, we keep an internal list called the ’Watch-Out List’, which is updated on a daily basis with information that our specialists should be especially aware of in relation to consignment.

In general about CITES
CITES is an international treaty that came into force 1 July 1975. The agreement is also known as the Washington Convention after the city where, in 1973, it was adopted by a number of different countries. The convention, however, is best known as CITES, the abbreviation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. In Denmark the convention has been in force since 24 October 1977, in Sweden since 1 July 1975, in Norway since 25 October 1976, in Germany since 20 June 1976, and in Belgium since 1 January 1984. CITES has been adopted in 181 countries around the world.

The convention controls the trade (over national borders) of wild animals and plants. This takes place through monitoring and regulating international trade. The aim is to permit only sustainable trade – i.e. no more is removed from the populations of wild animals and plants than these populations can bear. In practice, this means that special permission is required or that in some cases it is completely prohibited to trade in certain animals and plants – living or non-living, including products produced from their skins, feathers, teeth/tusks, etc. CITES covers around 5,000 animal species and approx. 28,000 plant species. The species, depending on how endangered they are, are listed in Appendix I, II or III. Almost 1,000 of them are so threatened that trade is completely prohibited (Appendix I). For the others special permits for import or export are required (Appendix II and III). The permit is known as a CITES certificate, which is applied for from the local authorities.

CITES in Denmark – The Environmental Protection Agency www.mst.dk
CITES in Sweden – The Swedish Board of Agriculture www.jordbruksverket.se
CITES in Norway – The Norwegian Environment Agency www.miljodirektoratet.no
CITES in Germany – The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation www.bfn.de
CITES in Belgium – The Belgian CITES Unit under FSP Health www.health.belgium.be

Specific to ivory
Items with ivory, processed before 1947, can freely be sold at auction. If the items with ivory have been processed after 1947, a CITES certificate is required before they can be traded.

At Lauritz.com, we principally and for ethical reasons do not sell whole elephant tusks, even if they are accompanied by CITES certificates. Here we support experts in the field, who advocate that the sale of whole tusks (even those with CITES certificates) indirectly helps maintain the illegal market. This concerns a vulnerable animal species, where you are trying to limit hunting by means of control and certification. Illegal hunting continues nevertheless, which is why we do not wish to sell these items.


Sale of objects of cultural significance – UNESCO Convention

Introduction to the UNESCO Convention
The World Heritage Convention is an international treaty for the protection of cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value, what is termed ‘World Heritage’ adopted in 1972 by UNESCO. Items covered by the convention can be artefacts from archaeological excavations, parts of artistic or historic monuments, coins, inscriptions or engraved seals, or rare manuscripts, books, or objects of ethnological interest.

Lauritz.com and the UNESCO Convention
Lauritz.com, as Scandinavia’ biggest auction house, is conscious that we as a company have a responsibility to be at the forefront of protecting our cultural heritage. Beyond what is prescribed in the convention, we at times choose not to accept consignment of cultural objects that due to ethical or moral considerations we do not wish to sell at our auctions. It is illegal to import (and offer for onward sale) cultural items that have been illegally exported from other countries. Where the legality is in doubt, we always refuse to accept the items at our auctions. Where Lauritz.com is presented with a cultural object where there can be doubt about whether the item has been exported legally or where origin cannot be determined with reasonable certainty, or where we have been directly informed that the item comes e.g. directly from a war zone, we refuse sale of the item.