UAE’s MOCCAE moves to digital CITES certificates; Phases out Paper versions

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has launched a new platform that allows users to apply for a digital Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) certificate via its website and phone application.

Clients can download the digital certificate on their smart devices and use it in an electronic format without the need for a printed format. After the commencement of the service, the option to apply for Paper CITES Certificates will not be available at the Ministry’s Consumer Happiness Centre.

The CITES certificate is an official document used for the approval of import, export, and re-export permits for live species, specimens, or derivatives of flora and fauna mentioned in the CITES Appendices, and allows them to be shipped across borders as long as they comply with all requirements. All CITES parties around the world use the same certificate form.

Sultan Alwan
HE Sultan Alwan
Acting Undersecretary

“The move aligns with the UAE Government’s objective of establishing the UAE as a forerunner in the provision of smart services. The Ministry is keen on shifting all high-demand services to its electronic and smart platforms to make them more user-friendly and easily accessible. The new service is part of the country’s obligations as a CITES party. The digital certificate includes a QR code to verify its authenticity and validity.”

In addition to minimizing paper use, the new service provides consumers the convenience of applying for and receiving certificates without physically visiting the Customer Happiness Centres.

CITES Certificates

The ministry issues three types of CITES certificates and they are CITES import certificate, CITES export certificate and CITES re-export certificate.

CITES import certificate is needed for bringing live animal and plant species listed in CITES Appendices and their derivatives into the UAE and is valid for one year from the date of issue. The CITES export certificate is required to export CITES-listed species that have been bred or grown in the UAE and is valid for six months from the date of issue. Meanwhile, the CITES re-export certificate allows CITES-listed species previously imported into the country to be exported and is valid for six months from the date of issue.