An Overview of seizures
of CITES-listed Wildlife
in the EU in 2021

Published 14 June 2023

This briefing aims to provide an overview of all CITES-related seizures reported by the Member States of the European Union1 (EU) for the 12 months from January to December 2021.

An Overview of seizures of CITES-listed Wildlife in the EU in 2021

Report author(s):
Kathy Rock

Publication date:
June 2023


The quantitative analysis of these seizures (‘Reported CITES-related Seizures involving the EU’ and ‘Brief Comparison to 2020’) and examples of seizures (‘Details of Key CITES-related Seizures Reported by the EU Member States in 2021’) are based on seizure records submitted in the 2021 CITES Annual Illegal Trade Reports (including information on prosecutions) submitted to the EU-TWIX3 database by the EU Member States.

It is important to note that any change in the number of seizures reported over the years and any patterns in illegal wildlife trade observed from the seizure data may be due to varying levels of enforcement efforts, which could differ over time by the various EU Member States. These do not necessarily indicate shifts in demand or changes in illegal wildlife trade dynamics.

  1. The Member States of the EU in 2021: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
  2. Cyprus, Luxembourg, and Slovakia reported no seizures in 2021.
  3. European – Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange—the system includes a database of CITES seizures in the EU (
  4. Medicinals - plant-derived Medicinals are also understood to include health/food supplements, cosmetics, and aromatic plants [not necessarily used as medicine] as well as medicinal products and parts and derivatives for medicinal use.

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