50 CFR § 23.60 - What factors are considered in making a legal acquisition finding?

§ 23.60 What factors are considered in making a legal acquisition finding?

(a) Purpose. Articles III, IV, and V of the Treaty require a Management Authority to make a legal acquisition finding before issuing export permits and re-export certificates. The Parties have agreed that a legal acquisition finding must also be made before issuing certain CITES exemption documents.

(b) Types of legal acquisition. Legal acquisition refers to whether the specimen and its parental stock were:

(1) Obtained in accordance with the provisions of national laws for the protection of wildlife and plants. In the United States, these laws include all applicable local, State, Federal, tribal, and foreign laws; and

(2) If previously traded, traded internationally in accordance with the provisions of CITES.

(c) How we make our findings. We make a finding that a specimen was legally acquired in the following way:

(1) The applicant must provide sufficient information (see § 23.34) for us to make a legal acquisition finding.

(2) We make this finding after considering all available information.

(3) The amount of information we need to make the finding is based on our review of general factors described in paragraph (d) of this section and additional specific factors described in paragraphs (e) through (k) of this section.

(4) As necessary, we consult with foreign Management and Scientific Authorities, the CITES Secretariat, State conservation agencies, Tribes, FWS Law Enforcement, APHIS or CBP, and other appropriate experts.

(d) Risk assessment. We review the general factors listed in this paragraph and additional specific factors in paragraphs (e) through (k) of this section to assess the level of scrutiny and amount of information we need to make a finding of legal acquisition. We give less scrutiny and require less-detailed information when there is a low risk that specimens to be exported or re- exported were not legally acquired, and give more scrutiny and require more detailed information when the proposed activity poses greater risk. We consider the cumulative risks, recognizing that each aspect of the international trade has a continuum of risk from high to low associated with it as follows:

(1) Status of the species: From Appendix I to Appendix III.

(2) Origin of the specimen: From wild-collected to born or propagated in a controlled environment to bred in captivity or artificially propagated.

(3) Source of the propagule used to grow the plant: From documentation that the plant was grown from a non-exempt seed or seedling to documentation that the plant was grown from an exempt seed or seedling.

(4) Origin of the species: From species native to the United States or its bordering countries of Mexico or Canada to nonnative species from other countries.

(5) Volume of illegal trade: From high to low occurrence of illegal trade.

(6) Type of trade: From commercial to noncommercial.

(7) Trade by range countries: From range countries that do not allow commercial export, or allow only limited noncommercial export of the species, to range countries that allow commercial export in high volumes.

(8) Occurrence of the species in a controlled environment in the United States: From uncommon to common in a controlled environment in the United States.

(9) Ability of the species to be bred or propagated readily in a controlled environment: From no documentation that the species can be bred or propagated readily in a controlled environment to widely accepted information that the species is commonly bred or propagated.

(10) Genetic status of the specimen: From a purebred species to a hybrid.

(e) Captive-bred wildlife or a cultivated plant. For a specimen that is captive-bred or cultivated, we may consider whether the parental stock was legally acquired.

(f) Confiscated specimen. For a confiscated Appendix-II or -III specimen, we consider whether information shows that the transfer of the confiscated specimen or its offspring met the conditions of the remission decision, legal settlement, or disposal action after forfeiture or abandonment.

(g) Donated specimen of unknown origin. For an unsolicited specimen of unknown origin donated to a public institution (see § 10.12 of this subchapter), we consider whether:

(1) The public institution follows standard recordkeeping practices and has made reasonable efforts to obtain supporting information on the origin of the specimen.

(2) The public institution provides sufficient information to show it made a reasonable effort to find a suitable recipient in the United States.

(3) The export will provide a conservation benefit to the species.

(4) No persuasive information exists on illegal transactions involving the specimen.

(5) The export is noncommercial, with no money or barter exchanged except for shipping costs.

(6) The institution has no history of receiving a series of rare and valuable specimens or a large quantity of wildlife or plants of unknown origin.

(h) Imported previously. For a specimen that was previously imported into the United States, we consider any reliable, relevant information we receive concerning the validity of a CITES document, regardless of whether the shipment was cleared by FWS, APHIS, or CBP.

(i) Personal use. For a wildlife or plant specimen that is being exported or re- exported for personal use by the applicant, we consider whether:

(1) The specimen was acquired in the United States and possessed for strictly personal use.

(2) The number of specimens is reasonably appropriate for the nature of your export or re-export as personal use.

(3) No persuasive evidence exists on illegal transactions involving the specimen.

(j) Sequential ownership. For a specimen that was previously possessed by someone other than the applicant, we may consider the history of ownership for a specimen and its parental stock, breeding stock, or cultivated parental stock.

(k) Wild-collected in the United States. For a specimen collected from the wild in the United States, we consider the site where the specimen was collected, whether the species is known to occur at that site, the abundance of the species at that site, and, if necessary, whether permission of the appropriate management agency or landowner was obtained to collect the specimen.