Export/import of CITES documents

Astrochelys radiata is listed in Appendix I of the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and is considered a critically endangered species. Both taking from the wild (caught in the wild) and trading in living and dead specimens and their products is strictly prohibited. The restricted trade and border crossing of offspring is enforced by the international CITES Convention. CITES agreement regulated.

Our private breeding has all the necessary provenances, so it is possible to export offspring abroad. However, since Switzerland is not part of the European Union, applying for and declaring CITES papers involves some effort. Please note the following guidelines:

  • When selling Swiss offspring abroad, we as breeders must first apply for a CITES export permit from the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office (BVET) in Bern. This must be submitted with the details of the buyer (name, address, country), the CITES details of the parents and photo documentation of the offspring. Costs for postage, writing and stamp fees CHF. 40.-. The application can take up to 14 working days. In order to pay the official writing and stamp fees in advance, we require buyers to pay a 10% deposit on the sales price in advance.

  • With the Swiss export permit and a copy of the photo documentation, which we will send you by post and/or email, you as an importer can then apply for a CITES import permit from the relevant national authorities. The costs for postage, writing and stamping fees are country-specific. Below you will find a list with the addresses of the competent state authorities.

    Germany: Bundesamt für Naturschutz, Konstantinstrasse 110, 53179 Bonn, Telefon: 0228-8491-1311, Fax: 0228-8491-1319, E-Mail: citesma@bfn.de, www.bfn.de

    France: No adress available

    Italy: No adress available

    Austria: No adress available

  • After receiving the import permit, it is then possible to cross the Swiss/EU border. It is important to note that the Swiss CITES export permit is only converted into the yellow EU CITES paper at customs. Customs clearance of the papers is therefore essential. Of course, there is also a stamp and customs fee depending on the value of the goods.

  • Customs clearance of CITES papers is only possible at the following main border crossings:
    ● Switzerland/Germany: Weil am Rhein oder Konstanz
    ● Switzerland/France: Basel/Mulhouse
    ● Switzerland/Italy: Chiasso
    ● Switzerland/Austria: Zollstelle Höchst

    Please note the counter opening times (live animals are sometimes not handled at weekends)!

  • It is possible to do the customs clearance yourself as a layman, but it is very time-consuming and sometimes nerve-wracking. We recommend all those who are not familiar with the customs clearance procedure for CITES papers and exotic specimens to commission a forwarding agent (e.g. TransGO) at customs who knows the relevant counters and processes and can clear customs in a short time. The forwarding costs can be requested directly from the forwarding agent.

  • Please note that we neither ship nor deliver our animals abroad. All offspring must be picked up personally by the buyers at our breeding station in Muotathal, Canton Schwyz, Switzerland. The buyer is also responsible for animal-friendly transport (transport box, etc.). For safety reasons, once animals have been sold and placed, they cannot be replaced, exchanged or taken back at any time.

We ask all foreign interested parties to inquire about a CITES import permit and all necessary formalities at the respective national authorities before making a purchase request. In some countries a border veterinarian must be present when importing exotics. Please also pay attention to the opening hours of the counters (on weekends live animals are sometimes not cleared)!