Protection of species (CITES)

Species protection (CITES), animals (FAUNA) and plants (FLORA)

A protected reptile on the shoulder of a border guard

The illegal trade in exotic plant and animal species is a lucrative business, but it has dramatic consequences. Many wild plant and animal species are endangered or threatened with extinction. Many animals (approx. 3,500 species) and plants (approx. 25,000 species) are now subject to stringent import, export and transit provisions.

Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) and species protection

We monitor the importation, exportation and transit of protected plants and animals, as well as parts thereof and products made with them, in accordance with the species protection provisions (CITES FAUNA and CITES FLORA) in terms of both commercial consignments and tourist traffic.

If you import or export protected plants or animals illicitly or without the necessary documents (CITES certificates), they can be confiscated by us as a customs lien or by CITES control offices or the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office.

Before crossing the border, check whether you have all the necessary documents.

Legal framework


The CITES Desk handles queries concerning the protection of species in international trade and the import and export of wild animals, plants and the products derived therefrom.

Calls are taken from Monday to Friday during the following hours:

08.30 - 12.00 hrs.

CITES Desk Tel No.: +41 58 462 25 41