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Decree Law No. 121/2017

Publication: Republic Diary No. 182/2017, Series I of 2017-09-20
  • Issuer: Environment
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 121/2017
  • Pages: 5480 - 5492

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law updates the rules for applying the European regulations that implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The European regulations implementing CITES are:

  • the regulations on the protection of wild fauna and flora by controlling their trade
  • the regulations establishing detailed rules for the application of the abovementioned regulations.
What will change?

1. There will be new rules regarding the documents needed to own and to mark an animal or plant of the species listed in annexes A, B and C of the regulations.

2. It is clarified that traders of the specimens of species included in annexes A, B and C must register at the CITES national registry. In addition to the entities that were already required to register, the following entities must now also register:

  • zoos
  • botanical gardens
  • circuses and other shows with animals
  • traveling exhibitions.

3. The powers of the entities monitoring the application of these rules will be reinforced. These entities will have the right to enter freely into all the places that they have to inspect, particularly:

  • facilities where wild species of animals or plants are found (such as shops or nurseries)
  • locations that goods pass through when transported (such as airports, piers, train and bus stations).

4. The ranking of violations to these rules as "severe", "major" or "mild" takes into account:

  • the annex to the regulations (A, B, C or D) that includes the species for which there has been a violation
  • the commercial value of animals or plants for which there has been a violation (if the total value is less than 1.000 euros, the violation is considered less serious).

5. It is clarified that the Declaration of non-inclusion in the annexes for the import, export and re-export of specimens of wild species of fauna and flora is mandatory. This declaration is a document that certifies that hunting trophies, wood, animals or live plants do not belong to any species listed in annexes A, B, C or D of the regulations.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law is intended to make clearer and more effective the Portuguese law that implements CITES as well as the European regulations implementing the rules of that convention in the European Union.

At the same time, it is intended to facilitate the consultation of the law and, particularly, citizens' understanding of the rules to obtain certificates, permits and other documents related to the keeping and trading of specimens of endangered wild species.

When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect the day after being published.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.