CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

The Washington Convention makes it possible to track the degree of trade in certain endangered or threatened animal species.

The aim is to allow only as much trade as is sustainable in terms of fauna and flora. 

In practice, this means that special permits are required, or in certain cases that it is completely forbidden to trade in rare plants and animals - live as well as dead ones.

Some 4,800 species of animals and 25,000 species of plants are covered by the convention. Well over 1,000 of them are so severely endangered that trading in them is totally banned. The others are subject to special permits for import and export.

The convention was created in recognition of the fact that international trade in wild animals and plants has led to a decline in stocks of many species.

Trade in wild plants and animals is still a very lucrative business, estimated to be worth at least DKK 40 billion annually.

The role of the Washington Convention/CITES is to ensure that the wild plants and wildlife affected by this trade are "harvested" from nature in a sustainable manner.

The convention has been acceded to by 169 countries and is intended to protect the world's many endangered plants and animals by monitoring and controlling international trade. In total, more than 4,800 species of animals and 25,000 species of plants are covered by CITES. Approximately 30 of the animal species and some of the plant species have their habitat in Greenland.

Your CITES permit is your contribution to enabling us to provide the relevant animal populations with a sustainable future. The Washington Convention is known, among other things, from campaigns against trade in tigers, turtles, other exotic species of animals and ivory.

CITES is now one of the world's largest conventions focusing on nature conservation.

Applicationform to import/export

Rules for tourists

Home Rule Order No. 12 of 13 September on Export and Import of Wild Animals and Plants etc. covered by the Convention of 3rd March 1973 on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (The Washington Convention/CITES)

Minister for Nature and Environment please contact:

Ministry of Nature and Climate


Postbox 1614

3900 Nuuk


Export regulations for species regulated through CITES

CITES Export permit required

May not be exported

No CITES restrictions

List I species




Fin whale




Bowhead whale




White-tailed eagle




Sperm whale




Humpback whale




Minke whale from East Greenland




List II species








Polar bear (temporary ban)




Narwhal (temporary ban)




Killer whale



Harbour porpoise/Common porpoise   


Longfinned pilot whale   



Minke whale from West  Greenland




List III species







Not covered by CITES












Musk oxen