Dubai – 21 May 2023: In line with the Year of Sustainability, Dubai Customs has reported that over the past three years, it has successfully seized nearly 330 tons and more than 200 samples of animal and plant species that violate the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to which the United Arab Emirates joined in 1990.
Dubai Customs supports the UAE's pivotal role in preserving environmental sustainability by combating illegal trafficking in hazardous materials and waste. The UAE is hosting the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP28, scheduled to be held from November 30 to December 12, 2023. The conference aims to make progress and create innovative opportunities for a climate-safe world while fostering initiatives to enhance sustainable economic and social development.
Dubai Customs, particularly through its Customs Inspection sector, plays a vital role in combating attempts to smuggle prohibited materials. It conducts extensive public awareness campaigns on the importance of protecting endangered animals and plants. This includes organizing consecutive exhibitions showcasing confiscated items. This supports the 'Green Customs' initiative announced by Dubai Customs earlier this year. The Green Customs initiative represents a model for international collaboration to prevent illegal trade in environmentally harmful substances.
As part of enhancing international cooperation in regulating and implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Customs Inspection Division at Dubai Customs is working on elevating the efficiency of inspectors through qualification and training programs on various smuggling techniques. Additionally, lists of endangered animal species are being disseminated to identify and utilize them in seizure operations. Dubai Customs continuously develops and employs the latest smart information technology applications to facilitate inspection processes at customs ports in Dubai. This includes the advanced container inspection system and the 'Risk Engine' system developed by the Department to proactively monitor the risks of commercial shipments.
One notable achievement in combating CITES violations was the interception of an attempt to smuggle 64 live falcons through the Hatta border crossing. This incident violated the laws of the UAE, including the law on regulating and monitoring the international trade of endangered animals and plants, as well as the veterinary quarantine law. The confiscated shipment did not possess any official documents or health certificates, contravening Federal Law No. 11 of 2002 concerning the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).