The implementation of CITES or the implementation of the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora protects about 5,000 animal species and 28,000 plant species that are endangered by international trade. In Austria, the Convention has been in force since 1982; since 1984 it has been executed in the European Union. Since Austria’s accession to the European Union on 1 January 1995 the relevant EC regulations have been legally binding for Austria and are implemented by national laws and ordinances. Penalties may reach amounts of up to € 40,000.
The purpose of CITES is to ensure, by means of international control of trade, the sustainability of this trade in wild animals and wild plants, but not to prevent it in General.