Trade in endangered species

There is extensive illegal trade in endangered animals and plants, both living and dead. Tourists or consumers need to be vigilant to avoid contributing to this illegal activity both in Sweden and in other countries.

The illegal trade in endangered animals and plants involves billions of Swedish kronor. Common goods are natural medicines and precious woods. Reptiles, stuffed animals, jewellery and souvenirs made from endangered animals and plants are also common. 

Permits and certificates

Sweden has joined 182 countries that have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This convention has been incorporated into European Union and Swedish legislation. CITES regulations apply to about 35,600 endangered species. Trading in and handling many of these species requires permission from the Swedish Board of Agriculture. 

Other laws

Three other laws also regulate the protection of wild animals and plants:

  • Animal welfare legislation prohibits keeping wild animals for companionship and as a hobby.
  • Hunting legislation includes regulations on the hunting and keeping of wild mammals and birds.
  • Fisheries legislation has regulations on fish, aquatic molluscs and crustaceans.

Punishment and controls

Violation of the regulations is punishable under Swedish law. There are different ways to verify that the laws are being followed:

  • Customs can check your luggage when you return home from a trip abroad and ask to see permits.
  • Customs also checks for permits for imports of goods.

For more information

The Swedish Board of Agriculture, the administrative authority for CITES in Sweden, has information on its website about the regulations that apply, how to apply for permits, forms and more. 

The Swedish Board of Agriculture

Did you find this information helpful?

Let us know what you think by rating the page and answering a few questions.

Information services survey
Your Europe Logo