CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. These require that all import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. ('Re-export' means export of a specimen that was imported.)
The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need.
Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering the licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade o n the status of the species.
A specimen of a CITES-listed species may be imported into or exported (or re-exported) from a State party to the Convention only if the appropriate document has been obtained and presented for clearance at the port of entry or exit.
For more information on CITES, visit the organization's official website at www.cites.org.