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3 endangered species to be protected in HK
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19:53, March 12, 2009

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Sawfish, European eel and Brazil wood will be added to the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance from March 13, Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said Thursday.

The department said the control of the newly-listed species will bring Hong Kong in line with the latest revisions to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

By law, the import, introduction from the sea, export and possession of the controlled species, including their parts and derivatives, are subject to licensing controls. While the import and export requirements will take effect on Friday, there will be a three-month grace period for possessing newly-listed species that are in possession before the start of the law change.

The grace period to apply for a possession license for sawfish and live wild European eel will end on June 12.

As Brazil wood is considered less endangered, its possession or control is exempted from the licensing requirements to facilitate legitimate trade without compromising Hong Kong's obligations under the convention. However, its import and export will still require licenses issued in advance.

Any person importing, exporting or possessing any endangered species without a license is liable to two years' jail, a 5 million HK dollars (645,161 U.S. dollars) fine, and mandatory forfeiture of the specimens, the department said.

Source: Xinhua

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