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I.  Protection of Wildlife

In Greece, wildlife is protected and regulated by four pieces of legislation: (a) Law 2055/1992,[1] by virtue of which, Greece ratified the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);[2] (b) Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the Protection of Species of Wild Fauna and Flora by Regulating Trade Therein[3] and its implementing Regulations;[4] (c) certain provisions of the Greek Forest Code, as amended;[5] and (d) the 2006 Joint Decision of the Ministers of Finance and Economy and Rural Development and Food on Trade of Species in Wild Fauna and Indigenous Flora.[6] 

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II.  The 2006 Joint Ministerial Decision

Ratification Law 2055/1992 transposes within the Greek legal order the CITES Convention, and Regulation No. 338/97 is directly applicable within Greece.  The 2006 Joint Decision of the Ministers of Finance and Economy and Rural Development and Food implements the obligations arising from CITES and Regulation No. 338/1997, as amended, and the implementing regulations.  As required by CITES and Regulation No. 338/97, the 2006 Joint Decision assigns the implementation of CITES to the national forest and customs authorities.[7]  The 2006 decision specifies that Appendices of the CITES Convention and of the Regulation are an integral part of this decision.[8].  Thus, wild cats, which are included in Annex I of CITES and also in Annex I of Regulation No. 338/97, fall within the scope of the 2006 Joint Decision. 

A.  Acquisition and Trade

Article 3 of the 2006 Joint Ministerial Decision provides that the acquisition, sale, purchase, import, export or re-import, transport, shipment, and public display of wildlife are governed by Regulation No. 338/97 and by Law 2055/1992, which ratified CITES.[9]

Article 9 prohibits the import, export, holding, and keeping of live animals within Greece to be used for personal or household pets.[10]

B.  Permits and Certificates

The required permits or certificates for the purposes of import, export, personal ownership, or traveling exhibition of wild animals, whether live or dead,) are issued by the competent administrative authorities.[11]

C.  Penalties

The Greek Forest Code, as amended, prohibits without a permit the possession, sale, keeping, import, export, transport, or exploitation for commercial purposes of live or dead specimens of wild fauna, as well as of those born and bred in captivity and those that constitute personal or household items.[12]  The Forest Code also provides for imprisonment ranging from two months to one year and, in the case of repeat offenders, up to two years to anyone who commits the above offenses without a permit. 

Individuals who commit the above offenses are also subject to a fine ranging from 200.000 to 5.000.000 drachmae.  (Greece’s currency is the euro.  A conversion of the fines from drachmae to euros could not be found in a subsequent amendment.  In 1998, the fines above would have been very heavy).  The wildlife specimens involved are seized by the appropriate customs authority and either re-exported to the country of origin or kept in appropriate facilities to be taken care of.[13]  The fines are doubled in the case of repeat offenders.

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Theresa Papademetriou
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
June 2103

 

[1] Law No. 2055/1992 on the Ratification of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and Appendices I and II, Ephemeris tes Kyverneseos tes Hellenikes Demokratias [E.K.E.D.] [Gazette of the Hellenic Republic], Part A, No. 105, June 30, 1992, http://www.et.gr/index.php/2013-01-28-14-06-23/search-laws.

[2] Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Mar. 3, 1973, 27 U.S.T. 1087, T.I.A.S. 8249, 993 U.N.T.S. 243, http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/text.php, as amended, June 1, 1979, T.I.A.S. 11079, and Apr. 30, 1983, http://www.cites. org/eng/disc/gaborone.php (Gaborone Amendment).

[3] Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 of the Council of 9 December 1996 on the Protection of Species of Wild Fauna and Flora by Regulating Trade Therein, Official Journal of the European Union, 1997 O.J. (L 61) 1, as amended, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:1997:061:0001:0069:EN:PDF.

[4] Regulation (EC) No. 865/2006 of the Commission of 4 May 2006 Laying Down Detailed Rules Concerning the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/1997 on the Protection of Species of Wild Fauna and Flora by Regulating Their Trade Therein, 2006 O.J. (L 166) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ. do?uri=OJ:L:2006:166:0001:0069:EN:PDF.

[5] Law No. 2637/1998, E.K.E.D., Part A, No. 200, Aug. 27, 1998.

[6] Joint Decision of Minister of Finance and Economy and Rural Development and Food No. No. 99098/5881 on Trade of Species of Wild Fauna and Indigenous Flora of October 26, 2006, E.K.E.D., Part B, 1570, http://www.eu-wildlifetrade.org/pdf/natleg/Decision99098-5881en.pdf.

[7] Id. art. 4.

[8] Id. art. 12.

[9] Id. art. 3.

[10] Id. art. 9.

[11] Id. arts. 5, 6.

[12] Presidential Decree 86/1969 of the Forest Code art. 258, para. 6, as amended, E.K.E.D., Part. A, No. 7, Jan. 18, 1969.  Paragraph 6 was added by Law No. 2637/1998, E.K.E.D., Part. A, No. 200, Aug. 27, 1998.

[13] Id. art. 288a, as added by Law No. 2637/1998.

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Last Updated: 09/16/2014