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Biodiversity Forests

LEGAL ACQUISITION FINDINGS: A Handbook by Forest Trends and Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

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Verifying legal acquisition is one of the key requirements for the issuance of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) export permit. However, the Convention leaves the decision on how to determine whether the specimen was acquired legally to the Parties. It is therefore key that guidelines for Legal Acquisition Findings (LAFs) are adopted and applied by Parties at the national level.

This Handbook is designed to provide background into both establishing national LAF guidelines and the making of LAFs themselves. While it is intended to be a comprehensive guide for all situations requiring LAFs or similar findings, not all the guidance will be applicable in every country. The Handbook also contains information and recommendations regarding verification of legality that may go further than those required by CITES and draws from examples of different regulatory contexts, such as that for trade in timber developed by the European Union.