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Thread: Definitive Interpretation of CITES?

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    bloks1995's Avatar
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    Definitive Interpretation of CITES?

    I know it has been discussed before, but I was having problems finding a definitive answer. My question is regarding plants that are protected under CITES (I), such as S. jonesii, S. oreophila, etc ...I know selling without all of the proper paperwork is illegal, but asking for shipping seems to be a grey area. In previous threads, I have seen many people say that it depends on who you talk to, and the mods seem to generally side with no payment for shipping. In the rules for lasts year's NASC auction, it says make sure you adhere to CITES restrictions, but doesn't really go into what those are. Can someone point out where in all of the paperwork it talks about payment for shipping, or if it isn't definitively stated, point out sections that allude to it. I don't mean to challenge anyone's understanding or interpretation of the law, I am just curious as to what it actually says, and am having problems finding this information on my own. My primary reason for asking is I have a extra plants that I may put up for the NASC auction, but I don't know how much I can shell out to pay for shipping, and I feel like this is a good time to have this discussion. Thanks, and sorry if I missed something or if this needs to be somewhere else!

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    It's easier to understand if you consider that the illegality in the situation under discussion occurs when said plants enter interstate commerce. I can legally sell divisions of my S. jonesii to my next door neighbor all day long. I can legally send them free of charge to any resident of the US all night long. But the second that the plants cross a state line in a financial exchange of any kind, the law is broken. In any case your point is moot, because by offering one of these plants for the auction, you are putting it into commerce, and if the bidders are from out of your state, you have put the plants into interstate commerce.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    bloks1995's Avatar
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    So then by that explanation, would shipping within the state be legal, or no? I understand why the laws are in place, but it sometimes seems like they make (what would otherwise be legal) trades/giveaways impossible, and I feel like these trades/giveaways would in theory help conservation efforts...Do you have any outside resources that you suggest I look at to get a better understanding of it all? Also does the definition of commerce exclude plants in giveaways with paid shipping (not in the auction), or is it just anytime a plant is put in a box and shipped off?

    I am by no means a lawyer, but I have looked through the text of CITES, which is why I am looking for help with interpretation. In Article VII it states that "4. Specimens...of a plant species included in Appendix I artificially propagated for commercial purposes, shall be deemed to be specimens of species included in Appendix II." Part 5 of this article also says something similar. So according to this, plants such as S. jonesii (Appendix I) that are propagated and grown in captivity should be treated the same as plants such as S. purpurea (Appendix II)? I know I am missing a lot, but if someone could point out what exactly (quotes are helpful) I am missing, that would help. Is there something other than CITES that I am not taking into account?

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    USDA and USFWS are the final authorities. I'd urge you to reach out to them (in writing) and secure answers. Honestly, if you have to think at great length about it, the answer will probably be "no."

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    bloks1995's Avatar
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    I will look into this. I am not trying to be difficult, and I am by no means trying to go against the law, but its hard for me to just accept something without seeing the why. I bring all of this up because I feel like most of it is unspoken knowledge, and many members (myself especially) don't fully understand or aren't really aware of all of the efforts put in place to protect endangered species. I am not saying it isn't illegal, but part of me wants to know under whose authority and where it is stated, so I appreciate the response. Conservation is important to me (and I am sure many other members) and for me, knowing what regulations are in place is helpful.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Shipping in state does not qualify as interstate commerce.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    In any case, offering appendix I species for the NASC auction is highly problematic. You could argue that you're giving the plant to NASC, which is perfectly legal, but unless NASC has the necessary permits, they're on the hook if you ship to another state.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    bloks1995's Avatar
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    I see. I figured this was a good time to have the discussion, before the auction. I had wondered about all of it for a while, but the mention of the upcoming auction is what prompted me to post. Thanks, and I will continue to do my own research for my own benefit!

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