Questions & Answers

“ Questions & Answers ”
Caviar Labelling requirements for CITES

What are the CITES labelling requirements for caviar ?
What labelling requirements apply to exports and re-exports ?
What are the labelling requirements for caviar that is repackaged ?
What happens if the labelling scheme is not applied ?

On its own, it is generally not possible to visually identify which species of sturgeon is present in a container.
In fact, it is difficult to tell sturgeon caviar from certain substitutes or alternatives.
Identification of caviar to species level requires detailed forensic analysis (e.g. DNA testing).
Thankfully, caviar in trade is labelled.

The uniform labelling system applies to all caviar, from wild and aquaculture origin, produced for commercial and non-commercial purposes, for either domestic or international trade, and is based on the application of a non-reusable label on each primary container.

– A non-reusable label is any label or mark that cannot be removed undamaged or transferred to another container, which may seal the container.
– If the non-reusable label does not seal the primary container, caviar should be packaged in a manner that permits visual evidence of any opening of the container.
– The primary container is a tin, jar or other receptacle that is in direct contact with the caviar.

The CITES guidelines for a universal labelling system for the trade in and identification of caviar are found in Resolution Conf. 12.7 (Rev. CoP14) Annex 1.

In the country of origin, the non-reusable label should be affixed by the processing plant to any primary container.
This label must include, as a minimum: a standard species code (as provided in Annex 2), and:
– the source code of the caviar
– the ISO two-letter code for the country of origin
– the year of harvest
– the official registration code of the processing plant
– the lot identification number for the caviar

Annex 2 Codes for identification of
Acipenseriformes species, hybrids and mixed species
Species Code
Acipenser Baerii BAE
Acipenser Baicalensis BAI
Acipenser Brevirostrum BVI
Acipenser Dabryanus DAB
Acipenser Fulvescens FUL
Acipenser Gueldenstaedtii GUE
Acipenser Medirostris MED
Acipenser Mikadoi MIK
Acipenser Naccarii NAC
Acipenser Nudivenentris NUD
Acipenser Oxyrinchus OXY
Acipenser Oxyrinchus Desotoi DES
Acipenser Persicus PER
Acipenser Ruthenus RUT
Acipenser Schrenckii SCH
Acipenser Sinensis SIN
Acipenser Stellatus STE
Acipenser Sturio STU
Acipenser Transmontanus TRA
Huso Dauricus DAU
Huso Huso HUS
Polyodon Spatula SPA
Psephurus Gladius GLA
Pseudoscaphirhynchus Fedtschenkoi FED
Pseudoscaphirhynchus Hermanni HER
Pseudoscaphirhynchus Kaufmanni KAU
Scaphirhynchus Albus ALB
Scaphirhynchus Platorynchus PLA

Standard species codes for caviar. Resolution Conf. 12.7 (Rev. CoP14) Annex 2

When no repackaging takes place, the non-reusable label referred to above should be maintained on the primary container and be considered sufficient, including for re-export.
If repackaging takes place, a non-reusable label should be affixed by the repackaging plant to any primary container in which caviar repackaged.
When repackaged, this label must include, as a minimum:
– a standard species code (as provided in Annex 2)
– the source code of the specimen
– the ISO two-letter code of the country of origin
– the year of repackaging
– the official registration code of the repackaging plant, which incorporates the ISO two-letter code of the country of repackaging if different from the country of origin
– the lot identification number, or CITES export permit or re-export certificate number

When caviar is exported or re-exported, the exact quantity of caviar must be indicated on any secondary container in addition to the description of the content in accordance with international Customs regulations.
The same information that is on the label affixed to the container must be given on the export permit or re-export certificate, or in an annex attached to the CITES permit or certificate.

Summary

The uniform labelling system applies to all caviar, from wild and aquaculture origin, produced for commercial and non-commercial purposes, for either domestic or international trade, and is based on the application of a non-reusable label on each primary container.
CITES Parties are recommended to implement the universal labelling system for caviar, and importing Parties are recommended that they not accept shipments of caviar unless they comply with these provisions.

CITES Secretariat Geneva
www.cites.org


Published on Jun 13, 2016

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