Universal labelling system

… for the identification of caviar
“ Universal labelling system ”

AWARE that all living species of sturgeon and paddlefish (Acipenseriformes) are listed in Appendix I or II of CITES, but concerned that certain parts and derivatives of some sturgeon species may be subject to some illegal trade;

RECOGNIZING that illegal trade has in the past threatened the survival of certain populations of sturgeons and has undermined the efforts of producer countries to manage their sturgeon resources on a sustainable basis;

RECOGNIZING that Resolution Conf. 10.12 (Rev.), adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its 10th meeting (Harare, 1997) and amended at its 11th meeting (Gigiri, 2000), directs the Secretariat in consultation with the Animals Committee to explore the development of a uniform marking system for sturgeon parts and derivatives to assist in subsequent identification of the species;

RECALLING that Article VI, paragraph 7, of the Convention provides that specimens of species listed in the Appendices may be marked to assist in identifying them;

NOTING that, in order to assist the Parties in identifying legal caviar in trade, marking should be standardized and that particular specifications for the design of labels are fundamental and should be generally applied;

CONSIDERING that the labelling of all caviar in international trade would be a fundamental step towards the effective regulation of international trade in sturgeons and sturgeon products;

RECOGNIZING, however, that the Animals Committee, at its 15th meeting (Antananarivo, 1999), decided to recommend only, at this stage, the adoption of a universal marking system for the export of caviar from producing countries to the initial country of import;

NOTING that strategies for the uniform marking of caviar should take into account marking systems currently in place and should not prevent producer countries and legitimate processing and trading industries from marking the caviar in trade in a further developed way;



a) the introduction of a uniform marking system for any primary container (tin, jar, or box into which caviar is directly packed) of more than 249 grams of caviar entering international trade from the countries of origin, based on the application of non-reusable labels on each primary container;

b) that for export of primary containers containing less than 250 grams of caviar, the non- reusable labels referred to in paragraph a) above be affixed only to the secondary containers, which should also include a description of the content;

c) that the non-reusable label include, as a minimum: grade of the caviar (beluga, sevruga, or ossetra); a standard species code as provided in the Annex; and a unique serial number for the shipment, consisting of the ISO two-letter code for the country of origin, the year of harvest, and a unique number for the primary container that corresponds to the processing plant and lot identification number for the caviar:


d) that the information, referred to in paragraph c) above be clearly marked on all secondary containers containing one or more primary containers of caviar;

e) that, in order to facilitate tracking and monitoring of caviar exports, the same information that is on the label affixed to the secondary container be given on the export permit;

f) that, in the event of mismatches of information between a label and a permit, the Management Authority of the importing Party immediately contact its counterpart in the exporting Party to establish whether this was a genuine error arising from the volume of information required by this Resolution, and that, if this is the case, every effort be made to avoid penalizing those involved in such transactions;

g) that the Management Authority of the exporting, re-exporting, and importing Parties provide to the Secretariat, when directed by the Standing Committee or agreed to between the range State and the CITES Secretariat, a copy of each export permit for caviar immediately after issuance or upon receipt, as appropriate;

h) that Parties accept shipments of caviar imported directly from countries of origin only if they are accompanied by appropriate documents containing the information referred to in paragraph c), d) or e) and if the related processed products are labelled as directed in this Resolution; and

i) that Parties establish, where legally possible, a system of registration or licensing or both for importers and exporters of caviar;

RECOMMENDS that the preceding set of procedures take effect as soon as possible for export quotas for the year 2001; and

URGES all Parties that trade (export, import or re-export) in caviar to report promptly to the Secretariat the volumes involved each year.

Annex Codes for identification of Acipenseriformes species


Acipenser baeriiBAE

Acipenser baerii baicalensisBAI

Acipenser brevirostrumBVI

Acipenser dabryanusDAB

Acipenser fulvescensFUL

Acipenser gueldenstaedtiiGUE

Acipenser medirostrisMED

Acipenser mikadoiMIK

Acipenser naccariiNAC

Acipenser nudiventrisNUD

Acipenser oxyrhynchusOXY

Acipenser oxyrhynchus desotoiDES

Acipenser persicusPER

Acipenser ruthenusRUT

Acipenser schrenckiSCH

Acipenser sinensisSIN

Acipenser stellatusSTE

Acipenser sturioSTU

Acipenser transmontanusTRA

Huso dauricusDAU

Huso husoHUS

Polyodon spathulaSPA

Psephurus gladiusGLA

Pseudoscaphirhynchus fedtschenkoiFED

Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermanniHER

Pseudoscaphirhynchus kaufmanniKAU

Scaphirhynchus platorynchusPLA

Scaphirhynchus albusALB

Scaphirhynchus suttkusiSUS

Published on Apr 01, 2016

Share this article