This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.
Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) seizures
This indicator provides the number of Border Force seizures of species, parts or derivatives of species, and products containing species that have been illegally imported.
|Unit of measurement||
Number of seizures
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) - An international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES accords varying degrees of protection to more than 39,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.
Figures provided in Border Force transparency data are given on a quarterly basis. The four quarters of each year have here been summed to provide an annual figure, as number of seizures is considerably volatile.
The total number of seizures may not equate to the sum of the CITES seizures, due to the possibility of multiple seizures. A multiple seizure is where two or more category types (e.g. caviar and timber) are seized on a particular occasion. The occasion is counted once in the total number of seizures, but a seizure is counted against each category.
The data displayed on this page does not include specimens seized by the police inland which have passed through the UK border undetected. In addition, data for 2019 does not include any seizures made at Gatwick airport during Quarter 4, due to a change in reporting systems.
Seizure numbers in 2020 were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as there were extremely large reductions in both number of passengers and amount of cargo. In addition, enforcement work was disrupted by a stay-at-home order between March and August, and changes to work practices on return.
Volume of seizures by type are also available in the source data.
For further information on which species are protected by CITES please see UNEP checklist of CITES species, and for further information on trade in CITES species see the CITES Trade Database.
This indicator is being used as an approximation of the UN SDG Indicator. Where possible, we will work to identify or develop UK data to meet the global indicator specification. This indicator has not been identified in collaboration with topic experts.
|Data last updated||18 January 2023|
|Metadata last updated||06 April 2023|