CITES Explained: Challenges & Opportunities - The Horti House

CITES Explained: Challenges & Opportunities

Navigating CITES restrictions can pose challenges when it comes to importing Cacti. As their popularity continues to grow, retailers are under pressure to continue offering these at a competitive price. 

The international trade of Cacti is subject to regulations aimed at protecting endangered species and ensuring sustainable practices. One of the regulatory frameworks is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). As with most permits and regulations, this process can be time consuming and costly to businesses. We have summarised the challenges posed by CITES and the opportunity that The Horti House have to offer our customers. 

Understanding CITES: CITES is an international agreement designed to prevent the overexploitation of species through international trade. The treaty categorises species into three appendices, each with varying levels of protection. Cacti are often listed under Appendix II, which includes species that may become endangered if trade is not regulated. 

Researching & Obtaining Permits: Before importing Cacti, it's crucial to determine the CITES status of the specific species, by consulting the official CITES database or contacting the relevant authorities in both the export and import countries. If the Cactus species is listed under Appendix II, you will need to obtain permits from both the export and import countries. The permits ensure that the trade is legal, sustainable, and not detrimental to the survival of the species. 

The application process involves providing accurate information about the species, quantity and origin. It also requires you to provide supporting documents such as certificates of origin, proof of legal acquisition, along with anything specific to the country's CITES Management Authority.  

Ensuring Legal Harvesting & Sourcing: CITES regulations extend beyond permits; they also emphasise the ethical and legal sourcing of Cacti. It is essential to verify that the plants were legally harvested and that their trade complies with both national and international laws. 

Documentation & Record-Keeping: It is also vital that accurate record-keeping is maintained when importing Cacti, including detailed documentation of CITES permits, invoices and any other relevant paperwork. This will serve as your legal evidence of compliance. 


Following the legal compliance for importing Cacti can be time consuming and costly, especially when ordering in small quantities, but The Horti House are here to absorb those costs and take care of all the necessary paperwork for you. With Cacti available to add to your trolley orders, retailers can continue to offer these without the added hassle or costs, whilst also keeping the minimum order volume low for you.

Check out our current Cacti collection here

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