A BLACK list of exporters suspected to be involved in illicit trafficking of fauna and flora is to be established by shipping and logistics giant CMA CGM.
The list is one of the measures to be introduced as the company seeks to ensure compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (or CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.
As part of their tighter procedures, shippers must expressly state whether a species is covered by the CITES convention and, where appropriate, provide the requisite export permit whenever any animal or plant goods are carried.
“In parallel, the CMA CGM Group will draw up a black list of exporters suspected to be involved in illicit trafficking,” the company said in a statement.
“We are also enhancing the training of our sales agents around the world and tightening up our ‘know-your-customer’ audit procedures, in coordination with the CMA CGM Academy and the CITES.”
After several suspicions that undeclared rosewood may have been part of cargo shipments from the African nation of The Gambia, the group has decided to stop timber exports from the country until further notice.
Rosewood is a protected species, and trade in it is regulated by the CITES.
This “highly sought-after” wood is felled illegally in the region and then exported under various different guises.
This illicit trade is reported to be heavily implicated in the deforestation of West Africa.
“With these measures, the CMA CGM Group is again demonstrating its leadership within the shipping industry in the protection of the environment,” the company said in a statement.
“This decision, which is part of the strengthening of the Group’s CSR policy, illustrates CMA CGM’s resolve to help conserve global biodiversity and not to further imperil our planet’s future.”