French CMA CGM Group, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, has announced it is reinforcing its procedures for shipping protected species, the trade which is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
As part of these 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 addition to this, the CMA CGM Group will draw up a black list of exporters suspected to be involved in illicit trafficking.
"We are also enhancing the training of our sales agents around the world and tightening up our 'know-your-customer' audit procedures, in co-ordination with the CMA CGM Academy and the CITES," said the Marseille-based carrier.
Following several suspicions that undeclared rosewood may have been part of cargo shipments from the Gambia, CMA CGM has decided to halt its timber exports from the country.
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 heavily implicated in the deforestation of West Africa.
CMA CGM's decision to take these measures is part of the strengthening of the group's CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy, according to a company's statement.