AHPA Identifies Key Information on Hoodia gordonii CITES Certificates

(August 18, 2006, Silver Spring, MD) -- The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is providing this communication to assist buyers of Hoodia gordonii to be fully aware of all of the information that should be included on any CITES certificate that accompanies their purchase of the herb.

All species of the genus Hoodia were added to Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as of January 2005. That classification requires that all exported lots of Hoodia be accompanied by a CITES certificate to document its conformity with the terms of this international treaty.(1)

"It was clear to me when attending the meeting of the CITES Plants Committee in Peru last month that many of the CITES rules need to be better explained to the U.S. trade," commented Michael McGuffin, AHPA’s president. "Companies that receive CITES certificates need to make sure that they know just what they are looking for on these forms."

The minimum information that should be found on any CITES certificate that accompanies materials identified as Hoodia gordonii includes all of the following:

1. A unique permit number.
2. A date until which the permit is valid.
3. Name and address of the importer.
4. Name and address of the exporter (which information may be redacted if the importer wishes to protect the identity of their African exporter).
5. A unique security stamp number.
6. Name, address, national seal/stamp and country of the CITES Management Authority that issued the permit.(2)
7. The scientific name (genus and species) and common name of the plant.
8. A description of the form of the material ("powder;" "dried and milled;" etc.).
9. The quantity, which quantity must not be less than the purchased amount.
10. The name of the agent who issued the permit.
11. The date of the permit's issuance.
12. The official seal of the issuing party.(3)

Please feel free to contact the AHPA office ([email protected]) if you need additional information on Hoodia gordonii or any other CITES-listed herbal ingredient.

1. An exception to this requirement was envisioned under certain circumstances, but it has been recently communicated that the criteria for this exception have not yet been established, so that all Hoodia exports currently need certificates. See the AHPA Update dated April 7, 2006 (U.S. FWS Posts Communication on CITES Rules for Hoodia) for more information..
2. For Hoodia spp. exported from South Africa, the CITES Management Authority is the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
3. In South Africa, this is Cape Nature.


The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) represents the core of the botanical trade -- comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products -- AHPA’s mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbs are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org.

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