French container shipping major CMA CGM has unveiled new steps to fight illicit trafficking in protected species and said it is tightening its shipment control procedures.
The shipping and logistics group is reinforcing its procedures for shipping protected species, the trade 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 parallel, CMA CGM will draw up a black list of exporters suspected to be involved in the collapse of biodiversity.
“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,” CMA CGM said.
Moreover, following several suspicions that undeclared rosewood may have been part of cargo shipments from the Gambia, the group has decided to halt its 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 heavily implicated in the deforestation of West Africa.
With these measures, CMA CGM said it is demonstrating its commitment to the protection of the environment.
“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,” CMA CGM further said.
CMA CGM operates a fleet of 489 vessels serving more than 420 ports around the world. In 2019, the company’s ships carried nearly 22 million TEUs.
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