[Federal Register: May 14, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 93)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 26739-26741]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 23

RIN 1018-AE94

Amendment to Appendix III Listing of Bigleaf Mahogany Under the 
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna 
and Flora

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This rule announces an amendment to the Appendix III listing 
of bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) under the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES or Convention). The species in the Americas and its logs, sawn 
wood, and veneer sheets have been included in Appendix III since 
November 1995, based on an action by the Government of Costa Rica. The 
Government of Bolivia has recently supplied information to the CITES 
Secretariat to independently include its population in Appendix III to 
support its national legislation for the species and the need for 
cooperation of other CITES countries in controlling the international 
trade. The Service will consider any comments received on whether to 
enter a reservation on the Republic of Bolivia's action for its 

DATES: The change to the Appendix III listing for the Bolivian 
population of the species as set forth in this rule entered into force 
on March 19, 1998, under the terms of the Convention. This rule is 
effective on May 14, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Please send correspondence concerning the amendment 
announced in this rule to Chief, Office of Scientific Authority, ARLSQ 
750; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Washington, DC 20240; fax number 
703-358-2276. Express and messenger deliveries should be addressed to 
Chief, Office of Scientific Authority, Room 750; U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive; Arlington, Virginia 22203.
    The text of the Appendix III notification from the Convention's 
Secretariat is available on request, and related materials are 
available for public inspection by appointment from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 
p.m. Monday through Friday, at the above address in Arlington, 
    Please send certificate/permit questions or any applications 
concerning this regulation to Chief, Office of Management Authority; 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 700; 
Arlington, Virginia 22203; fax number 703-358-2281. Express and 
messenger deliveries should be addressed to Chief, Office of Management 
Authority, at that Arlington address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Susan Lieberman, Chief, Office of 
Scientific Authority, phone 703-358-1708, fax 703-358-2276, e-mail 
susan__lieberman@mail.fws.gov; or the Office of Management Authority, 
telephone 800-358-2104, e-mail r9oma__cites@mail.fws.gov



    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild 
Fauna and Flora (TIAS 8249) regulates international trade in certain 
animal and plant species. The species for which trade in particular 
specimens is controlled are listed in Appendices I, II, and III to the 
Convention. Appendix III comprises the list of species subject to 
regulation within any CITES Party country that has requested the 
cooperation of the other Parties in regulating international trade in 
the specified specimens of the species.
    This rule revises the list of CITES species that is reproduced in 
the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 23.23(f). The 
current information following COP10 (see below) was published in the 
Federal Register of August 22, 1997 (62 FR 44627). As advanced by the 
Government of Bolivia pursuant to Article XVI paragraph 1 of the 
Convention, the present rule acknowledges that now both Bolivia and 
Costa Rica have added Swietenia macrophylla (bigleaf mahogany [called 
mara or caoba]) to Appendix III in support of their domestic 
conservation measures and need for cooperation of other Parties.
    The species continues to be included in Appendix III in the 
Americas (i.e., South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and 
North America), including only its logs, sawn wood, and veneer sheets 
as the parts or derivatives covered by the provisions of the 
Convention. Thus, products such as finished furniture are excluded. 
Moreover, export of specimens from plantations located outside the 
Americas is not regulated. (At COP10 in June 1997, the categories saw-
logs, sawn wood, and veneers were revised slightly to the above for 
several such listings; cf. 62 FR 44627.)
    The CITES Secretariat notified all Party countries on December 19, 
1997 (in Notification No. 1011), of this addition to Appendix III by 
Bolivia of their population of this species. In accordance with Article 
XVI paragraph 2, such an amendment becomes effective 90 days after 
notification, in this case on March 19, 1998. All the shipments of 
bigleaf mahogany originating from Bolivia that are exported on or after 
that date must be accompanied by the appropriate documentation as 
required by CITES (usually an export permit), which is to be presented 
upon import to the Party countries.
    International trade in Appendix III species and their parts and 
derivatives that are specified as being included requires the issuance 
of either an export permit, a certificate of origin, a re-export 
certificate, or a pre-Convention certificate, by the exporting or the 
re-exporting Party. An export permit, which signifies that the 
specimens were not obtained in contravention of the laws of that 
country for conservation, is required if the shipment originates from 
the Party that added the species to Appendix III, in this case Bolivia, 
as well as Costa Rica, which had earlier added the species to Appendix 
III, effective November 16, 1995 (see Federal Register of February 22, 
1996, 61 FR 6793-6795).
    Export from the other countries in the Americas requires the 
issuance of either a certificate from the country of origin, a 
certificate from the country of re-export, or a pre-Convention 
certificate (from the country of export). (The species is native from 
Bolivia and Brazil to Mexico.) These documents legally verify either: 
(1) that the specimens originated in a non-listing country; (2) that 
they are being re-exported after a

[[Page 26740]]

legal importation in accordance with CITES; or (3) that they were 
acquired before the provisions of the Convention applied to them. All 
the countries of South America, Central America, and North America and 
some countries in the Caribbean are Parties to the Convention. Article 
X of CITES and Resolution Conf. 9.5 specify the requirements for 
comparable documentation from countries not party to the treaty. The 
pre-Convention date for Swietenia macrophylla (bigleaf mahogany) 
remains November 16, 1995.
    The Convention's Secretariat and U.S. Office of Management 
Authority in 1995 (and sometimes since) have inquired regarding 
certificates of origin or permits that exporting range countries issue 
for shipments of the specimens of this species (i.e., logs, sawn wood, 
and veneer sheets). Responses have been received from Mexico, 
Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil 
(cf. Secretariat's December 19, 1997, Notification No. 1004). Costa 
Rica and Bolivia, as Parties listing the species in Appendix III, use 
their regular documents (e.g., permits). Importation or exportation of 
CITES-regulated plant specimens must be through particular designated 
U.S. Department of Agriculture ports (50 CFR 24.12), which includes 
additional ports designated for logs and lumber. For information on the 
types of documents required for such mahogany importation into the 
United States, as well as requests for any documents needed for such 
re-export or export from the United States, contact the Service's 
Office of Management Authority (address and phone number above).
    Any Party at any time may enter a reservation on a species (or 
pertinent population) added to Appendix III. A Party that has entered a 
reservation is treated as a country that is not party to the Convention 
with respect to the trade in the species concerned (until such time as 
that Party withdraws its reservation). The limited effects of a 
reservation in alleviating importers and exporters from documentation 
requirements with the other CITES Parties were thoroughly discussed in 
a Federal Register notice on November 17, 1987 (52 FR 43924). In a 
subsequent Federal Register notice of March 28, 1988 (53 FR 9945; see 
also 53 FR 12497, April 14, 1988), the Service made a procedural change 
in requesting comments about such reservations for species added to 
Appendix III. Because the effects of such a reservation are limited, 
and there is also no time limit for reserving on a species or a 
population added to Appendix III, a proposed rule is not published at 
the time the list in Sec. 23.23 is amended. Regardless of any U.S. 
decision to enter a reservation, this particular amendment to Appendix 
III entered into force on March 19, 1998, under terms of the 
Convention. Publishing this rule informs the public of this 
international action while still affording those interested the 
opportunity and time to assess the merits of entering a reservation. 
Therefore, good cause exists to omit a proposed-rule notice and public-
comment process, since it is unnecessary and contrary to the public 
interest [5 U.S.C. 553(b)]. Because bigleaf mahogany in the Americas 
was added to Appendix III of the Convention effective on November 16, 
1995, and because of the other reasons stated herein, the Service finds 
that good cause exists for making this rule effective upon its date of 
publication [5 U.S.C. 553(d)]. Accordingly, 50 CFR 23.23(f) is amended 
at the conclusion of this document.
    At the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the 
Convention (COP10) in June 1997, the United States was among 67 of 112 
Parties that voted to include this species in Appendix II; this 60 
percent of the Parties in favor, however, fell short of the two-thirds 
majority needed for adoption of the proposal (see the Federal Register 
notice of August 22, 1997 [62 FR 44627]). After the vote, Bolivia in 
plenary stated its intention to include its population of the species 
in Appendix III [cf. Resolution Conf. 9.25 (Rev.)]. The Service has not 
recommended entering a reservation on this enhanced status for the 
Bolivian population of the species in Appendix III. Consideration for 
doing so would be given if valid and compelling reasons are shown that 
implementation of this listing would be contrary to the interests or 
laws of the United States. The Service now solicits comments on whether 
to enter a reservation, and particularly seeks any new information that 
becomes available. The Service will consider all comments received, and 
if appropriate, will consider recommending that the United States 
submit a reservation to the depositary government (which is 

Other Procedural Requirements

    The Department has determined that changes to the Convention 
Appendices, which result from actions of the Parties to the treaty, do 
not require preparation of Environmental Assessments as defined under 
authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321-
4347). This rule recognizes the Republic of Bolivia's decision to 
include one of their native species in CITES Appendix III and serves 
public notice of their decision. As such, this rulemaking does not 
constitute an agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act.
    This document was prepared by Dr. Bruce MacBryde and Dr. Susan 
Lieberman, Office of Scientific Authority, under the authority of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., 87 
Stat. 884, as amended).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 23

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, and Treaties.

Regulation Promulgation


    Accordingly, for the reasons set out above in this document, Part 
23, Subpart C of Title 50 (Chapter I, Subchapter B) of the Code of 
Federal Regulations is amended as set forth below:
    1. The authority citation for Part 23 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Convention on International Trade in Endangered 
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 27 U.S.T. 1087; and Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    2. Section 23.23(f) is amended by revising the entry of Swietenia 
macrophylla under the plant family Meliaceae to read as follows:

Sec. 23.23  Species listed in Appendices I, II, and III.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *

[[Page 26741]]

                                                                                                 First listing  
              Species                        Common name                    Appendix           date  (month/day/
*                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                
           Plant Kingdom:            Plants:                                                                    
*                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                
Family Meliaceae:                      Mahogany family:                                                         
*                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                
  Swietenia macrophylla populations      Bigleaf mahogany.......  III (Bolivia, Costa Rica)..           11/16/95
   in the Americas (including logs,                                                                             
   sawn wood, and veneer sheets,                                                                                
   but no other parts or                                                                                        
   derivatives, e.g., products).                                                                                
*                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                

    Dated: May 5, 1998.
Donald Barry,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 98-12803 Filed 5-13-98; 8:45 am]