[Federal Register: June 15, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 114)]

[Rules and Regulations]               

[Page 31989-31992]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]





Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 23

RIN 1018-AF58


Amendment by Mexico 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 Mexico has supplied information to the CITES Secretariat 

to independently include the species 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. We will 

consider any comments received on whether to enter a reservation on 

Mexico's action for this species.

DATES: This rule is effective on June 15, 1999. The change to the 

Appendix III listing for the Mexican population of the species as set 

forth in this rule entered into force on April 29, 1999, under the 

terms of the Convention.

ADDRESSES: Please send correspondence concerning the amendment 

announced in this rule to Chief, Office of Scientific

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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.

    You may obtain the text of the Appendix III Notification from the 

Convention's Secretariat on request, and related materials are 

available for public inspection by appointment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Monday through Friday, at the above address in Arlington, Virginia.

    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: 

r9osa@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 one of three appendices. Appendix 

III is comprised of species that any Party country informs the CITES 

Secretariat are subject to regulation within its jurisdiction for 

purposes of restricting or preventing exploitation, and for which it 

needs the cooperation of other Parties to regulate international trade 

in specimens of the species. Resolution Conf. 9.25 (Rev.) provides 

guidance to assist Party countries in determining individually whether 

a species would qualify for inclusion in Appendix III.

    Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction that are or 

may be affected by international trade. Appendix II includes species 

that, although not necessarily now threatened with extinction, may 

become so unless the trade in specimens is strictly controlled. 

Appendix II also can include species that must be subject to regulation 

in order that trade in other currently or potentially threatened 

species may be brought under effective control (e.g., because of 

difficulty in distinguishing specimens of currently or potentially 

threatened species from those of other traded species). Resolution 

Conf. 9.24 provides criteria and guidance to assist the Parties in 

determining together (usually at a Conference of the Parties or COP) 

whether a species would qualify for inclusion in Appendix I or Appendix 

II. Under CITES, only those species included in Appendix I are banned 

from international trade for primarily commercial purposes in specimens 

from the wild.

    This rule updates the list of CITES species that is reproduced in 

the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 23.23(f). We 

published the current information regarding CITES-listed species 

following COP10 (see below) in the Federal Register of August 22, 1997 

(62 FR 44627). As advanced by the Government of Mexico pursuant to 

Article XVI paragraph 1 of the Convention, this notice acknowledges 

that now Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, and Costa Rica have added Swietenia 

macrophylla (bigleaf mahogany (also respectively called mogno, mara, or 

caoba)) to Appendix III in support of their domestic conservation 

measures and need for cooperation of other Parties.

    Therefore, bigleaf mahogany populations in the Americas (i.e., 

South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America) 

continue to be included in CITES Appendix III, including only logs, 

sawn wood, and veneer sheets of the species 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; 62 FR 44627.)

    The CITES Secretariat notified the Party countries on January 29, 

1999 (in an unnumbered Notification), of this addition to Appendix III 

by Mexico of this species. In accordance with Article XVI paragraph 2, 

such an amendment becomes effective 90 days after notification, in this 

case on April 29, 1999. Appropriate documentation as required by CITES 

(usually an export permit) must accompany all the shipments of bigleaf 

mahogany originating from Mexico that are exported on or after that 

date. The importer must present the documentation 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 the case of 

bigleaf mahogany, the effective dates for countries including the 

species in Appendix III are: Mexico--April 29, 1999; Brazil--July 26, 

1998 (see Federal Register October 30, 1998, 63 FR 58325-58327); 

Bolivia--March 19, 1998 (see Federal Register of May 14, 1998, 63 FR 

26739-26741); and Costa Rica--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 of origin that verifies the specimens 

originated in a non-listing country, or a pre-Convention certificate 

that verifies the specimens were acquired before the provisions of the 

Convention applied to them (i.e., November 16, 1995). Re-export--the 

export of specimens that originated in the Americas that were 

previously imported--requires the issuance of a re-export certificate 

by all countries. All the countries of South America, Central America, 

and North America and some countries in the Caribbean are Parties to 

the Convention and must issue CITES documents that contain standard 

information (Resolution Conf. 10.2). Countries not party to the treaty 

must issue comparable documentation as specified in Article X of CITES 

and Resolution Conf. 9.5.

    The Convention's Secretariat and the U.S. Office of Management 

Authority in 1995 (and other times since) have inquired about 

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). We received responses from Guatemala, Belize, 

Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Peru (cf. Secretariat's April 27, 

1998, Notification No. 1998/15). Costa Rica, Bolivia, Brazil, and 

Mexico, 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

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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, 

you should contact the Office of Management Authority (address and 

phone number above).

    Any Party country may at any time 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). We thoroughly 

discussed the limited effects of a reservation in alleviating importers 

and exporters from documentation requirements with the other CITES 

Parties 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), we 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 enters into force on April 29, 1999, under the terms of the 

Convention. We publish this document to inform the public of this 

international action, while still affording those interested the 

opportunity and time to assess the merits of entering a reservation. 

Therefore, this document is not a rule under 5 U.S.C. 553, and good 

cause exists to omit the 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 April 29, 1999 effective date of Mexico's action and 

other reasons stated in this notice, the Service finds that good cause 

exists for making this rule effective upon its date of publication (5 

U.S.C. 553(d)).

    The Department of the Interior 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 notice recognizes Mexico's decision to include 

one of their native species in CITES Appendix III and serves as public 

notice of their decision to potential importers and exporters, as well 

as other persons who may have a need to know of this Appendix III 

amendment. Because this amendment to 50 CFR Sec. 23.23 is simply a 

notification to the public on an action that has been taken by Mexico 

under the terms of CITES, this notice does not constitute a ``rule'' 

for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551). 

Accordingly, the provisions of Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory 

Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), and the Small Business 

Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1966 do not apply to this 


    No information collection requirements requiring Office of 

Management and Budget approval is contained in this action. For any 

permits or certificates required for re-export from the United States 

of this or any other CITES-listed species (see 50 CFR 23), the Office 

of Management and Budget has approved the collection of information 

under 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and assigned clearance numbers 1018-0093 

and 1018-0012.

    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, Mexico in 

Plenary stated its intention to include the species in Appendix III. We 

do not recommend entering a reservation on this enhanced status in 

Appendix III for the Mexican population of the species. We could 

consider doing so only if valid and compelling reasons are shown that 

implementation of this listing would be contrary to the interests or 

laws of the United States. We now solicit comments on whether to enter 

a reservation, and we are seeking any new information that becomes 


    This document was prepared by Ms. Julie Lyke, Office of Scientific 

Authority, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 

as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 23

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Treaties.

Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, for the reasons set out above in this document, the 

Service amends part 23 of title 50 (chapter I, subchapter B) of the 

Code of Federal Regulations 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 for Swietenia 

macrophylla under the plant family Meliaceae to read as follows:

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

* * * * *

    (f) * * *


                                                                                                   First listing

                 Species                          Common name                  Appendix            date (month/



*                  *                  *                    *                    *                  *


PLANT KINGDOM:                            PLANTS:

*                  *                  *                    *                    *                  *


  Family Meliaceae:                       Mahogany family:

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*                  *                  *                    *                    *                  *


    Swietenia macrophylla populations in      Bigleaf mahogany......  III (Bolivia, Brazil,             11/16/95

     the Americas (including logs, sawn                                Costa Rica, Mexico).

     wood, and veneer sheets, but no

     other parts or derivatives, e.g.,


*                  *                  *                    *                    *                  *



    Dated: June 3, 1999.

Donald J. Barry,

Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

[FR Doc. 99-14928 Filed 6-14-99; 8:45 am]