CITES requirements to ring Annex A birds

Join The Parrot Society UK

Bird breeders are reminded that for certain purposes, there are specific marking requirements for Annex A captive born and bred birds under the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations. Leg rings for birds must be uniquely marked and seamlessly closed and applied in the first few days of the bird’s life. A seamlessly closed leg-ring is a ring or band in a continuous circle, without any break or join, which has not been tampered with in any way, of a size which cannot be removed from the bird when its leg is fully grown after having been applied in the first days of the bird’s life and which has been commercially manufactured for that purpose.

The ring number needs to be unique so that any permit/certificate issued can only be used for that bird. Applicants must ensure they provide the full details of the number displayed on the leg ring on their application form including all numbers, letters and characters. To be considered unique, the marking may, for example, include a sequential number followed by a postcode or breeder’s initials and telephone number etc.

Failure to supply a unique ring number or using duplicate ring numbers could delay the application process.

(Further details on parrot leg rings, their numbering and colours, are available through the Members Only section of this website)

Only in cases where the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) considers that this method is not appropriate because of the physical and behavioural characteristics of the bird can the bird be marked using a uniquely numbered, unalterable microchip transponder conforming to ISO standards 11784:1996 (E) and 11785: 1996 (E).

Under the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, some permits and certificates can only be issued where APHA is satisfied that specimens have been individually marked.

There are certain other specimens that are required to be uniquely marked in accordance with the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.

Additional comments have been added in the light of Covid 19 restrictions:  It has been bought to our attention that individuals may be unable to source uniquely marked leg rings or microchips due to these restrictions.

If available, keepers should use spare rings available provided they have unique marks – such as last year’s rings. If no rings are available, keepers should endeavour to microchip birds as soon as possible once restrictions are lifted. Please be aware that there may be on-going Covid19 restrictions on unessential activity and moving livestock. If there is an urgency to move birds, keepers are reminded that non-commercial movements are subject to less regulation. More information about gifts and donations can be found here:

The Wildlife Trade Regulation requires that permits / certificates are only issued to birds on EU Annex A which are permanently and uniquely marked.

Questions regarding the requirements for marking specimens should be directed to APHA on 03000 200 301 or

Suitable rings may be obtained by Parrot Society members through the Avian ID Ring Factory in Redruth, Cornwall. However, business is currently suspended during the Coronavirus pandemic. For full details see Avian ID
Rings may also be obtained from Germany, Belgium, or Bulgaria, but with more delay than from Cornwall. Details are:

Coditech (Belgium) - contact Tine on
Oesieg (Germany) - contact Ronny on
OrniProm (Bulgaria) - contact Dmitry on