Environment Canada

Environment Canada

April 19, 2010 12:37 ET

BC Company Pleads Guilty to Illegal Importation of Protected Plant

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 19, 2010) - 2010, Topwin Trading Co Ltd. was ordered, on April 12th, to pay a $10,000 penalty after pleading guilty to contravening subsection 6(2) of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. Topwin Trading Co Ltd. is one of the largest importers of traditional Chinese medicines in British Columbia.

In April 2008, Environment Canada's Enforcement Branch intercepted a commercial shipment of medicinal herbs suspected to contain plant material derived from endangered or threatened wildlife species. The shipment contained one carton of the plant species Nardostachys grandiflora, which is commonly used in dried form as a medicinal herb.

Environment Canada is the lead agency responsible for implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora on behalf of the Government of Canada.

This plant is a protected species of flora listed under CITES. CITES sets controls, through a permit system, on the international trade and movement of animal and plant species that are endangered, or have been, or may be, threatened due to excessive commercial exploitation. A permit is required to import Nardostachys grandiflora into Canada.

A total of $9,000 of this penalty will be directed to the British Columbia Institute of Technology Integrative BioScience Research Cluster, which conducts research into areas of herbal medicine, including the identification of plants and authentication of plants.

(Également offert en français)

Contact Information

  • Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    Environment Canada
    Enforcement Branch
    Wildlife Enforcement Division
    Ron Graham
    Wildlife Officer
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