CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora signed in Washington in 1975-hence the more common way of identifying it as the Washington Convention-and regulates the trade and transport of these particular species.
Under this agreement it is stipulated that the purchase, sale and possession of specimens protected by the Convention, their parts (e.g., ivory, bones, skins or furs etc.) or products made from them is an international crime punishable in all states parties to the Convention.
The Convention has published a number of lists including the list of species for which trade is prohibited and the list of species that can be traded under the monitoring of the international control bodies appointed for the purpose. In the latter case, in order to market, process, and transport species and products obtained, it is necessary to obtain a Cites certificate, which is a true international license.