Cargo policy

In addition to adhering to the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species (CITES) requirements regarding the transportation of endangered animals and plants listed under Appendices 1 and 2 of the Convention, we have been working with industry associations, conservation organisations and academia in regularly reviewing our cargo carriage policy.

Back in 2015, we placed an embargo on the transportation of a) hunting trophies (including ivory); and b) racing greyhounds (exporting from Australia to any destination and importing to Hong Kong from any place of origins). We have also implemented strict policies against the carrying of shark fin and ivory products since 2016.

United for Wildlife Declaration

Recognising the devastating impact from illegal and inhumane wildlife trade, Cathay Pacific signed the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration in June 2016.

This industry-led declaration, which initially targeted the illegal trade of African elephants, rhinos, some big cats, and pangolins that originated from and transited through East Africa, was developed by the transport sector, intergovernmental organisations and conservation groups in order to ultimately put an end to illegal wildlife trade. United for Wildlife (UFW) is a joint collaboration between seven of the largest international conservation organisations, namely Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), WWF and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). UFW aims to implement a global action plan whereby organisations and government partners can work in unison to finally end all wildlife related crimes.

As a signatory to the declaration, Cathay Pacific is committed to not facilitating or tolerating the carriage of wildlife products, where the trade is contrary to CITES and as such, is illegal under international and national laws.

The declaration contains commitments which focus on information sharing, staff training, technological improvements and resource sharing across companies and organisations worldwide. Cathay Pacific will be working closely with IATA and the International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Product to identify the role that the industry plays in the illegal wildlife trade, and to find ways that help break the chain between its suppliers and consumers.

As a reputable commercial airline, we cannot tolerate transporting illegal wildlife product in our aircrafts. As such, we have the responsibility to increase the awareness of our staff, customers and associates on the magnitude and implications of illegal wildlife trade.

Paul Loo

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer

Shark’s fin embargo

In keeping with our Sustainable Development Policy, in the later stages of 2012 we announced a restrictive carriage policy that led us to permit carrying only sustainably-sourced sharks and shark-related products. The decision was based upon independent science and research-based data, as well as deep dialogue within the expert community. We continued to engage with the global scientific community to further review and develop guidelines in implementing our restrictive cargo policy. In particular, we engaged with two highly-respected international shark conservation agencies: the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Shark Specialist Group (IUCN SSG) and TRAFFIC International – an NGO network that monitors wildlife trade.

In mid-2015, an acceptance procedure for sharks and shark-related products was issued to all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon ports. Requests for the shipment of sharks or shark products were required for assessment by an external panel in accordance with the sustainability of the species before they could be considered for carriage. The instituted procedure screened out all shipment requests for any and all shark-related products. We understand the community’s desire to promote responsible and sustainable marine sourcing practices, and this remains very important to Cathay Pacific’s overall sustainable development goals. As such, effective from June 2016, shark’s fin products were not accepted for carriage. We will continue to review this practice going forward, as we do all our sustainable development policies.

Ivory and ivory products embargo

In November 2016, we implemented an embargo on the transportation of all ivory and ivory-related products. The embargo is inclusive of raw ivory, worked ivory, carved ivory, ivory sculptures and decorative ivory.