Wildlife import and export permit information and forms
Applying for and using a permit
Important notices for importers and exporters
Do you need a permit?
Australia strictly controls the international movement of wildlife, wildlife specimens and products made or derived from wildlife.
When you need a permit
You will need a permit under national environment law to:
- import or export a CITES–listed specimen
- export a regulated Australian native specimen
- import some live animals and plants.
If you do not obtain the relevant Australian export or import permit you may be breaking the law, and this may lead to the item being seized. Please be aware that retrospective permits cannot be issued for specimens that have already arrived or departed Australia.
When you don't need a permit
You do not need a permit to:
- import non–CITES listed plants or animals that are included in Part 1 of the list of plants and animals suitable for live import
- carry some plant or animal products as personal effects (baggage) when you are travelling to Australia from overseas
- export a plant or animal (including products) if it is on the list of exempt native species
- import or export a plant or animal (including products) if it is non–live, non–CITES and is not an Australian native species
- export a plant or animal that is live, non–CITES and not an Australian native species.
Please note that permits may be required from other government agencies such as Department of Agriculture - Biosecurity. You should ensure that you contact all relevant agencies before you import or export a wildlife specimen or product.
Commercial or Non–commercial?
For non-commercial trade in live Australian native animals, native specimens and CITES–listed specimens such as research, education, exhibition or conservation breeding programs.
For commercial trade (such as buying and selling of plants and animals or items made from them).
Internationally endangered plants and animals
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) helps to ensure that international trade does not threaten species with extinction, protecting of species of animals and plants.
CITES places species into three appendices based on their conservation status and risk from trade.
Get permits before importing or exporting
Because retrospective permits are not issued, it is important you get a permit before importing or exporting.
- If you do not obtain an Australian permit before consignment, your item may be seized.
Note: There are special requirements when exporting to the United States of America (USA).
Types of permits available
Single Use Permits are available for most transactions for an A$61 application fee. They are valid for a single specified consignment, for a period of up to twelve months (six months in the case of CITES specimens). Single Use Permits for the export or import of live specimens (including household pets) that require a welfare assessment are available for an A$306 application fee.
Multiple Consignment Authorities (formerly known as Multiple Use Permits) are available in most circumstances for an application fee of A$153 per six-month period. They authorise an unlimited number of consignments of a particular range of specimens, for a period of up to three years (six months in the case of CITES specimens). Holders of Multiple Consignment Authorities are issued with uniquely numbered Specimen Export Records. For each individual export consignment, the permit holder must complete a Specimen Export Record describing the consignment. A photocopy of the Multiple Consignment Authority and an original Specimen Export Record should accompany the shipment overseas.
- Application for a Multiple Consignment Authority to import, export or re-export wildlife or wildlife products
Personal baggage permits are available, for a fee of A$2 for the export of CITES Appendix II specimens in accompanied baggage for personal use. They are often ordered by manufacturers and wholesalers of tourist souvenirs, for supply at point of sale. You will need to complete some fields on the reverse side of these permits at the time of export. Please note that personal baggage permits do not apply to items sent via mail and/or freight—a valid CITES permit will be required for items that are not personally accompanied. More about CITES specimens as personal effects.
Testing permits are available for some scientific purposes for an A$153 fee. They are valid for six months. More about Testing permits.
Pre–CITES (or pre–Convention) certificates certify that a CITES specimen was acquired before the application of CITES to the species in question, and so is exempt from normal permitting requirements. There is no fee for a pre–CITES certificate. More about Pre–CITES certificates.
Certificates of origin certify that a CITES Appendix III specimen was acquired in Australia, and so is exempt from normal permitting requirements. There is no fee for a certificate of origin. More about certificates of origin.
All applicable fees are charged in relation to the application process and will not be refunded if the application is unsuccessful.
Statistical information on import and export permits for wildlife specimens
Certain information (excluding any personal or company details) on permit applications and decisions is available upon request. Enquiries may be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that reports on Australia's trade in CITES-listed specimens are submitted annually to the CITES Secretariat, as required under Article VIII of the Convention. The data in these reports are maintained by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre and available from the CITES Trade Database.
For more information contact:
Wildlife Trade Regulation Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6274 1900
Facsimile: (02) 6274 1921