Wildlife trade

Permits and forms

Wildlife import and export permit information and forms


The European Commission recently amended its regulations relating to trade in CITES species.


Fees for wildlife trade permit applications have changed. For further information see the new fee structure.

The Australian Government undertook public consultation in September 2011 and May 2012 on cost recovery under the EPBC Act. Further information about the consultation process is available from the Consultation Paper on Cost Recovery under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Details of how the new fees have been established under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 are available in:


PERMITS ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE - Permit holders (particularly holders of multiple use permits) are reminded that permits are NOT transferable, unless specifically authorised by the department.

Find out more about the procedures:


All goods, regardless of value, that require a wildlife permit for export must be reported to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service on an export declaration prior to being loaded or exported (this includes items being exported via mail).

Find out more about the procedures:


The Department of the Environment wishes to advise that permits are not required for the export of non–CITES listed Australian native coral species where they are harvested from commercial fisheries approved under the EPBC Act. Permits will still be required for the export of CITES–listed corals and exporters should ensure acceptable taxonomic names are used.


Musicians that wish to bring musical instruments, that are made from CITES-listed species, into or out of Australia are required to apply for the relevant import and export permits. Australia does not implement the 'passport' system as described in CITES Resolution Conf. 16.8

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:

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:

Please note that permits may be required from other government agencies such as Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Biosecurity (DAFF 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.

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.

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 wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au .

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 .

See also

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Last updated: Wednesday, 02-Oct-2013 10:29:18 AEST