How to bring CITES plants and animals into and out of Australia

Australia strictly controls the international movement of wildlife, wildlife specimens and products made or derived from wildlife. This includes the movement of endangered species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The movement of wildlife (including products made or derived from wildlife) into and out of Australia is also commonly referred to as "importing" or "exporting".

Bringing CITES species into or out of Australia

  1. If you are planning to bring plants or animals (or products made from plants or animals) into or out of Australia, you should first check if it is on the CITES list.
  2. If the plant or animal is on CITES list, look at the Appendix listing and notation column for the species. This will help you to determine what restrictions may apply to the species. Restrictions include:
    • Appendix I species may only be brought into or out of Australia in exceptional circumstances or with a pre–CITES certificate.
    • Appendix II specimens (non–live) may be exported from Australia if they are from an approved source. A CITES export permit from Australia will be required.
    • You may import Appendix II specimens into Australia if you have permission to export these specimens from the CITES authority in the exporting country. In most cases specimens will also require an Australian CITES import permit. There are some exemptions for imports of personal and household effects (non–live specimens).
  3. If the plant or animal is alive you should also check the live import list to see whether further regulation or restrictions apply. You will also need to contact the Department of Agriculture - Biosecurity to check their restrictions and regulations.
  4. If the plant or animal that you want to export out of Australia is an Australian native species, you should also check the List of exempt Australian native specimens.
  5. If the plant or animal is on any of the above lists, you may need a permit so that you can legally bring them into or out of Australia.
  6. Read the information on commonly imported/exported CITES species (below) and information on applying for and using a permit
  7. Apply for a permit or contact us for more information.

See also:

For more information contact:

The Director
Wildlife Trade Regulation Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone: (02) 6274 1900

Facsimile: (02) 6274 1921