Complying with permit conditions

Under national environment law, permit holders must meet the conditions stated on their permit. These conditions aim to protect the environment by ensuring that international wildlife trade is not detrimental to the survival of species in the wild.


In cases of non-compliance (e.g. illegal import or export of specimens, or possession in Australia of unlawfully imported specimens), the Department will take appropriate action. This may include:

  • education and awareness activities
  • issuing warning letters
  • conducting on-site visits to assess compliance behaviour
  • seizure of specimens (at border or post-border)
  • investigation with a view to prosecution
  • the provision of penalties such as fines or jail time.

See the Department's Compliance and Enforcement Policy for more information.

Permit review program

A key part of the Department's compliance approach involves permit reviews.

Permit reviews check to ensure conditions that are attached to permits have been met. This process aims to ensure that goods being traded internationally have been obtained from an approved legal source.

The permit reviews are performed using either desktop checks (i.e. reviewing documentation within the office of the department) or on-site visits which are performed at the permit holders place of business. In some instances, both review methods may be applied.

Under the permit review program, permit holders are invited to provide feedback and respond to preliminary review findings. They also receive a final written report, which may make reference to identified strengths, or areas that may need to be improved in order to meet the conditions that apply to their permits.

Benefits from the permit review program are expected to flow to:

  • the environment
    • through more effective regulation of international wildlife trade
  • wildlife business operators
    • by gaining a better understanding of the role and purpose of the regulatory process
    • the reviews seek to ensure market integrity is not compromised or loss of revenue is suffered by Australian businesses as a consequence of illegitimate trade
  • the Department
    • feedback received from wildlife trade operators will enable the department to gain a better understanding of the issues faced by industry participants in meeting regulatory requirements associated with international wildlife trade
    • feedback received will enable the department to learn ways that it may improve the level of service provided to permit holders, or more effectively regulate their industry.

To report permit non–compliance contact

The Director
International Wildlife Trade Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6274 1801
Facsimile: +61 2 6274 1921