Commercial import programs

You can only commercially import specimens of CITES Appendix II species that are declared specimens if they have been either:

  • artificially propagated
  • captive bred, or
  • sourced from an operation that has been approved as a Commercial Import Program (CIP).

You can seek an import permit from the federal environment department. Import permits are also required for CITES specimens that have not been declared.

Whether a specimen is artificially propagated or captive bred is determined by the CITES management authority of the exporting country. The export permit issued by the exporting country will include a source code for each specimen. Captive bred specimens will have a source code 'C' and artificially propagated specimens will have a source code 'A'.

Approved commercial import programs

To be approved, a CIP must provide reasonable control over the amount of harvesting and trading of the species. The program must also monitor the population and level of trade of the harvested species and detect and minimise illegal trade. Approval is only given where the Australian Government environment minister is satisfied that trade wildlife from the program will not be detrimental to survival of the species. In making a decision on a CIP, the minister must consider any advice provided by the CITES scientific authority of the exporting country - that export of specimens of a species will not be detrimental to survival of the species.

CIPs that are currently recognised under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 are listed below.

List of approved commercial import programs
Country Program name Species Organisation Approval period Declaration
From To
Malaysia Ramin from Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak Gonystylus spp . n/a 5 July 2009   Ramin (Gonystylus spp.) from Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak
USA White Sturgeon aquaculture operation Acipenser transmontanus Stolt Sea Farm California L.L.C 26 October 2004 26 October 2009 Stolt Sea Farm White Sturgeon

Application form and guidelines

Applying for approval of a commercial import plan

If you would like your operation to be included in the list of approved commercial import plans (to be assessed as suitable under national environment law), use this form to apply for an approved commercial import program.

Guidelines, approval processes and submission details are all included with the form.