Travelling with plants and animal products as personal or household effects into or out of Australia

You may not require a permit to import or export some wildlife items if they are personal items and are carried with you in your luggage, or if they are household effects being imported or exported as part of a household move.

There are different permit requirements for wildlife listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and for native species that are not listed on CITES.

You can check if a species is listed under CITES on the CITES species page.

Permit requirements for the export or import of personal and household effects are detailed below. Instructions on how to apply for a permit for wildlife items are available on the Wildlife import and export permit information page.

CITES listed species

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) generally requires permits for the international movement of items containing plants and/or animals listed under CITES. There are exemptions from these permit requirements for some species exported as personal baggage or as part of a household move to another CITES member country that recognises the exemption. The exemption only applies to specimens that are not alive.

In Australia, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (EPBC Regulations) regulate the import and export of species listed under CITES.

Australia only partially implements permit exemptions for the import and export of wildlife listed under CITES. These exemptions only apply if the importing or exporting country also recognises the exemptions.

Information on how each country implements exemptions to CITES permits may be obtained by contacting the CITES Management Authority of the relevant CITES member country. Contact details for each CITES Management Authority are available on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora National contacts & information page.

Australia does not implement any permit exemptions for species listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Import and export

You do not need a CITES permit to export or import a wildlife item that meets all of the following requirements:

  • the item does not contain any species listed on Appendix I of CITES
  • the item is for personal use and not intended for sale or any other commercial purpose
  • the item is not carried in commercial quantities
  • the item is your personal property and was legally acquired
  • the item is included in your personal baggage or is part of a collection of your household effects that are being moved
  • the item is not a live plant or animal
  • the item is not specifically listed as always requiring a permit from Australia
  • the import or export would meet all requirements of the importing or exporting overseas country
  • the number of items you are carrying does not exceed any quantitative limits for export or import
  • the export or import of the item is consistent with specific export or import requirements outlined below.

Export

To export a wildlife item from Australia, you do not need a CITES permit if the export meets all the requirements listed above, and it appears in the list below within the limits described:

  • sturgeon caviar (125g per person where the container has been labelled using valid, non–reusable labels with the relevant country of origin codes as required by CITES)
  • cactus rainsticks (no more than 3 per person)
  • crocodile products (no more than 4 per person)
  • queen conch shell (no more than 3 per person)
  • seahorses (no more than 4 per person)
  • giant clam shells (no more than 3 per person each of which may be one intact shell or two matching halves, not exceeding a total of 3 kg per person).

Import

To import a wildlife item into Australia, you do not need a CITES permit if the import meets the requirements listed above, and it appears in the list below within the limits described:

  • sturgeon caviar (125g per person where the container has been labelled using valid, non–reusable labels with the relevant country of origin codes as required by CITES)
  • cactus rainsticks (no more than 3 per person)
  • crocodile products (no more than 4 per person)
  • queen conch shell (no more than 3 per person)
  • seahorses (no more than 4 per person)
  • giant clam shells (mo more than 3 per person each of which may be one intact shell or two matching halves, not exceeding a total of 3 kg per person).

Wildlife items that are not included in the list above may also not require a CITES permit if the specimen is lawfully imported into Australia from one of the countries on the list below (unless it is a species always requiring an import permit):

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • France
  • Germany (not for native wildlife from Germany)
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Kenya (only if accompanied by a CITES certificate issued by the Kenya CITES Management Authority)
  • Malaysia (not for native wildlife from Malaysia)
  • Mauritius
  • Switzerland (only for items such as a worn belt or shoes, but not for new souvenirs, art objects, etc.)
  • United Kingdom (not for native wildlife from the United Kingdom)
  • United States of America
  • Vanuatu.

A CITES permit is always required for imports of the following species or groups of species into Australia:

  • birds of prey (Order Falconiformes and Order Strigiformes)
  • otters (Sub‑family Lutrinae)
  • non-domesticated cats (Family Felidae)
  • bears (Family Ursidae)
  • seals (Genus Arctocephalus)
  • rhinoceroses (Family Rhinocerotidae)
  • Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia)
  • wood bison (Bison bison athabascae)
  • Jentink’s duiker (Cephalophus jentinki)
  • Hartmann’s mountain zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae)
  • hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious)
  • lechwe (Kobus leche)
  • bighorn or mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis).

Exporting native plant and animal items that are not listed under CITES

You do not need a permit to export a personal non–live Australian native plant and/or animal item that meets all of the requirements below:

  • the species is on the list of exempt native specimens (LENS) (in the exact form as listed and subject to conditions listed in the notation)
  • the item is carried in your personal baggage
  • the item is not a live plant or animal
  • the item is not carried in commercial quantities
  • the item is owned by the person taking it out of Australia
  • the species is not listed under CITES.

See also