The Australian Government cooperates with other nations to protect wildlife by implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
In Australia, the export and import of wildlife and wildlife products is regulated under Part 13A of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act), which is administered by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (the Department). Regulation applies equally to individuals, commercial organisations and not-for-profit organisations.
You may need a permit issued by the Department in order to legally:
- export or import specimens of CITES species;
- export specimens of Australian native species;
- import live specimens.
Failure to obtain the relevant Australian export or import permit prior to consignment is an offence under the EPBC Act, and may result in the item being seized. Severe penalties apply to breaches of the EPBC Act.
Note: Never assume that a product has been legally acquired by the seller, even if it is purchased within Australia. Always enquire with the Department to ascertain the permit requirements and be sure to obtain CITES documentation from the seller.
Ginseng photo credit: Allan Crawford, Traffic International; Musk photo credit: Sue Earl & Greg Miles