Licences to transport animals into and out of NSW

You need an import/export licence to import native animals into New South Wales or export them from the state.

Are you aware of upcoming changes to wildlife licensing?

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 is scheduled to commence from 25 August 2017.

Existing wildlife licence classes, conditions and fees will remain in place after the Act begins.

Proposed changes to wildlife licensing under the new Act will be exhibited for public comment in the second half of 2017. These changes are expected to be taken up during 2018.

Learn more about the wildlife licensing reforms.

Importing and exporting animals interstate

The interstate import and export of native animals is subject to monitoring and regulatory controls by animal protection agencies in each state and territory.

Before you import a native animal into NSW or export it from the state, you must:

1. Check whether the animal is exempt from import/export licensing requirements

There are a number of protected birds which you don't need a licence to keep in NSW. If you plan to import or export any of these birds, you will not need a NSW import/export licence. For all other protected native animals, you will need an import/export licence.

2. Obtain an import/export licence from OEH

Interstate import and export licences are a class of biodiversity conservation licence granted under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016  for a single consignment of the animal species specified on the licence for a maximum period of one month. Import and export permits are available for all classes of native animals.

Online applications
Native animal keepers with an AKL prefix licence can apply online through Service NSW for the immediate issue of import and export licences for all Class 1 native animal species (PDF 419KB). When you apply for a licence online, make sure to:

  • use capital letters when entering your name, for example John William Smith
  • enter your phone number details in the format 0295856401 or 0401000000 for mobile numbers (no spaces)
  • enter your address accurately using the Quick Address System (QAS) provided on the GLS website.

A 10% discount (off the standard $30 licence fee) applies to online applications.

Import-export applications for advanced class animals are also available online for Animal Keeper Licence (AKL) holders. Immediate approvals do not apply to advanced class animals applications or Companion Animal Licence class holders at this stage. Please allow 14 days for approval.

Other applications
You can also apply for a licence by downloading an application form (PDF 143KB) and emailing or mailing it to the Wildlife Team. Please allow a minimum of 14 working days for your licence to be processed.

Please note that OEH reviews all applications for animal keeper licences for compliance and enforcement purposes.

3. Make sure that the person in the other state, who you are importing from or exporting to, has the appropriate licence or movement permit from their state's animal protection agency

You will need to provide details of the other person's licence or movement permit when you apply for an import/export licence from OEH. Animal protection agencies in other states have more details:

Importing and exporting animals internationally

Australia is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This convention includes a list of species that are endangered, or at risk of becoming endangered, because of inadequate controls over international trade in them or their products. The convention's member countries have agreed to monitor and control the international import and export of these species.

In Australia, CITES controls are administered by the Australian Department of the Environment under the provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Department of the Environment issues licences for the import and export of CITES-listed species.

More information

graph of number of animals exported from NSW from March 2007 to October 2011

Number of animals exported from NSW from March 2007 to October 2011



graph of number of animals imported into NSW from March 2007 to October 2011

Number of animals imported into NSW from March 2007 to October 2011

Page last updated: 28 August 2017