Pets & Animals

Endangered Animals

Singapore became a member of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in November 1986. CITES is an international agreement that ensures trade does not threaten wildlife species with extinction.

CITES regulates international trade in CITES-listed species of live animals and plants (as well as their parts and products made from these parts) trade by requiring permits before these consignments are allowed to leave or enter a country. 

Across the globe, 180 countries are CITES members. Member countries restrict trade of endangered species listed in Appendix I and regulate and monitor trade of species listed in Appendix II and III that might become endangered.

In Singapore, AVA is the authority that enforces and implements CITES regulations.

Keeping of Illegal Wildlife as Pets

Singapore does not allow the keeping of certain animals such as reptiles, amphibians and primates as pets due to these reasons:

Reason Description
Introduce and spread diseases

Diseases could be introduced and spread to humans and domestic animals.
Ecosystem imbalance
Collection of wild animals for trading will lead to ecosystem imbalance and threaten the survival of endangered species.
Welfare of animal compromised Unsuitable living conditions, poor diet and pet owner's lack of knowledge of the proper care for the animal may affect animal’s welfare.
Singapore's biodiversity affected If these exotic pets, which are non-native were released in the wild, it may affect Singapore’s biodiversity.
Animals may escape causing nuisance, fear and trauma to general public -
Examples of these animals:
  • Hedgehogs
  • Iguanas
  • Tarantulas
  • Scorpions, star tortoises, snakes, salamanders, sugar gliders, slow lorises

Appendices & Gallery

Species Listed under CITES


CITES classifies endangered species under 3 categories:

  • Appendix I
  • Appendix II
  • Appendix III
Appendix I

All species listed in Appendix I are in great danger of extinction if their trade is not severely restricted. Their trade for commercial purposes is generally not allowed. 

Exceptions include captive-bred species bred in CITES-registered captive breeding farm can only be traded with CITES permits. 

These permits are issued under special circumstances to organisations such as:

  • zoological gardens
  • bird parks
  • research institutions
  • museums
Examples of Appendix I species:
  • Apes
  • Monkeys
  • Elephants
  • Rhinoceroses
  • Tigers
  • Marine turtles
  • Most bears
  • Some types of parrots
  • Lady’s slipper orchid
Appendix II

Species in Appendix II are threatened and trade is regulated. Commercial trade is allowed only with CITES permits.

Examples of Appendix II species:
  • Monkeys
  • Some crocodiles
  • Pythons
  • Parrots
  • Tortoises
  • Soft shell turtles
  • Sturgeons
  • Bird-wing butterflies
  • American ginseng
  • Some orchid
  • Ramin
  • Agarwood
  • Seahorses
  • Hard corals
  • Giant clams
Appendix III 

Species listed in Appendix III are endangered in some countries and specimens from these countries under CITES. To import Appendix III species, you will need a Certificate of Origin. If the species being imported from a country which has included that species in Appendix III, you will need a CITES export permit.

Examples of Appendix III species:
  • Wild water buffalo
  • Walruses
  • Mongooses
  • Some deer
  • Pheasants
  • Foxes
  • Snakes
  • Soft shell turtles

Refer to Appendices for a list of CITES-listed animal and plant species. Visit the CITES Gallery for pictures of CITES species.

Guides and Factsheets







Trade in CITES Species

Importing CITES Species


STEP DESCRIPTION
STEP 1:
  • Apply for a CITES permit online via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website. Please note that you will have to locate "CITES Permit" and log in to to the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website.
  • You must obtain a Singapore CITES import permit from AVA before you import these species
  • Apply at least 2 working weeks before the arrival of your consignments
  • If you fail to do so, this may result in:
    • delay in clearance of shipments
    • shipments returned to country of export/re-export
    • seizure of shipments
STEP 2:

Ensure that a copy of the CITES export/re-export permit from the exporting or re-exporting country is accompanied with your import application.

STEP 3: Make sure your CITES permit from the exporting or re-exporting country is issued by a CITES Management Authority or an authorised government body
  • You can find a list of member countries of CITES and their contacts at the CITES website under National Contacts.
  • Upon import, this original CITES permit must be submitted to Wildlife Section immediately after clearance from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

Do note that it takes 7 working days for AVA to issue your CITES import permit, provided all your supporting documents are in order. More time may be needed, however, if AVA needs to verify the CITES export/re-export permit with the country of export or re-export. Express service is not available for CITES import permit applications.

Exporting/Re-Exporting CITES Species


STEP DESCRIPTION
STEP 1:

Prior to application of a CITES export/re-export permit, the import stock card must be activated by AVA for consignments that are imported with CITES import permit, or the stock card must be created by applicants and approved by AVA for consignments that do not require a CITES import permit.

Apply for a CITES export/re-export permit online via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website. Please note that you will need to locate "CITES Permit" and log in to the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website.

STEP 2:

If required, separately apply for a CITES import permit from the country of import

  • You can do so using a copy of your Singapore CITES export/re-export permit to support this application.

Please note that it takes 7 working days for AVA to issue your CITES export/re-export permit. Express service will take 1 working day.

Stock Card Activation/Creation for CITES export/re-export permit

LicenceOne uses the CITES stock cards function to trace and track CITES specimens. In order to apply for CITES permits from AVA, you would need to have the relevant CITES stock cards activated. AVA will be auto-approving all stock card applications for manufactured leather products, which will take 3 working days upon submission of applications. This will facilitate the application of CITES re-export permits for such products. Please note that any mistake made in the stock card applications by applicants will affect the subsequent submission of CITES re-export permit applications. In addition, if the CITES consignment is re-exported using the CITES re-export permit with incorrect consignment details due to the erroneous stock card, the consignment may risk rejection, detention, confiscation or destruction by the importing country. In such cases, AVA will not be liable for the decision made by the foreign authorities on the consignment. As such, please ensure that the stock card applications are submitted with the correct details and the relevant original foreign CITES export/re-export permits submitted to AVA. If applicants wish to amend any stock card information after auto-approval, please inform AVA via email quoting the stock card ID numbers with the erroneous details and re-submit the stock card application.

Stock card applications for unused/expired SG CITES re-export permits will also be auto-approved. Please ensure that the correct original SG CITES re-export permits are returned to AVA, so that we can credit the quantity back to the correct stock card. If the quantity is credited to the wrong stock card, you would encounter an issue applying for the CITES re-export permit.

Requirement for transit of CITES species via Singapore

If a CITES specimen is in transit or transhipped via Singapore (ie. does not involve a local consignee or importer), the CITES specimen must be accompanied by a valid CITES export/re-export permit issued by the relevant CITES authority of the exporting/re-exporting country.

If the specimen is a live animal, the CITES specimen or shipment must also have a valid CITES import permit issued by the relevant CITES authority of the final importing/destination country. Both the CITES export/re-export and CITES import permit must be obtained by the relevant parties eg. shipping company and presented to AVA prior to the arrival of the specimen in Singapore. The CITES and other shipping documents must be available for inspection when required by AVA or port authorities.

If the specimen belongs to a species that is listed under CITES Appendix I, the CITES specimen or shipment must also have a valid CITES import permit issued by the relevant CITES authority of the final importing/destination country. Both the CITES export/re-export and CITES import permit must be obtained by the relevant parties eg. shipping company and presented to AVA prior to the arrival of the specimen in Singapore. The CITES and other shipping documents must be available for inspection when required by AVA or port authorities.

If a CITES specimen is in transit or transhipped via Singapore (ie. involves a local consignee or importer), the specimen is considered as an import for re-export. This applies also to CITES specimen that remains or is temporarily stored at the Free-Trade-Zone and regardless of whether it involves re-packing. The CITES specimen must be accompanied by a valid CITES export/re-export permit issued by the relevant CITES authority of the exporting/re-exporting country and a CITES import permit from AVA. Both the CITES export/re-export and CITES import permit must be obtained and presented to AVA prior to the arrival of the specimen in Singapore. The CITES and other shipping documents must be available for inspection when required by AVA or port authorities. For re-export from Singapore, please obtain the CITES re-export permit from AVA prior to departure of specimen or shipment.

Please note that commercial trade in CITES Appendix I specimens such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, tiger parts, pangolin scales, marine turtle scutes etc, is strictly prohibited. Commercial trade in CITES Appendix II specimens such as reptile skins, corals, agarwood and rosewood etc is strictly regulated with CITES permits.

A standard CITES permit format is available here for reference. The CITES permit must be issued in accordance with CITES requirements and include details of the CITES specimen or shipment, such as name and address of importer/exporter/re-exporter, scientific and common name of the species, Appendix no. and source code, description, quantity, UOM etc.

If in doubt, please contact AVA for more information or clarifications.

Other requirements

Once you have been issued your CITES permit for import, export or re-export, you must proceed to submit a TradeNet declaration using the appropriate HS codes and Product Codes.

Please submit TradeNet declaration and relevant supporting documents before:

  • 5.30pm from Monday to Thursday and
  • 5.00pm on Friday

This is to facilitate processing within the same working day.  Any declaration made on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays will be processed on the next working day.

Obtain CITES permits before submission of any TradeNet declarations, in order for the declarations to be approved.

You will need a CITES permit if you are hand-carrying CITES-listed species as personal effects. However, you do not need to submit a TradeNet declaration, but restrictions may apply. You can refer to the following pages if you are hand-carrying CITES-listed species as personal effects

Fees


Fees for CITES permits
Type of permit Fees per permit
CITES import/export/re-export permit S$12 per species subject to a minimum of S$60
Certificate of Origin (for Appendix III species) S$29.40
CITES re-export permit (for commercial consignments of manufactured products) S$29.40
Pre-signed CITES permit (for non-commercial tourist manufactured products) S$10

Fees may be paid by:

  • GIRO
  • NETS
  • CashCard
  • Online credit card payment
    • go to 'Pay for my Permit Now'

For more information on the above payment modes, see:

The CITES permit is valid for 3 months and for 1 consignment only. All unused or expired CITES permits issued by AVA have to be returned to AVA's Wildlife Section for cancellation.


Trade in Non-CITES Wildlife

All commercial import, export, re-export consignments of non-CITES listed wildlife are to be declared through TradeNet. For export and re-export consignments some countries require certification from Singapore that the species to be exported/re-exported are non-CITES species.

For commercial re-export of non-CITES wildlife like ostrich skins and its manufactured products, you can apply for a B Certificate online via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website. Please note that you will have to locate the "Non-CITES Certificate" and log in to the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website.

For export of other non-CITES wildlife such as birds' nest (swiftlets), butterfly trophies and non-CITES snake species, you can apply for a B-statement or Certification of Species to certify the non-CITES status of the species.

Fees

Fees for CITES permits
Type of permit Fees per permit
CITES import/export/re-export permit S$12 per species subject to a minimum of S$60
 Certificate of Origin (for Appendix III species) S$29.40 
CITES re-export permit (for commercial consignments of manufactured products) S$29.40 

Fees may be paid by:

  • Cheque (made payable to “Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority”)
  • GIRO
  • NETS

For more information on the above payment modes, see:

The permit is valid for 3 months and valid for 1 consignment only.


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