Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) permits

What type of activity requires a permit?

The import into, and export and re-export out of, South Africa’s international borders of any CITES-listed specimens (living or dead) requires the prior issuance of a CITES permit or certificate.

Why do I need a permit?

South Africa is a signatory to CITES and, as such, must comply with the import, export and re-export procedure as stipulated by CITES and in terms of the national CITES regulations. CapeNature is the CITES management authority for exports and re-exports out of, and imports into, the Western Cape from or to other countries.

Further details relating to CITES can be found at

How do I go about getting a permit?

You can either email a completed application form and supporting documents (including proof of payment) to, or you can apply online through the CapeNature permits portal at

How long will it take me to get a permit?

It takes 10 working days for a permit to be issued.

What is the cost of the permit?

  • R400 per application
  • R2 500 per CITES personal effects book
  • R8 000 per year