Other Permits

Other permits issued by NES relates to the transboundary movement of waste, ozone depletion substances and wildlife.



The Cook Islands is a Party to the: 

  • Basel Convention – a Global Treaty on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal
  • Waigani Convention – to Ban the Importation of Hazardous and Radio Active Waste into Forum Island Countries and to Control the Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Waste 

The two Conventions are aimed at:

  • reducing the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes to a minimum and in consistent with their environmentally sound management;
  • prevent and minimize the generation of hazardous waste;
  • the treatment and disposal of hazardous is as close as possible to their source of generation;
  • actively promote the transfer and use of cleaner technology.

As the Cook Islands is a party to these two Conventions, it is important that we meet the obligations of the conventions. 

NES issues permits for the transboundary movements of hazardous waste. The objective of the permit is to effectively control the transboundary movement of hazardous waste to a minimum and prevent its illegal trafficking. The Basel and Waigani Conventions have strict control systems that requires NES to issue a written permit as the Competent Authority of the State of Import.

To apply for a Transboundary Permit on Hazardous Waste, there are two forms to be completed. There is no fee for this process.

To apply for a Transboundary Permit on Hazardous Waste, there are two forms to be completed.
There is no fee for this process.


The Prohibition on Importation of Plastic Shopping Bags Regulation (2012) was established to manage these two objectives for the Cook Islands:
prohibit the importation of non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags
control the importation of biodegradable plastic shopping bags
Apart from issuing the licence, the National Environment Services monitors the importation of plastic shopping bags to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation. Any persons who commits an offence against this Regulation is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.00

Any person wishing to import plastic shopping bags into the Cook Islands must apply for a licence to the Director or an authorised officer. The application fee is NZ$50.00 per application.

Click here to apply for a Permit to import biodegradable plastic shopping bags into the Cook Islands


The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer regulates the production and consumption of man-made chemicals known as Ozone Depletion Substances (ODS). These chemicals damage the stratospheric ozone layer when released into the atmosphere. The stratospheric ozone layer protects living organisms from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The Cook Islands has ratified the Montreal Protocol, which has become the only UN treaty ratified by every country on Earth.

All importers of bulk HFC goods must register as an approved importer with NES. HFC are potent greenhouse gases primarily produced as refrigerants. Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment are widely known HFC goods imported into the Cook Islands.

Following the registration process, the importer must also apply for a Permit to Import. A permit is issued for a maximum of one year and expires at the end of the calendar year. The permit must be renewed for the following year.

What are you importingPermit Needed Cost (NZD)
Bulk HFC or goods containing HFCsHFC Bulk Permit $200
Bulk Methyl Bromide Quarantine and pre-shipment Permit$200
Bulk controlled substance or any product containing a controlled substance Human health and safety permits $200

It is an offence if the importer does not comply with any conditions of the permit granted. A person (whether an individual or body corporate) can be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000.