Permit for Trade Movement of Endangered Species

Any person planning to take any wild animal or plant overseas must apply for a permit for trade movement of endangered species (CITES).

The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between member countries to ensure the international trade of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. High trade activity can lead to heavy depletion of the species’ population and elevates the level of extinction. The trade can involve live animals and plants, food products, wildlife products and certain medicines.

“Any persons planning to take overseas any wild animals and plants must apply for a CITES permit from NES. One permit is required for every person who will be carrying items offshore.”

The issuing of CITES permits is applicable to coral and seashells and is limited to 2kg per CITES permit and costs $20.00 per permit for person’s 18-years and over. In May 2020, the permitting of Tridacna Maxima (Paua/Giant Clam) species for both flesh and shells, are prohibited by the Ministry of Marine Resources.

While the Cook Islands has not ratified the CITES Convention, any wild animals and plants taken from the Cook Islands without a permit may be subjected to confiscation or a fine by the receiving airport or port. 

The CITES Permit is managed internally to avoid illegal wildlife traffic activities. Please contact NES for any information on the CITES permit and application. 

All online forms submitted over the weekend will be processed on Monday. 

Permits will need to be physically uplifted from our office, items weighed and the fee paid before departure. 

Permitting hours are Monday – Friday’s from 9am – 3pm only excluding public holidays. 

For more information regarding CITES, please contact:
NES office: ph: 21256 or email:

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