Permit Application

Permit application form
In order to carry out restricted activities involving a listed Alien Invasive Species, you need to apply for a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs. This includes applications to keep Category 2 listed animals and plants, as well as the importation of an exotic species into the country, which will need to be accompanied by a Risk Assessment.

Permit Application Form
Permit Application Form to carry out restricted activities involving alien and invasive species.

G Logo

Permit Application Form Non-fillable PDF (September 2016).

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding The AIS Permitting System

Q: What are indigenous species?

A: These are species that occur, or has historically occurred, naturally in a free state nature within the borders of the Republic, but exclude a species that has been introduced in the Republic as a result of human activity.

Q: What are alien species?

A: An alien species is a species that is not indigenous or a species which is translocated or intended to be translocated to a place outside its natural distribution range in nature, but not an indigenous species that has extended its natural distribution range by natural means of migration or dispersal without human intervention.

Q: What does it mean when an alien species has become invasive?

A: This means that the species whose establishment and spread outside of its natural distribution range has:
Threatened ecosystems, habitats or other species or have demonstrable potential to threaten ecosystems, habitats or other species; and
May result in economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. 

Q: Am I allowed to import an alien or listed invasive species?

A: Importation of an alien or listed invasive species is a restricted activity that may be authorized in terms of the NEMBA act and AIS Regulations. A person or facility may lodge an application to import an alien or invasive species under Category 2 with the department’s Issuing Authority.

Q. Where do I get forms to apply for the import permit

A: Forms for applying for an import permit can be obtained at the Department of Environmental Affairs offices or website at:

The same form could also be used to lodge an application for other restricted activities as mentioned in Notice 1 of the AIS Regulations, 2014.

Q. What is a restricted activity or what are restricted activities?

A: This is an activity which involves a specimen of an alien species and may not be carried out without a permit issued in terms of Chapter 7 of the NEMBA, 2014. Examples of these restricted activities include:
- Having in possession or excising physical control over any specimen of a listed invasive species
- Growing, breeding or in any other way propagating any specimen of a listed invasive species, or causing it to multiply
- Selling or otherwise trading in, buying, receiving, giving, donating or accepting as a gift or in any way acquiring or disposing of any specimen of a listed invasive species
- Conveying, moving or otherwise translocating any specimen of a listed invasive species.
- Importing into the Republic, including introducing from the sea, any specimen of a listed invasive species.

Q: What is the procedure to follow when applying for a permit?

A: When applying for a permit to carry out a restricted activity involving alien and/or listed invasive species, one needs to fill-in an official permit application form. This form may be submitted to the Biosecurity: Issuing Authority and should be accompanied by a Risk Assessment report in the format stipulated in the section 14 of the AIS Regulations, 2014 and other supporting documents where necessary.
Please note that an application for restricted activities involving category 2 listed invasive species should be accompanied by a basic risk assessment in the format obtained from the Department.

Q: Which species am I allowed to apply for a permit?

A: Members of the public may apply for a permit to carry out a restricted activity involving a listed Category 2 species.

Q: What type of documents are required to present to officials who come to check my facilities if I possess a Category 3 species?

A: You are not required to apply for a permit for a Category 3 species as these species are exempted form possession or exercising any physical control over. Therefore you may present the AIS Regulations and List to the officials or inspectors who come to inspect your facility.

Q:What should I attach to the permit application

A: The documents which need to be attached to the permit application include:
- A copy of the current permit(only if requesting a renewal or amendment)
- A certified copy of the identity document
- A Risk Assessment report
- All required supporting documents (where applicable)
- Proof of payment and,

Please note that the application declaration form needs to be signed and dated before a commissioner of oath.

Q: If I possess a species that is not listed on the NEMBA:AIS list, do I then still need a permit to bring the species into my province?

A: Applicants are advised to enquire with the respective provincial departments in which they wish to introduce the Restricted Activity involving the species that is not listed in the NEMBA AIS List.

Q: Will one be allowed to import a listed alien species without completing a Risk Assessment?

A: No.A risk assessment will be required for an application to import either an alien or listed invasive species. A risk assessment is required as it will detail methods and procedures which should or may be implemented to mitigate against the potential spread or escape of the applicable species.

Q: What is a Risk Assessment and what is it used for?

A: This is a scientific evaluation of the threat or potential threat to ecosystems, habitats, other species, the economy or human health or well-being posed by a restricted activity involving a specimen of an alien or listed invasive species in terms of Chapter 6 of the NEMBA Regulations.

Q: Does the Risk Assessment practitioner have to be a government official or a non-government official?

A: According to the NEMBA Regulations, A Risk Assessment must be undertaken by an environmental assessment practitioner.
- be independent;
- Have knowledge of the NEMB Act, the NEMBA Regulations and any guidelines that have relevance to the proposed application;
- Have expertise in biodiversity matters;
- Have expertise in conducting Risk Assessments;
- Consult at least one relevant expert; and
- be in compliance with any requirements of the Natural Scientific Professional Act, 2003 (Act No. 27 of 2003).

Q. How long does it take for my permit application to be processed

A: The issuing authority will reach a decision regarding the permit application after 60 working days of receiving a risk assessment and any additional information as may be required.

Q: How long does it take to receive the necessary feedback regarding the permit applied for?

A: The issuing authority will inform the applicant upon receipt of the application.

{ slider Q. What is the validity of the permit application? }

A. The permit to carry out a restricted activity involving an alien or listed invasive species is valid for a period not exceeding five years from the date of its issue or the date of its renewal. Validity may also vary depending on the restricted activity applied for. For example, an import permit for alien or invasive species is valid only for one consignment.

Q: In terms of a current expiring permit, how do I go about requesting for a renewal thereof?

A: The current permit holder may apply for a renewal of a permit to the Issuing Authority who issued the permit. This application should be submitted at least sixty (60) days before the current permit expiresand the applicant must attached a copy of the old permit. . The application should be done on the application form which may be obtained on and should be accompanied by an applicable fee of R50.00 only.

Q: What is the procedure to follow in case of losing the current permit issued by the DEA?

A: If the current permit holder loses the permit issued, he/she needs to draft an affidavit that should be signed by the commissioner of oath. The affidavit should include the permit number and state that it was lost. The permit holder then needs to send the application via the various methods of applying with the affidavit attached to the issuing authority which will then issue another permit at no cost.

Q: How can I submit an application form to carry out a restricted activity involving an alien or listed invasive species?

A: All completed applications accompanied by the supporting documentation should be submitted by the person to whom the permit must be issued or by the person’s duly authorized representative using the following methods:
Post: Department of Environmental Affairs
Branch: Environmental Programmes
Directorate: Biosecurity
Private Bag X 4390
Cape Town
Att: Issuing Authority
Hand- deliver: Department of Environmental Affairs
Branch: Environmental Programmes
Directorate: Biosecurity
14 Loop Street
Cape Town
Att: Issuing Authority
Fax: 086 604 4080

Q: Is there an applicable fee which one needs to pay when applying for a permit.

A: Yes. The applicable fee for each of the permit are as follows:
Import permit = R200.00 per species
All restricted activities= R100.00 per species
Renewal of permits= R50.00 per species
Appeals= R50.00 per species

Q: What account should the application fee be paid into?

A: Payments should be made via direct deposit or EFT:
Bank: ABSA
Account Name: Department of Environmental Affairs
Account Number: 40- 7981-6531
Branch Name: Pretoria
Branch Code: 632005

Q: Does our facility require any inspection prior to the issuance of the permit to carry out a restricted activity involving an alien or listed invasive species?

A: The Issuing Authority will conduct inspections as may be appropriate to facilities which it will issue permits to. The priority for inspection will involve those facilities which want to carry out restricted activities involving alien or listed invasive species of high risk.

Q: Who is the contact person regarding the permitting system?

A: Any queries related to the permitting system may be addressed to:
Directorate: Biosecurity, Issuing Authority
Telephone: 021 441 2812/2748/ 086 111 2468

Q: In terms of an existing permit for a listed alien invasive species, what should be done about now that the AIS Regulations are implemented?

A: If the existing permit issued for alien or listed invasive species under a provincial ordinance is deemed valid, then the permit holder may continue using the said permit for the species and purpose authorized. Upon expiry thereof, the permit holder must apply for a new permit in terms of the AIS Regulations with the Department of Environmental Affairs: Issuing Authority.

Q: Are there any special requirements or qualification that is required for a person listing the presence of Invasive Alien Species on a property prior to selling it?

A: The Department is looking into an invasive species certification training for qualified landscaping and horticultural practitioners registered with the South African Landscapers Institute and South African Nursery Association who will then assist property owners in identifying listed species prior to selling it and compiling the Declaration of Invasive Species.

Q: Is it necessary for all applicants to submit a Risk Assessment for the same species or the Department needs a standard Risk Assessment in place?

A: Each application for a permit to carry out a restricted activity involving an alien and listed invasive species must be accompanied by a risk Assessment report. The Department has developed templates that the applicant can use to develop the risk assessment depending on the restricted activity applied for. Applicant should contact the AIS permitting unit for such templates.

Q: If I go and buy a Burmese python for instance from a pet shop, do I first need to have a risk assessment done before applying for a permit?

A: You need to apply for a permit prior to conducting a Restricted Activity involving a specimen of a category 2 species. It is an offence to contravene or fail to comply with provisions of these regulations. This implies it is an offence to be in possession of an alien and or listed invasive species without a valid permit.

Q: What would the procedures be for application of Export Permits to a specific country?

A: The Issuing Authority is not responsible for the permitting of species for export into other countries. Applicants are therefore kindly requested to liaise with the relevant authority in this regard.

Q: Does an applicant for an aquaculture facility require registration from another institution either than the Department of Environmental Affairs?

A: Both the DEA and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) are working together to ensure effective processing of permit. For enquiries regarding DAFF, kindly contact the DAFF permitting office at 021 402 3346. However, applicants may continue submitting their applications through to the Biosecurity: Issuing Authority, which upon receipt thereof, will consult with the provincial departments that will be affected by the proposed Restricted Activity.