You may be eligible for a fee waiver when applying for a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permit or certificate. This means you will not need to pay the usual application fee.

You may not need to pay for a CITES permit or certificate if your activity:

  • will benefit the conservation of the specimen’s species
  • is not part of a trade or business intended for profit
  • is mainly funded by UK institutions

If your project is mainly funded by non-UK institutions, you will usually need to pay a fee. This means you should consider CITES fees in your pricing structure if you bid for conservation project work from non-UK institutions.

If the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) grants you a fee waiver, this does not guarantee that you will get a CITES permit or certificate.

Activities eligible for fee waivers

APHA will consider granting a waiver for 4 categories of activity.

Captive-breeding or artificial propagation programmes

You need the specimen for breeding or propagation purposes that will create conservation benefits for the specimen’s species in the wild.

Reintroduction programmes

You will use the specimens in a reintroduction programme that will create conservation benefits for the specimen’s species in the wild.

Education and training

You are a government body or other non-profit organisation that will use the specimens for educational purposes related to conserving the specimen’s species.

Scientific purposes

You are part of a research programme that will use the specimens in a non-commercial way. Your programme aims to improve how people understand and conserve the species in the wild.

How to apply for a fee waiver

To apply for a fee waiver, send a completed CITB20 application form by email to

If you cannot send your application form by email, you can post it to:

Animal and Plant Health Agency

Horizon House

Deanery Road



You must provide supporting evidence with your application form. Give as much information as you can to support your application, even if the application form does not ask for it specifically.

You should apply for a fee waiver before you apply for the related CITES permit or certificate. APHA will not consider applications for fee waivers after they receive an application for a related permit or certificate.

Master fee waivers

If your activity involves multiple CITES species, APHA will consider granting you a master fee waiver.

A master fee waiver exempts you from paying for any permits or certificates for the species or activities that come within its terms.

To be eligible for a master fee waiver, when applying you must:

  • provide a comprehensive list of the CITES species you will need a permit or certificate for
  • show that you intend to carry out eligible activities for each species
  • provide supporting documents for each species, clearly stating how you would use the waiver – for example, ‘permit for export’, ‘permit for import’ or ‘certificates for movements within the UK’

After you apply

APHA aims to process applications for fee waivers within 15 working days.

When APHA contacts you about your application, they will use:

  • email – if you sent your application by email
  • post – if you sent your application by post and you have not provided a valid email address

APHA may refer your application to the relevant UK CITES scientific authority (UK SA).

If APHA refers your application to a UK SA, it can take up to 30 days to process the application. APHA may also ask you to provide additional evidence of the conservation benefits your activity provides the relevant species.

If APHA approves your application, they will provide you with a fee waiver letter.

If APHA refuses your application, they will contact you to explain why.

Using your fee waiver

To use your fee waiver, attach a copy of your fee waiver letter when applying for permits and certificates that meet the waiver’s criteria.

Using your fee waiver for multiple applications

You can use a fee waiver for multiple permit or certificate applications or for a series of applications if each application:

  • relates to the conservation activity and species covered by the waiver
  • meets the required criteria for a waiver

You do not need to reapply for an existing waiver when using it for new permit or certificate applications. You only need to declare that the applications come within the terms of the waiver. 

Autor HM Government


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