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Illegal Wildlife Trade

The Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act Cap 92A (ESA) is the national legislation that effects the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora (CITES) regulations in Singapore.

Under the ESA, a CITES permit issued by NParks is required to import, export, or re-export a CITES-listed species, and their parts and derivatives. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in confiscation of the goods and enforcement actions may be taken against the importer/exporter/re-exporter.

It is also an offence to possess, sell, offer for sale, or publicly display any CITES species, as well as their parts and derivatives, if they have been imported without the necessary CITES permits.

NParks is empowered to take enforcement actions against anyone transporting CITES-listed specimens via Singapore without the relevant CITES permits. Our enforcement officers are authorised to exercise their powers under the ESA, and enter and search any premises without warrant, to seize any illegal wildlife. They can also investigate cases of CITES-listed species transiting Singapore. Wildlife offences are classified as predicate offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefit) Act 1992 (CDSA). This classification enables the investigation of money laundering and confiscation of any financial gains derived from wildlife offences. 

Any individual or company violating the above laws face the following penalties.

  • A fine of up to S$200,000 per specimen (not exceeding aggregate of S$1,000,000 or the market value of all specimens at the material time, whichever is higher); and/or
  • Imprisonment for up to eight years.

In addition to the ESA, NParks also effects legislation that protects or regulates trade of live animals, and native fauna and plants. For more information, refer to our list of laws administered by NParks.


Protected Species 

Certain marine species found in our waters are protected under the Wildlife Act and CITES. It is illegal to import, take, trap, keep, kill and sell protected wildlife species. 

Anglers can play their part to help with the conservation of these protected species by releasing them promptly if caught. Any individual found to have violated the laws shall face the following penalties: 

  • A fine up to S$50,000; and/or
  • Imprisonment for up to two years.

For more information, please refer to the fishing advisory

How can you be involved?

  • Do not consume or purchase illegal wildlife products, especially when overseas.
  • If you are buying CITES endangered species parts and products, please ensure that the shop has a valid CITES permit, and for the shop to handover the CITES permit to you when you purchase it.
  • The demand for wildlife products drives supply and fuels the illegal wildlife trade. Responsible consumption will reduce the demand for endangered species.
  • If you spot any occurrences of illegal wildlife trade, or ownership of endangered or wild species and their parts, you may contact NParks using the online feedback form or call 1800-476-1600. Information shared will be kept strictly confidential.
Last updated on 04 June 2024

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