What is CITES?
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Widespread information nowadays about the endangered status of many prominent species, such as the tiger and elephants, might make the need for such a convention seem obvious. But at the time when the ideas for CITES were first formed, in the 1960s, international discussion of the regulation of wildlife trade for conservation purposes was something relatively new. With hindsight, the need for CITES is clear. Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction. Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered, but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is important in order to safeguard these resources for the future.
Because the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation. CITES was conceived in the spirit of such cooperation. Today, it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.
CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). The text of the Convention was finally agreed at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington DC., United States of America, on 3 March 1973, and on 1 July 1975 CITES entered in force. The original of the Convention was deposited with the Depositary Government in the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish languages, each version being equally authentic.
CITES is an international agreement to which States (countries) adhere voluntarily. States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention (‘joined’ CITES) are known as Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.
For many years CITES has been among the conservation agreements with the largest membership, with now 175 Parties.
FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THREATENED OR PROTECTED SPECIES (TOPS)
REGULATIONS, AND THE
ISSUANCE OF TOPS PERMITS
in terms of the
National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004) (NEMBA)
Drafted by: Ms. T. Carroll
Amended: Ms. M. Boshoff
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. PRINCIPLE TOPS REGULATIONS REQUIREMENS
2. CLARIFYING TERMINOLOGY
3. RESTRICTED ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN ON PRIVATE LAND BY AN APPLICANT WHO IS NOT THE OWNER OF SUCH LAND
4. PROVISIONS RELATING TO DAMAGE CAUSING ANIMALS
5. PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE TRANSLOCATION OF THREATENED OR PROTECTED SPECIES TO EXTENSIVE WILDLIFE SYSTEMS
6. PROVISIONS RELATING TO PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES INVOLVING LISTED LARGE PREDATORS, BLACK AND WHITE RHINO, OR PROHIBITED METHODS OF HUNTING
7. PROVISIONS RELATING TO PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES INVOLVING ENCEPHALARTOS SPECIES
8. PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE MARKING OF ELEPHANT IVORY AND RHINOCEROS HORN
9. PERMIT PROVISIONS
9.1. BASIC PERMIT PROVISIONS
9.2. INTEGRATED PERMITS
9.3. STANDARD FACTORS TO CONSIDER FOR PERMIT APPLICATIONS
9.4. ADDITIONAL FACTORS TO CONSIDER FOR SPECIFIC PERMIT APPLICATIONS
9.5. TIME FRAMES
9.6. PERMIT PAYMENTS
9.7. VALIDITY OF PERMITS
9.8. PERMIT CONDITIONS
9.9. PERMIT CONTENTS
9.10.PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE REGISTRATION OF FACILITIES
9.11.PROVISIONS RELATING TO STANDING PERMITS
9.12.PROVISIONS RELATING TO ORDINARY PERMITS
9.13.GENERAL PERMIT PROVISIONS
10. FLOW DIAGRAMS
10.4.RENEWAL OF PERMITS/ REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES
10.5.AMENDMENT OF PERMITS/ REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES
10.6.SUMMARY AND AMENDMENTS OFTOPS REGULATIONS
- 1. PRINCIPLE TOPS REGULATIONS REQUIREMENTS
- The TOPS regulations apply only to those species that are listed as threatened or protected in terms of the Biodiversity Act. Provincial legislation still applies to all species not listed as threatened or protected.
- The TOPS regulations do not replace or repeal any provincial legislation, but apply in addition to provincial legislation.
- A person may not carry out ANY restricted activity involving a TOPS specimen, without a TOPS permit. There are NO exemptions from any of the provisions of the TOPS regulations, to any person, organization or organ of state.
- The TOPS regulations must always be read in conjunction with the TOPS definitions, TOPS species lists and TOPS amendments.
- Provincial conservation authorities may apply stricter measures than required in terms of the TOPS regulations, but not less strict measures.
- 2. CLARIFYING TERMINOLOGY
- The following terminology are only explanations of the definitions as provided in terms of the Biodiversity Act or TOPS regulations:
- Issuing Authority in terms of the issuance of TOPS permits, means the:
- Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) for:
v Protected Areas, or areas managed or controlled by organs of state
v National Departments
v Provincial Departments, and for
v Threatened or protected Marine Species
- Provincial Conservation Authority for:
v Any restricted activity to be carried out by persons, companies or organizations not specified above, involving non-marine threatened or protected species
Protected Areas for the purpose of the issuance of TOPS permits refer to only those areas that have formally been declared as such in terms of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (Act 57 of 2003)
- Restricted activity involving a TOPS specimen means:
(i) hunting, catching, capturing or killing by any means, method or device whatsoever, including searching, pursuing, driving, lying in wait, luring, alluring, discharging a missile or injuring with intent to hunt, catch, capture or kill any such specimen;
(ii) gathering, collecting or plucking;
(iii) picking parts of, or cutting, chopping off, uprooting, damaging or destroying;
(iv) importing into the Republic, including introducing from the sea;
(v) exporting from the Republic, including re-exporting from the Republic;
(vi) having in possession or exercising physical control over;
(vii) growing, breeding or in any other way propagating, or causing it to multiply;
(viii) conveying, moving or otherwise translocating;
(ix) selling or otherwise trading in, buying, receiving, giving, donating or accepting as a gift, or in any way acquiring or disposing of; or
(x) any other prescribed activity which involves a TOPS specimen;
for which a TOPS permit MAY be issued.
- Prohibited activity involving a TOPS specimen means any restricted activity listed above, for which a TOPS permit MUST be refused.
- TOPS permit means a permit issued in terms of the TOPS regulations.
- Provincial permit means a permit issued in terms of provincial conservation legislation.
- TOPS specimen means:
(a) Any living or dead animal, plant or other organism;
(b) A seed, egg, gamete or propagule or part of an animal, plant or other organism capable of propagation or reproduction or in any way transferring genetic traits;
(c) Any derivative of any animal, plant or other organism; or
(d) Any goods which -
(i) contain a derivative of an animal, plant or other organism; or
(ii) from an accompanying document, from the packaging or mark or label, or from any other indications, appear to be or to contain a derivative of an animal, plant or other organism;
of a species listed as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or protected in terms of the TOPS regulations.
- Threatened or protected species (TOPS) means:
Only those species listed in terms of the TOPS regulations, and which are categorized as:
v Critically endangered
3. RESTRICTED ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN ON PRIVATE LAND BY AN APPLICANT WHO IS NOT THE OWNER OF SUCH LAND (TOPS Regulation 7)
- If the restricted activity involves critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable species, the applicant must obtain the written permission from the land owner prior to submitting the application to the Issuing Authority.
- If the restricted activity involves protected species, the applicant must obtain the written permission from the land owner prior to the undertaking of the restricted activity. This written permission is not required at the time of submitting the application.
4. PROVISIONS RELATING TO DAMAGE CAUSING ANIMALS (TOPS Regulation 14)
- No threatened or protected species are listed or categorized as damage causing animals. Any individual of a listed threatened or protected species may potentially become a damage causing animal, in which case the provisions of Regulation 14 apply.
- The provincial conservation authority must do an inspection to determine whether an individual of any listed threatened or protected species is a damage causing animal.
- A person who has been designated in writing by the provincial conservation authority, and who is in possession of a TOPS hunting permit, may as a last resort, hunt a damage causing animal by the means as specified in Regulation 14 (4), (5) and (6).
- A TOPS permit to hunt the damage causing animal may not be issued to a hunting client.
- Provincial conservation authorities may be issued with a standing permit for the control of damage causing animals that have escaped from protected areas, and an ordinary permit valid for 1 year for damage causing animals that have escaped from areas other than protected areas (Regulation 5 has not been amended yet to include damage control from areas other than protected areas).
- If a damage causing animal has escaped from a protected area, the provincial conservation authority must consider control options in conjunction with the management authority of the relevant protected area.
- The MEC of a province must enter into an agreement with SANParks for the control of damage causing animals that originate from national parks.
5. PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE TRANSLOCATION OF THREATENED OR PROTECTED SPECIES TO EXTENSIVE WILDLIFE SYSTEMS (TOPS Regulation 23)
- A permit must be refused for the translocation of a threatened or protected species to an extensive wildlife system which is declared as a protected area and which falls outside the natural distribution range of such a species.
- A permit may be issued for the translocation of a threatened or protected species to an extensive wildlife system which is not declared as a protected area and which falls outside the natural distribution range of such a species.
- A permit must be refused for the translocation of a threatened or protected species to an extensive wildlife system if there is a risk of spreading a disease or a risk of hybridization with other species on that extensive wildlife system.
Example: Where blue wildebeest already occur on an extensive wildlife system, and the intention is to introduce black wildebeest on the same extensive wildlife system, a permit for the translocation of the black wildebeest to the extensive wildlife system must be refused.
6. PROVISIONS RELATING TO PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES INVOLVING LISTED LARGE PREDATORS, WHITE RHINO AND BLACK RHINO, OR PROHIBITED METHODS OF HUNTING (TOPS Regulation 24 and 26)
- The definition of a listed large predator has been amended to exclude lion, until further notice. Therefore the prohibited activities (Regulation 24) or prohibited methods of hunting (Regulation 26) involving listed large predators are not applicable to lion.
- Although lion has been excluded from listed large predators, it has not been removed from the vulnerable species list; therefore a TOPS permit is still required to undertake any restricted activity involving lion, and facilities breeding lion in captivity must still be registered.
- In terms of Regulation 24 (1) (a to e) a permit must be refused for:
v Put and take hunting (hunting of a captive bred listed large predator, or captive bred white rhino or black rhino that has been released from a captive bred environment to an extensive wildlife system, in less than 24 months after release);
v Hunting of a listed large predator, white rhino or black rhino in a controlled environment;
v Hunting of a listed large predator, white rhino or black rhino under the influence of tranquilisers;
v Hunting of a listed large predator in an area adjacent to a holding facility for listed large predators;
v Hunting of a listed large predator, white rhino or black rhino by making use of a gin trap;
v Breeding in captivity of a listed large predator for the purpose of undertaking any prohibited activity in terms of Regulation 24 (1) (a to e) ;
v The sale, buying or export of a listed large predator, white rhino and black rhino bred in captivity for the purpose of undertaking any prohibited activity in terms of Regulation 24 (1) (a to e) ;
v Certain methods to hunt listed threatened or protected species, unless if for management/ scientific purposes, and only under conditions as provided for in terms of Regulation 26;
v Sport hunting of a listed threatened or protected species by means of darting;
v Bow hunting of a listed large predator, crocodile, white and black rhino, and elephant.
- A permit for the darting of a listed threatened or protected species may be issued to a hunting client, only for management/ scientific/ disease control procedures, veterinary treatment or translocation purposes. The issuing authority may determine under which conditions the permit will be issued.
- Bow hunting of any listed threatened or protected species, excluding listed large predators, crocodile, white and black rhino and elephant, is not prohibited and a TOPS permit may be issued. The issuing authority must determine the equipment to be used for the particular size categories of animals, according to provincial legislation and policies.
- The prohibition of put and take hunting (hunting of listed large predators, and white and black rhino within 24 months after release), only applies if the animals have been released from a captive bred environment to an extensive wildlife system. The 24 month period does not apply when the animals have been translocated from extensive wildlife system to extensive wildlife system. However, the prohibition of hunting such animals while still under the influence of tranquilisers, will apply.
7. PROVISIONS RELATING TO PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES INVOLVING LISTED ENCEPHALARTOS SPECIES (TOPS Regulation 25 as amended)
- The requirement for the Biodiversity Management Plan in Regulation 25 (a) and (b) has been postponed for a period of 12 months following 1st February 2008, provided that the Biodiversity Management Plan must be submitted to the Minister for approval, at least 3 months before expiry of the 12 month period.
- Therefore, for a period of 12 months following 1st February 2008, a person may still undertake any restricted activity involving a listed cycad species, but only if in possession of a TOPS permit.
- In the absence of the Biodiversity Management Plan, provincial conservation authorities may refuse to issue TOPS permits for restricted activities involving wild specimens of E. species or trade in critically endangered and endangered artificially propagated E. species, but only if provincial legislation or policies already provide for such refusal of a permit.
- Only one Biodiversity Management Plan for cycads will be drafted and after a compulsory public participation process, submitted to the Minister for approval.
- The amended regulation 25 specifies:
- A permit must be refused for any restricted activity involving all wild specimens of listed E. species, unless if provided for in a Biodiversity Management Plan.
- A permit must be refused for trade in artificially propagated specimens of critically endangered and endangered E. species, unless if provided for in a Biodiversity Management Plan. (The intention is that trade includes import/ export/ re-export, but a definition for trade has been omitted from the TOPS regulations. Therefore decisions to refuse permits for the export of large cycads must be taken in line with procedure discussed by the Permit and Enforcement Planning Committee.)
- A permit must be refused for the export or re-export of artificially propagated vulnerable or protected E. species with a stem diameter of more than 15 cm, except for E. caffer, E. humulis, E. umbeluziensis and E. ngoyanus, which may not be exported or re-exported if the stem diameter is more than 7 cm.
- In the case where the identification of cycad seedlings is impossible, a TOPS permit may be issued to list E. species in general, rather than specific species, and indicating the number of seedlings. Once the seedlings are identifiable, the permit may be amended to list the specific species.
8. PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE MARKING OF ELEPHANT IVORY AND RHINO HORN (TOPS Regulation 70)
- Any person, who is in possession of elephant ivory or rhino horn, must within 3 months after the 1st February 2008 apply for a possession permit, regardless of the size, carved or uncarved, processed or unprocessed. If such an owner already has a provincial possession permit, it must be replaced by a TOPS possession permit.
- Any elephant tusk or piece of elephant tusk, whether carved or uncarved, or ornament, which is more than 1 kg in weight, and 20 cm in length or longer, must be marked by the issuing authority by means of punch-die or indelible ink.
- DEAT will provide issuing authorities with registration numbers for the marking of elephant ivory. The registration number will contain, as prescribed in terms of the CITES provisions, the international registration code for South Africa, (ZA), last 2 digits of the year in which it was registered, the serial number and the weight of the elephant ivory in kilogram.
- Any rhino horn or piece of rhino horn longer than 10 cm must be marked by the issuing authority, by means of a microchip supplied by the applicant. Issuing authorities must prescribe the type of microchip to be used, keeping in mind that the issuing authorities must have appropriate scanners to enable them to “read” the numbers of the microchips.
- If the elephant ivory or rhino horn is already marked, it does not have to be marked again, but a TOPS possession permit must still be issued.
- Any elephant ivory or rhino horn that does not meet the size requirement for marking purposes does not have to be marked, but the owner thereof must still apply for a possession permit.
9. PROVISIONS RELATING TO PERMITS
9.1 BASIC PERMIT PROVISIONS (Chapter 7 of NEMBA)
- An Issuing Authority may, in terms of provincial legislation or policies, impose measures stricter than what is required in terms of the TOPS regulations, but may not impose measures less strict than what is required in terms of the TOPS regulations.
- Stricter measures (refusal of a TOPS permit or stricter permit conditions/ requirements) may only be imposed if provincial legislation or policies already make provision for such stricter measures, or if legislation or policies are developed according to correct prescribed procedures.
|An issuing authority may:||A decision of the issuing authority to issue a permit, conditionally or unconditionally, or refuse a permit must be:|
If an application is rejected, the issuing authority must, in writing, give reasons for the decision to the applicant.
9.2 INTEGRATED PERMITS (Section 92 of NEMBA & TOPS Regulation 4)
- If a permit is required for a restricted activity in terms of both provincial legislation/ Marine Living Resources Act, and the TOPS regulations, the Issuing Authority may issue one permit only, which is referred to as an integrated permit.
- The integrated permit may be issued on the format of the provincial permit or on the format of the TOPS permit.
- If the Issuing Authority issues the integrated permit on the format of the provincial permit, the provincial permit can be regarded as a TOPS permit only if:
v The relevant provisions of the TOPS regulations and the provincial legislation have been complied with; and
v The permit contains all the compulsory information required in terms of the TOPS regulations and specifies the authority that has issued the permit.
NOTE: A permit issued in terms of the TOPS regulations does NOT absolve the holder thereof or any other person from complying with the provisions of any other applicable law!
9.3 STANDARD FACTORS TO CONSIDER FOR ANY PERMIT APPLICATION
Refer to Regulation 10.
9.4 ADDITIONAL FACTORS TO CONSIDER FOR SPECIFIC PERMIT APPLICATIONS
- Wild populations of critically endangered species
- Refer to Regulation 11.
- A risk assessment, as specified in Regulation 15 and 16, is compulsory.
- Hunting permits
- Refer to Regulation 12
- Permits for prohibited activities (in terms of TOPS Regulation 24) or prohibited methods of hunting (in terms of TOPS Regulation 26) MUST be refused.
- Currently no hunting off-take limits have been established.
- Refer to Regulation 12
- Game farm hunting permits, personal effects permits or nursery possession permits
- Refer to Regulation 13.
- Game farm hunting permits may only be issued to the owner of a game farm if the game farm is registered. The game farm hunting permit authorizes the hunter to buy and hunt the listed species, to transport any product of the species subsequent to the hunt, and to temporarily possess the product for a maximum period of 1 year.
- Personal effects permits may only be issued to a wildlife trader who is registered. The personal effects permit authorizes the purchaser to purchase the listed species, to transport the species subsequent to the purchase, and to temporarily possess the species for a maximum period of 1 year.
- The purpose of the personal effects permits is to authorize the purchasing of a specimen for personal use (for example, the purchasing of a specimen in a shop), therefore game capturers and wildlife traders who trade with live game DO NOT qualify to purchase personal effects permits for the purpose of game capturing or live trade.
- Nursery possession permits may only be issued to the owner of a nursery if the nursery is registered. The nursery possession permit authorizes the purchaser to purchase the plant species, to transport the plant species subsequent to the transport, and to temporarily possess the plant species for a maximum period of 1 year.
- Before expiry of the game farm hunting permit, personal effects permit or nursery possession permit, the holder thereof must apply for a permanent TOPS permit.
- Game farm hunting permits, personal effects permits and nursery possession permits will be sold in booklet form containing 50 permits in triplicate.
- The game farm hunting permits, personal effects permits and nursery possession permits may not be issued for activities to be undertaken on premises other than those indicated on the game farm hunting permits, personal effects permits and nursery possession permits.
- The game farm hunting permits, personal effects permits and nursery possession permits may only be issued for species as specified by the issuing authority.
- Refer to Regulation 13.
Example: If white rhino is listed on the standing permit of a registered game farm, but hunting (of a white rhino) as a restricted activity is excluded from the standing permit, the issuing authority may exclude the issuing of a game farm hunting permit for the hunting of a white rhino. In this case the white rhino may only be hunted in terms of an individual hunting permit application (issued on the ordinary permit format).
- The game farm hunting permits, personal effects permits and nursery possession permits will be completed by the issuing authority. The owner of the game farm, the wildlife trader or the owner of the nursery will only complete the section pertaining to the name and address of the hunter/ purchaser, and the section pertaining to the species and numbers involved.
- The owner of the registered game farm must complete the section on the reverse side of the game farm hunting permit, as confirmation of the species and number per species hunted by the hunter.
- The owner of a registered game farm must return all the copies of game farm hunting permits used in a 12 month period from date of issuance by the issuing authority, to the issuing authority.
- The holder of a game farm hunting permit must return the original game farm hunting permit to the issuing authority, upon expiry of the game farm hunting permit.
9.5 TIME FRAMES
A. ISSUING OF PERMITS/ REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES BY ISSUING
- 20 Working days to receive, consider and decide upon the issuance of a permit. Where appropriate, the inspection must be done within the 20 working days.
- 14 Working days after receipt of the application to request additional information, if necessary.
- Additional 20 working days after receipt of additional information, to consider and decide upon the application.
- 5 Working days after having taken a decision, to issue the permit, or inform the applicant in writing with reasons if the permit is refused.
B. APPEALS BY APPLICANTS
- 30 Days after having become aware of the decision of the Issuing Authority, to submit an appeal to the Director-General (DG) of DEAT.
- 14 Working days for the DG to acknowledge receipt of the appeal and submit to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
- The Minister must consider and decide upon the appeal, or designate a panel to consider and decide upon the appeal.
- In the case of an appeal panel, 30 days after its designation, to consider and decide upon the appeal, and inform the DG of its decision.
- 14 Working days after the appeal has been decided upon, the Director-general of DEAT to notify the appellant in writing of the decision.
9.6 PERMIT PAYMENTS
- Fees for the different types of TOPS permits are provided in Annexure 5.
- In the case of integrated permits, if provincial permit fees are less than TOPS permit fees, issuing authorities may charge their provincial permit fees. If provincial permit fees are more than the TOPS permit fees, issuing authorities must charge the TOPS permit fees. Therefore issuing authorities may charge less than the TOPS permit fees but not more.
- In the case of hunting permits, if issuing authorities charge a species fee in addition to the hunting permit application fee, issuing authorities may continue to do so.
- In the case where an applicant registers for more than one facility/ operation in the same province and subsequently needs to obtain more than one standing permit, and all the applications are submitted simultaneously, it is preferable that the issuing authority charges the applicant one payment for the registrations, and one payment for the standing permits.
- In the case where an applicant applies for standing permits in more than one province, the applicant needs to submit the relevant application fees to the individual issuing authorities.
- Example 1: If an applicant applies for the registration of a captive breeding operation, a rehabilitation facility and as a wildlife trader, as well as for the relevant standing permits, all 3 the applications for registration may be submitted on one application form. The same applies for the application for the standing permits. One payment of R1000.00 can be charged for the registration applications and one payment of R1000.00 for the standing permit applications. If the activities and species for the captive breeding operation differ for example from the activities and species for the wildlife trader, the information can be provided by using addendums. Example 2: If an applicant is a game capturer and applies for registration as a wildlife trader, the applicant only needs to register in one province (the home province where he/ she operates his/ her office from), but needs to apply for standing permits in each province where he/ she intends to capture game. The issuing authorities may issue the standing permit based on the registration done by the first province. The applicant is charged R1000.00 for the registration, and thereafter R1000.00 by each relevant province for the standing permit.
9.7 VALIDITY OF PERMITS (TOPS Regulations 20 and 22)
- A permit issued for live specimens, except in the case of a permanent possession permit, a personal effects permit or a nursery possession permit, is valid only in the province where it has been issued.
- A permit issued for dead specimens, including a permanent possession permit, a personal effects permit or a nursery possession permit for live specimens, is valid throughout the whole country.
- Depending on the circumstances, an issuing authority may issue a TOPS permit for a period less than the specified maximum period of validity.
- Depending on the circumstances, one TOPS permit may be valid throughout the country for certain activities, but valid only within the province where it was issued for other activities.
Example: A standing permit for a wildlife trader who trades in curio products, may be valid throughout the country for purchasing stock in any province and transport the stock subsequent to the purchase, but the wildlife trader may only sell his curio products from the premises as indicated on the standing permit.
- The permit must specify the period of validity:
Type of permit
Maximum period of validity
- provincial & national departments and protected areas
- registered captive breeding operation;
registered commercial exhibition facility;
registered game farm;
registered rehabilitation facility;
registered scientific institution;
registered wildlife trader
Game farm hunting permits
Nursery possession permits
Personal effects permits
9.8 PERMIT CONDITIONS
- Permits are valid only if the relevant permit conditions are adhered to.
- Generic permit conditions, printed on the reverse side of the permits, apply to any permit holder in any province.
- Issuing authorities may add permit conditions as “special permit conditions” in terms of provincial legislation or policies, but may not remove any of the generic permit conditions.
- Example: An issuing authority may issue a standing permit for a registered game farm, listing white rhino as a species and hunting as an activity, but on condition that the standing permit does not apply to the hunting of white rhino, in which case it may be authorized by means of an ordinary permit on an individual basis only.
9.9 PERMIT CONTENTS (Section 90 of NEMBA & TOPS Regulation 19)
- The permits must contain, as a minimum, the information as prescribed in NEMBA and regulation 19:
All Permits must contain the following information:
Not All Permits need to contain the following information. Only where it is applicable, the following must be reflected in the permit:
Standing permits for a registered captive breeding operation, commercial exhibition facility, game farm, nursery, scientific institution, sanctuary, rehabilitation facility or a wildlife trader must contain the following:
A permit authorising the possession of elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn must contain the following:
If any norms and standards apply to the restricted activity for which a permit is issued, the following condition must be reflected on the permit:
|The permit must be issued subject to a condition that the permit holder is bound by those norms and standards and must act in accordance with those norms and standards when carrying out the restricted activity.|
A permit authorising the hunting of a specimen of a listed threatened or protected animal species must specify the following:
|The permit must specify the instrument and the method by which the animal may be hunted in terms of that permit, taking into consideration the prohibited methods of hunting.|
A game farm hunting permit, a personal effects permit, or a nursery possession permit must specify the following:
|The permit holder must apply for:|
- A possession permit before the game farm hunting permit, the personal effects permit or the nursery possession permit expires; or
- An ordinary permit if the permit holder wants to carry out a restricted activity with the specimens specified on the game farm hunting permit, a personal effects permit or a nursery possession permit.
9.10 PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE REGISTRATION OF FACILITIES (TOPS Regulation 27)
- To conduct the following operations/ facilities, registration is compulsory:
- Captive breeding operations (facilities for the breeding of specimens in controlled environments for conservation or commercial purposes)
- Commercial exhibition facilities (including zoo’s, aquariums and traveling exhibitions)
- Nurseries (facilities where specimens are sold or artificially propagated for commercial purposes). Private individuals cultivating and selling seedlings may be issued with an ordinary permit for this purpose.
- Scientific institutions (a museum, organ of state involved in research, a research unit of a tertiary institution or herbarium where specimens are kept or used for research, scientific, information or identification purposes). The tertiary institution as the entity must register all its units through which research may be conducted, with the issuing authority. The research unit does not register directly with the issuing authority.
- Sanctuaries (facilities for the permanent keeping in controlled environments of species that are unable to sustain themselves and can therefore not be released in the wild).
- Rehabilitation facilities (facilities for the temporary keeping of species for treatment, rearing, quarantine or relocation purposes, with the intent of releasing the species again).
- Wildlife traders (any person who keeps and/ or displays specimens with the intention to trade, and includes taxidermists, game capturers, curio dealers and traders of live game). Businesses such as Woolworths where listed plant specimens may be sold, may register as wildlife traders, not as nurseries, as they generally do not operate as nurseries.
- Registration of game farms is not compulsory.
- Registration of a facility/ operation or game farm does not authorize the undertaking of any activities.
- Registration of a facility/ operation is valid for the whole country.
Example: A person who has a traveling exhibition, registers as a commercial exhibition facility once in his/ her home province, but must obtain a standing permit in each province where he/ she intends to display. Once registered, other provinces can issue the standing permits based on the registration. Communication between provinces is very important and highly recommended in these cases.
- One registration certificate may be issued if a person registers as more than one facility/ operation, for example as a wildlife trader, rehabilitation facility and a commercial exhibition facility, by using the “tick-off” box on the certificate. If the species and activities are different for the 3 facilities/ operations, an addendum may be used to distinguish between the species and activities for each facility/ operation.
- If a person registers one facility (for example a captive breeding operation) in one province, and another facility (for example a commercial exhibition facility) in another province, the applicant has to apply for the registration separately in the relevant provinces.
- The unique registration number (which may refer to a file number, client number, etc) for the same person will remain the same, regardless of the expiry and renewal of the registration certificate. Therefore the identity number of the applicant must be used as the unique registration number.
- The issuing authority may list the species on the registration certificate for which the applicant may undertake the restricted activities. Therefore the species do not have to be limited to only those already occurring in the facility/ operation.
- Factors to consider for registration – refer to Regulation 29.
- Game farms that do not qualify for exemption permits or Certificates of Adequate Enclosure (CAE’s), can not be registered.
- Information to be submitted for the registration of a game farm – refer to Annexure 3, point E.
- Information to be submitted for any compulsory registration – refer to Annexure 2, points E – H.
- Requirements for breeding and keeping enclosures, and fences in the case of game farms, are not provided for in terms of the TOPS regulations, therefore existing requirements as provided for in terms of provincial legislation or policies, must be applied.
- Registration of facilities/ operations and game farms, is subject to any Norms and Standards that apply to the facilities/ operations and game farms.
- Registration of captive breeding operations, rehabilitation facilities and commercial exhibition facilities is subject to a condition that hybridization or inbreeding must be prevented.
- Owners of boma’s, which are used for the purpose of temporary keeping during game capture/ translocation or for quarantine purposes during the export process, must register the keeping facilities as rehabilitation facilities. Although the term “rehabilitation facility” might be confusing, boma’s for the purpose of temporary keeping fall within its definition. To prevent future confusion, we will change the term “rehabilitation facility” to “temporary keeping facilities” or any similar term, during the next round of amendments.
- The owner of a registered commercial exhibition facility must notify the provincial conservation authority where it will be performing, at least 2 months prior to the performance.
- Registration of a sanctuary is subject to the condition that no breeding will be allowed in the sanctuary.
- Any person who, in terms of provincial legislation, already conducts a captive breeding operation, commercial exhibition facility, nursery, scientific institution, sanctuary, rehabilitation facility or operates as a wildlife trader, must within 3 months after the 1st February 2008, apply for registration. If the applicant does not comply with the requirements at the time of application and the application is declined, the applicant must be afforded the opportunity to comply and must re-apply within another 9 months, while being allowed to carry on with conducting the facility/ operation. After the 9 month period, if the applicant still does not comply, the facility/ operation must be closed and the applicant may not be allowed to carry on with conducting of the facility/ operation.
- Game farm owners with threatened or protected species who are the holders of exemption permits or CAE’s, may continue to operate under the exemption permit or CAE for a period of 6 months following the 1st February 2008, within which period the owner of the game farm may apply for registration. If the game farm owner does not apply for registration during the 6 month period, the threatened or protected species must be removed from the exemption permit or CAE after the 6 month period, and the owner of the game farm may then only undertake restricted activities involving threatened or protected species in terms of an ordinary permit on an individual basis. Any species not listed as threatened or protected, will still remain on the exemption permit or CAE.
9.11 PROVISIONS RELATING TO STANDING PERMITS
- The following persons/ organizations qualify for standing permits:
- Provincial departments – to carry out restricted activities on land under their jurisdiction, and for the control of damage causing animals originating from protected areas. An ordinary permit valid for 1 year may be issued for the control of damage causing animals originating from areas other than protected areas.
- National departments – to undertake restricted activities on land under their jurisdiction.
- Management authorities of protected areas, including SANParks – to undertake restricted activities within the protected areas in accordance with their management plans.
- A veterinarian – to undertake restricted activities necessary for the treatment of threatened or protected species.
- A person conducting a registered captive breeding operation – to undertake any restricted activity necessary for the keeping and breeding of TOPS specimens and to manage the captive breeding operation.
- A person conducting a registered nursery – to undertake any restricted activity necessary for the cultivation and selling of TOPS specimens and the management of the nursery.
- The operator of a registered sanctuary or rehabilitation facility – to undertake any restricted activities necessary for the care and treatment of specimens brought to the facilities.
- The head or operator of, or person authorised in writing by, a registered scientific institution – to undertake any restricted activities involving specimens kept by the institution or being researched by the institution.
- The operator or head of a registered commercial exhibition facility – to undertake any restricted activities necessary for the exhibition of species and management of the exhibition facility.
- The owner of a registered game farm – to undertake any restricted activities necessary for the management of the game farm.
- A registered wildlife trader – to undertake any restricted activities necessary to operate as a wildlife trader (includes taxidermists, game capturers, curio dealers or traders of live game).
- Registration of a captive breeding operation, nursery, sanctuary, rehabilitation facility, scientific institution, commercial exhibition facility or as a wildlife trader is a prerequisite to qualify for a standing permit.
- Registration by provincial or national departments, management authorities of protected areas or veterinarians is not a prerequisite to obtain standing permits.
- Issuing authorities may decide for which species or restricted activities they will issue standing permits, for which species or restricted activities they will issue permits on an individual basis only, or for which species or restricted activities they will not issue permits at all.
- Issuing authorities may issue standing permits for wildlife traders, rehabilitation facilities or sanctuaries for species not necessarily occurring in the facility at the time of the application, but for which the facilities are approved for such species. In this case issuing authorities must impose measures to verify legal acquisition of the species.
- The main activity of any facility/ operation may only be undertaken on the premises as indicated on the standing permit.
Example: A wildlife trader may sell curio products only from the premises as indicated on the standing permit, but may purchase, and subsequently transport, from any supplier in the country. The same principle applies to the breeding and keeping of species in a captive breeding operation, selling of plant species by a nursery, treatment or care of species in a sanctuary or rehabilitation facility, etc. Issuing authorities must impose measures to verify/ regulate legal acquisition of stock.
- The standing permits for taxidermists, who register as wildlife traders, may be valid throughout the country for the purpose of collecting hunting trophies from game farms, and for transporting and possessing while so transporting, the trophies to the taxidermist.
- Freight agents who also on regular basis collect trophies from game farms, and dip and ship agents may be issued with ordinary permits valid throughout the country for the purpose of collecting and conveying hunting trophies.
- Standing permits for live game (example for game capturers or wildlife traders trading with live game) are only valid within the province where it has been issued.
- Game capturers who are the owners of quarantine facilities must also register the quarantine facilities as rehabilitation facilities and obtain the standing permits to keep TOPS specimens in the quarantine facilities.
- Game farm owners, who have not registered, do not qualify for standing permits. In the case of non-registration, a game farm owner has to apply for an individual ordinary permit to undertake any restricted activity.
- The standing permits for registered game farms do not in any way affect the exemption permits or CAE’s for species not listed as threatened or protected.
- In the case where a person registers in one province, and obtain standing permits in more than one province, the issuance of the standing permits by provinces who did not issue the registration certificate, will still be subject to an inspection.
Example: If a person registers as a rehabilitation facility in his/ her home province, but has a satellite facility in another province, the person has to register only once. The province who issues the sanding permit for the satellite facility, will still need to do an inspection before the standing permit will be issued.
9.12 ORDINARY PERMITS
- Ordinary permits are issued for any restricted activities not provided for in standing permits, or that involve once-off activities.
- Provision has not been made for standing permits for falconers, therefore an open ordinary permit (information on the conveyance from where, to where, will not be available) may be issued, valid for one year, authorizing the keeping and transporting of falcons, valid in the province where it has been issued only. It is recommended that collection of falcons be authorised by ordinary permits on individual basis only.
- A person does not need to apply for a permit for the keeping of threatened or protected species in the case where birds nest naturally on premises, or where listed plants grow naturally.
Example: If a pair of blue cranes nests on a game farm, but the birds are not confined in a cage, the owner of the land do not have to apply for a permit to keep the birds. However, the owner of the land will not be allowed to capture the birds or to undertake any other restricted activity without a TOPS permit.
9.13 GENERAL PERMIT PROVISIONS
- To phase in the issuance of TOPS permits, DEAT will provide pre-printed formats of registration certificates, standing permits, ordinary permits, game farm hunting permits, personal effects permits and nursery possession permits to all issuing authorities.
- In the mean time, DEAT is in the process of developing an electronic permit system. When implemented, all issuing authorities should be able to issue TOPS permits electronically.
- TOPS regulations do not regulate professional hunting. Professional hunters and hunting outfitters still need to register as such in terms of provincial legislation.
- TOPS regulations do not regulate CITES provisions. Therefore, in the case of importing/ exporting/ re-exporting a TOPS specimen which is also a CITES specimen, both a TOPS permit and a CITES permit is required.
10. FLOW DIAGRAMS FOR EASY REFERENCE
10.1 PERMIT APPLICATIONS (TOPS Regulations Chapter 2)
10.2 REGISTRATION PROCESS (Chapter 3 – Regulations)
10.3 APPEAL PROCESS
10.4 RENEWAL OF PERMITS / REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES
10.5 AMENDMENT OF PERMITS / REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES
A permit or registration certificate may be amended by:
- Removing a condition
- Changing a condition
- Adding a condition
- Updating or changing any detail on the permit or registration certificate
- Correcting a technical or editorial error on the permit or registration certificate
- Implementation date: 1st February 2008
- The following permits apply to a registered game farm:
- Registration certificate
- Standing permit
- Game farm hunting permits (issued by game farm owner to hunter)
- The following permits apply to the owner of a registered nursery:
- Registration certificate
- Standing permit
- Nursery possession permit (issued by the nursery owner to the customer)
- The following permits apply to a wildlife trader:
- Registration certificate
- Standing permit
- Personal effects permit (issued by a wildlife trader to the customer)
- Species not listed as threatened or protected are regulated in terms of provincial conservation legislation.
- Substantial amendments to the TOPS regulations to take note of:
Insertion of definitions for:
- Environmental assessment practitioner
- Fair chase principle
- Game capturer
- Hunting organization
- Hunting outfitter
- Rhinoceros horn (for the purpose of marking)
- Threatened species
Amendment of definitions of:
- Size requirement for elephant ivory
- Hunting client
- Removal of lion from “listed large predator”
- Personal effects permit
- Put and take animal
- Registered wildlife trader
- Scientific institution
Amendment of Regulations
- Regulation 3 (4) inserted
- Regulation 4 (4) inserted
- Regulation 7 (2) inserted
- Regulation 14 (7) inserted (related to damage causing animals)
- Regulation 25 amended (related to cycads)
- Validity period of permanent possession permits amended from 54 months to 50 years
- Regulation 71 amended (related to transitional period for implementation of the Biodiversity Management Plan for cycads)
- Regulation 73 amended (related to offences)
- Application forms
- Species lists to include certain cycad species, and exclude certain marine species.
National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA)
+27 11 726 8040