Sabah Crest


Sabah Crest
SABC logo


Transfer Licence FAQ

Can I renew my export licence?

No, you can only apply for new export licence. The procedure and processing time are the same.

When should I apply for export licence?

You are required to apply for an export licence from Sabah Biodiversity Council when you have decided to export biological specimens out of Sabah for the purpose of research.

You may refer the following submission deadlines to plan ahead:

Series 1 - Deadline: February 28th (Approval Mar/Apr)

Series 2 - Deadline: May 31st (Approval Jun/Jul)

Series 3 - Deadline: August 31st (Approval Sep/Oct)

Series 4 - Deadline: November 30th (Approval Dec/Jan following year)

Do I need to apply for transfer licence if my specimen is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)?

Yes, as long as you require the specimen/samples for research purposes, you are required to apply for transfer licence from Sabah Biodiversity Council.

Interpretation of animal, animal product and plant under Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997:

  • animal means any vertebrate or invertebrate and the eggs thereof but does not include any domestic animal or the eggs thereof;
  • animal product means - (a) an ovum, embryo or sperm of an animal or any other part or product of an animal from which another animal could be produced; (b) any dung, cocoon, eggshell, nest, honey, beeswax or other product or thing produced by or from or built by an animal; (c) any dead animal or part thereof whether or not included in a manufactured or processed article which is labelled as containing or claims to contain animal products except where it has ceased to be in a readily identifiable form as a result of such manufacturing or processing; or (d) anything having animal connections declared by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to be an animal product
  • plant means any species of plant or any part thereof whether living or dead and includes the stem, branch, tuber, bulb, corm, stock, budwood, cutting, layer, slip, sucker, root, leaf, flower, fruit, seed, or any other part or product whatsoever of a plant whether severed or attached but does not include any plant product that has undergone a process of heat and drying treatment.
Do i need to provide any other document if an import permit is not required by my importing country?

You must provide evidence of non requirement of a permit when you lodged your application with the relevant authorities that govern the export of the said material from Sabah

If I fail to obtain Phytosanitary Certificate from Department of Agriculture, Sabah and/ or any other relevant permits from relevant authorities, can i still export the materials?

You are not allowed to export because you fail to meet the terms and conditions stipulated in your transfer licence issued by Sabah Biodiversity Council

I am exporting less than 500g of soil for research purposes, do i need to obtain an import permit from the importing country?

The prohibition of soil movement is regulated worldwide (including interstate within Malaysia) and you can't export without the importing country approval. Though exemption might be given for research purposes, you are still required to obtain an import permit from the importing country (or the State/ Federal Department of Agriculture if within Malaysia) regardless of the amount of soil you intend to export after obtaining the consent from Sabah Biodiversity Council. 

If my export licence is approved while I'm away from Sabah, what should I do?

You are to ensure that the samples/ specimens collected are kept safe with your local collaborator in Sabah. If your transfer licence is approved, you may remotely arrange with your local collaborator on how to send the samples/ specimens to you by adhering to the terms and conditions stated in the export licence. It is an offence to remove biological resources from Sabah for the purpose of research without the consent of Sabah Biodiversity Council

If granted, how long is the validity of my export licence?

The validity of your export licence is one (1) year from the date of approval. However, the export licence is a single-use licence and subsequent export activities would require new export application. If you wish to transfer more than once in a year, please state in your export licence application online form the frequency of export.

What should I do if I plan to export specimen from species listed under CITES/ Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 out of Sabah for the purpose of research?

You are required to obtain a CITES permit and/or Permit to Take Out from Sabah Wildlife Department/ Department of Fisheries Sabah, after obtaining the export licence from SaBC.