Singapore became a Signatory to CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in 1986. CITES is an international agreement designed to ensure that trade does not threaten wildlife species with extinction.
The national legislation that gives effect to CITES is the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, which gives legal effect to the implementation and enforcement of the Convention in Singapore.
Under the Act, a permit is required to import, export, re-export and introduce from the sea a scheduled species.
Under the Act, it is an offence to import and export any endangered species without a permit from AVA. It is also an offence to possess, sell, offer or expose for sale, or display to the public any of these species, if it has been illegally imported. Any person or company caught violating the ESA is liable to be prosecuted in Court and fined up to a maximum of S$50,000 for each animal or plant ( but not to exceed in the aggregate S$500,000 ) and/or to imprisonment for a term up to 2 years.
Additionally, in relation to non-endangered species, it is an offence under the Wild Animals and Birds Act to keep most wild animals as pets without a license. Under the Act, any person who kills, takes or keeps any wild animal or bird, other than those specified in the Schedule, without a licence shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and to the forfeiture of the wild animal or bird.