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Transfer Licence Application Form


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Please read carefully as the procedure is different from Access Licence application

In order to bring any biological resources out of the State of Sabah, the researcher or collector is required to have an Transfer Licence. The licence can be applied together with the Access Licence application or apply separately at a later time when need arises. However, you are required to declare your intention to export in the Access Licence application form. You are recommended to apply as soon as you have decided to export the biological resources out of Sabah as the procedures may take a longer time to finalise (refer to the application flow chart below). Please take note that the processing time will be longer than Access Licence application and your Access Licence approval does not guarantee your Transfer Licence application will be successful. This Transfer Licence is a single-use licence (valid for one year and one time shipment only), subsequent export activities would require new transfer application

Guidelines on applying for Transfer Licence

  • Researcher and local collaborator are required to make every effort to conduct analyses in Sabah utilising the exisiting facilities and expertise
  • If the analyses cannot be done in Sabah, the researcher and the local collaborator are required to justify the reason for export and to propose efforts in enhancing capacity building of the local institutions (include this in your application)
  • If your analyses are partially conducted locally, please specify this in your application
  • Be specific and elaborate on the research activities/ analyses


What you should know before applying for licence

  • Your application will not be processed until all the necessary supporting documents and information have been received
  • The Committee and Council members will deliberate your Transfer Licence application with the supporting information and documents to decide on your application. Therefore you are advised to be specific and elaborate on the analyses you wish to conduct and to provide strong justification of your intention and purpose of export. For example, "chemical analysis"/ "DNA analysis" not sufficient to describe the activity. In addition to that, you are adviced to work with local institutions to enhance capacity building/ technology transfer
  • All applications must be submitted to sabc@sabah.gov.my. If you do not receive confirmation from us through email after submission, please check your spam or junk mail



  1. Completed application form for transfer licence
  2. Photocopy of Passport or MyKad
  3. Progress report (report on findings, result of analyses- if you have applied before)
  4. Letter of support from the Malaysia institution/ organisation/ local collaborator that will collaborate in this research (This is a letter from your local collaborator (based in Sabah) that will collaborate in this research to support your export intention and recommend ways to enhance capacity building of the local institutions. Letter of consent as local collaborator is not acceptable and cannot be used to support your export intention.)


What's next?

  • Once we have the result of your application from the Access and Transfer Licence committee and/or Sabah Biodiversity Council, you will be notified through email whether your application is approved or rejected (please check your spam or junk mail if you do not hear from us).
  • If your application is successful, you are required to complete the Statutory Declaration Form before we can release the Export Licence. Please take note that the Statutory Declaration Form must be signed in the presence of a Sessions Court Judge, Magistrate, or Commissioner for Oaths in Sabah or in Malaysia. You may download the Statutory Declaration Form here.


Compliance Requirements- things you must do after obtaining your transfer licence

  • You are only allowed to export the type of biological resources including the amount/volume and execute the number of shipment listed in your transfer licence
  • Your local collaborator needs to fill in the Material Transfer Declaration Form to verify the samples before you could export. Therefore, you are required to work closely with your local collaborator during this process.
  • Permission granted is subject to terms and conditions stated in your licence including other governing laws listed in terms and conditions no.4

Information below is to guide you to fulfill terms and conditions no.4 listed in your transfer licence (other relevant documents for export including but not limited to the followings):

  • CITES Permit: Please note for species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the export of CITES specimens require the application of an additional permit (CITES permit) from Sabah Wildlife Department (animal- except fish and coral, and plant- except marine plant and timber), Sabah Forestry Department (timber), Sabah Fisheries Department (fish, coral and marine plant) after transfer licence is issued. An import permit from the importing/ requesting country is also required.
  • Permit to take out animal etc.: An application for a permit to take an animal, animal product or plant out of the State shall be made in Form 22 in Schedule 1 and be accompanied by the fee set out in item 13 of Schedule 2  under Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997- Wildlife Regulations 1998. Applicant may apply from Sabah Wildlife Department either from Kota Kinabalu (HQ) office, Keningau, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan or Tawau office after transfer licence is issued. An import permit from the importing/ requesting country is also required (subject to the country's requirement). 
  • Phytosanitary Certificate (PC): Plant Quarantine Act 1976- The export (including interstate within Malaysia) for any species of plants 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 (fruits, herbs, pickle, dried fermented fruit, herbal) that has undergone a process of heat and drying treatment. Herbarium specimen (silica gel, oven dried etc.), plant tissue samples (clean, cut-up, oven dried etc.), propagated plants or any part thereof are subject to PC issuance. Applicant may apply for PC from Department of Agriculture Sabah either from Kota Kinabalu (HQ) office, Lahad Datu, Sandakan or Tawau office after transfer licence is issued. An import permit from the importing/ requesting country is also required (subject to the country's requirement). Note: PC is a patented health certificate based on the International Plant Protection Convention applied by all importing countries. PC is used to attest that consignments meet phytosanitary (regarding plants) import requirements and in accordance to the International Standards on Phytosanitary Measure no 12 (ISPM 12). (ISPM 12:2011 Phytosanitary certificates).
  • Export of soil samples for research: You are required to obtain import permit from the importing/ requesting country (including interstate within Malaysia from Department of Agriculture) and fully adhere to the import condition set by the importing country and the terms and conditions stated in your transfer licence. 
  • Packing instructions: You are required to adhere to packing instructions set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  • Any other laws: Information provided is only intended to be general guideline. You must perform due diligence with your local collaborator to comply with any other applicable written laws governing the export of the said material from Sabah to the importing countries including import permit (if applicable).

IMPORTANT NOTE: The transfer consent is subject to other written laws governing the transfer of the said materials from Sabah to the importing countries.

  • You must comply with other terms and conditions stated in your transfer licence.

Note: Should your application is not approved, you may appeal through SaBC within the period of 3 months beginning from the date you received the decision.

How to collect my licence?

  • Print out and complete the Statutory Declaration Form (signed and stamped) and hand it over to SaBC office in order to collect your Transfer Licence in person.