Collecting Permits in Neotropical Countries

Below are documents and web links that contain information on how to obtain collecting permits to perform fieldwork in South and Central American Countries. So far, only a few countries are included, but it is our intention to provide as much information as we can. If you have access to additional documents or web links to documentation on international cooperation and collecting permits, please contact Roberto E. Reis to include that information in this page.

The basic procedures for most countries have two main items in common: (1) field work activities must include joint participation and responsibility of local scientists/institutions, and (2) part of the collected material must be deposited in a local, appropriate institution.

-- Brazil --
The conduct of scientific expeditions in Brazil by foreign researchers (defined as "activities carried out within the Brazilian national territory by foreign individuals or foreign nationals involving travel of human and material resources with the objective of collecting data, materials, biological and mineral specimens, items of native and popular culture, past and present, by means of any resources and techniques, for the purpose of study, dissemination and research") is regulated in Brazil by the Decree No. 98.830 of January 15, 1990, of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Brazilian Government.

The full procedures and requirements for conducting field work in Brazil are published on the internet at - in English; and in Portuguese. This legislation basically mandate 1) that field work activities include joint participation and responsibility of a Brazilian institutional counterpart having a high level of scientific competence and reputation in the field of research related to the project and 2) that materials collected and subsequently identified as representative (for example types) will be restored to an appropriate Brazilian institution.

In addition, Brazil passed a new law on 29 June 2000, Medida Provisoria 2.052, on Access to Genetic Resources--i.e., research, collecting and export of genetic samples. It is intended to deal with access to and use of genetic information. Back to Top

-- Chile --
Please contact the Fisheries Sub-Secretary, at the address below. They will provide you with an application form and all other pertinent information.
Subsecretaría de Pesca
Ministerio de Economia, Fomento y Reconstrucción
Bellavista 168, p. 17
Valparaíso, CHILE
Back to Top

-- Colombia --
All scientific expeditions in Colombia, including those with foreign scientists, is regulated by the Decree No. 98.830 of February 29, 2000, of the Ministry of Environment of the Colombian Government. Read the Decree [as a html file] or download a [rtf version].

Back to Top

-- Costa Rica --
Some information on how to collect in Costa Rica is provided by the Organization for Tropical Studies. There are an OTS site in Costa Rica and a mirror in the USA. Back to Top

-- Ecuador --
Scientific expeditions in Ecuador by both local and foreign scientists are regulated by Federal Law # 36 of January 2000, issued by the Ministério del Ambiente (Ministry of Environment). Basic procedures to obtain the permit also include co-participation of an Ecuadorean scientist/institution and deposition of specimens in Ecuador. I xerox copy of that Law can be obtained from MCP Laboratory of Ichthyology - ask Roberto E. Reis. Back to Top

-- Guyana --
Foreing collections in Guyana are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which, as usual, requires the co-participation of Guyanan scientists. Please consult the Guyanan EPA homepage on Biodiversity for additional information. Back to Top

-- Panama --
The webpage of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute provides information on how to obtain permits to collect in Panama. Back to Top

-- Peru --
To collect fishes in Peru the foreign ichthyologist should contact a local colleague/institution who will take care of sending you the appropriate forms and procedures to be followed. Basically, one must present a detailed expedition project including objectives, places and expected duration of fieldwork, name and CVs of all personnel, and the intention of presenting reports and publications derived from the fieldwork. In addition, a defined portion of the collections should be deposited in a Peruvian institution. Collections in protected areas need a special permit from the INRENA (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales). Back to Top

-- Venezuela --
The basic rules are the same: foreign scientists can perform fieldwork in Venezuela when Venezuelan scientists act as counterparts. Details on applying to collecting permits can be read [as a html file] or downloaded as [rtf version]. Back to Top

Patience... We're working hard here !!!