Regulated Activity Permit

If you are visiting South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands for a purpose other than tourism, a Regulated Activity Permit (RAP) may be required.

There are three categories of application depending on the complexity of your project. This will ensure that environmental assessments are scalable and commensurate with the potential impacts of activities and appropriate safety and search and rescue provision is in place. Some activities require a permit under the Wildlife and Protected Areas Ordinance 2011 (WPA) particularly where they involve interactions with wildlife, plants and/or import or export of samples. This permitting requirement will be incorporated within the RAP application process. Failure to have a permit or breaking the terms of a permit could be a criminal offence under the WPA.

Please read the descriptions your below to assess if you require a permit and if so what application form you should use.

A RAP is NOT required if:

  • The project does not involve undertaking any activities that would not ordinarily be undertaken during a normal visitor landing and in accordance with the conditions of the Visit Permit.

 

Examples of activities which do not require a regulated activity permit would be:

– Journalists, travel writers or bloggers taking part in a permitted tourist visit.

– Observational studies of animal behavior or census.

– Vegetation surveys.

 


 

You should use a Category 1 application form if:

  • The project would be undertaken at designated visitor landing sites AND/OR is an approved project based at a BAS station and is within the agreed travel limits.
  • For projects supported by yachts/cruise ships, no overnight stays ashore are required.
  • The project does not necessitate approaching any wild bird or mammal closer than 10 m.
  • The project does not involve any activity that would otherwise disturb or harm wild birds or mammals.
  • The project does not involve taking samples of macroscopic marine organisms or samples from sea bed habitats
  • If soil or vegetation samples are to be collected, they would not impact an area greater than 1 m2 and any minor damage to the immediate environment is likely to recover in less than 1 year.
  • If a UAV is being used, it does not involve flight over wildlife, buildings or people.
  • Procedures outlined in the GSGSSI biosecurity handbook will be followed at all times.
  • No equipment or other marking devices will be left in the Territory.
  • No hazardous materials will be brought into the Territory.
  • No dyes or chemicals will be discharged into the environment.
  • A clear plan is in place to remove all waste from the project.

Processing time: 2-6 weeks
Processing fee: £50
Application window: Applications may be submitted at any time
Download: Category 1 Guide [.pdf, 0.6mb]
Download: Category 1 Application Form [.docx, 0.06mb]

Examples of activities falling under Category 1 would be:

– Hand collection of plant, invertebrate or habitat samples in the terrestrial or freshwater environment providing collection method does not cause more than minor and transitory damage.

– Undertaking UAV flights which are for the purpose of approved science or media projects providing they meet our standard operating procedures.

 


 

You should use a Category 2 application form if:

  • The project involves undertaking activities which are not permissible under a category 1 permit
  • The project would be supported from a vessel where the primary purpose was to support media/science work and there was a request to go to a non-visitor landing site AND/OR is an approved project based at a BAS station but where there was a request to work beyond the agreed travel limits.
  • For projects supported by yachts/cruise ships, no overnight stays ashore are required.
  • The project does not involve handling any species which are listed by the IUCN as threatened.
  • The project does not involve the permanent or semi-permanent installation of equipment.
  • The project does not involve any element of animal husbandry or experimentation.
  • The project does not involve any seismic survey work or high energy profiling.

Processing time: 1-3 months
Processing fee: £400
Application window: April-June
Download: Category 2 Guide [.pdf, 0.6mb]
Download: Category 2 Application Form [.docx, 0.06mb]

Examples of activities falling under Category 2 would be:

– Conducting scientific research that involves handling or taking samples from wild birds or mammals providing the project has been ethically reviewed and where the target species is not listed by the IUCN as Threatened.

– Installation of devises such as marker posts, cameras, buoys, antenna or other equipment providing there is a clear plan and evidence of funding to remove the equipment within a defined period.

– Taking samples of macroscopic marine organisms or samples of sea bed habitats.

– Operate a UAV outside of the standard operating procedure i.e. flight over wildlife for science or media purposes.

 


 

You should use a Category 3 application form if:

  • The project involves undertaking activities which are not permissible under a category 1 or 2 permit.
  • GSGSSI had assessed a category 1 or 2 permit application and deemed there was a possibility of there being a greater than minor or transitory impact to the environment i.e. because there had been a serious problem/incident in previous work AND/OR there was a need for an additional assessment of the safety and search and rescue arrangements.
  • The project is supported by a yacht/cruise ship and requires to stay overnight ashore i.e. expeditions.

Processing time: 2-6 months (depending on project complexity)
Processing fee: approximately £1000
Application window: TBA
For Category 3, email permits@gov.gs and we will work on a case by case basis.

Examples of activities falling under Category 3 would be:

– Installation devices when it is intended that the placement will be semi-permanent and there is no specified date for removal.

– Undertaking seismic survey work or high energy profiling.

– Undertaking a project that has an element of animal husbandry and experimentation.

– Handling species that are listed by IUCN as Threatened.

 


 

Permit Renewals

If your project forms part of a long-term study which was granted a permit the previous year, you can apply for a permit renewal for up to 3-years providing all reporting requirements have been met. After this point you will need to re-submit a full application.

Where projects involve animal handling, confirmation that projects have been renewed and approved by the Animal Welfare and Ethics review board is needed each year.

Where projects involve use of a UAV, you need to apply to Air Safety Support International each year for permission under the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order.

Unless you specifically ask for a reduction in sample types or quantities, the permit you are issued will be for the same as in previous years. If you need to increase sample amounts, you need to send a justification and consider if this changes your previous environmental assessment

GSGSSI reserves the right to require applicants to complete a full application if there are any environmental or safety concerns regarding the project.

Processing time: 2-6 weeks
Processing fee: £50
Application window: April – June
Download: Regulated Activity Permit Application for Renewal [.docx, 0.1mb]


 

Note that if your project involves use of a UAV which is to be used for the purpose of aerial work or surveillance you also require a permit under the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 2013. This should be appended to your Regulated Activity Permit application. For enquiries about permits under the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order, please contact Air Safety Support International enquiries@airsaftey.aero.

If you are still uncertain what application form you require, please email permits@gov.gs.

Please note that there are some activities that GSGSSI will not ordinarily permit. These include:

  • Use of aircraft including helicopters and hot air balloons.
  • Field projects which are not supported by BAS and that do not have a dedicated support vessel.
  • Use of explosives.
  • Importation of non-native species.
  • Methods or activities that are banned under CCAMLR.

 

Exceptions to the above may be granted by the Commissioner in exceptional circumstances.

Persons wishing to carry out activities that are covered by international law, treaty or convention e.g. UNCLOS should ensure that they comply with all relevant requirements.