The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was agreed in 1991 and came into force in 1998, once it had been ratified by all 26 (now 28) Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties (ATCPs). The UK has enacted domestic legislation to enforce the provisions of the Protocol through the Antarctic Act 1994. This legislation introduced a very strict environmental protection regime, with which BAS must comply. UK activities in Antarctica require permits issued on behalf of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Conducting activities in Antarctica without first obtaining a permit, or breaching of permit conditions, or breach of a prohibition, is an offence punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
PLEASE NOTE: All permit application forms are currently being reviewed by the FCO. It is likely that these new application forms will be ready by the end of June 2013. If you think you will require a permit, please contact the Antarctic Funding Office for advice in the first instance.
Section 3 permits are required for any person on a British expedition to Antarctica. The Antarctic Funding Coordinator will ensure that all fieldwork personnel are named on the BAS Section 3 permit. Therefore, Principal Investigators of projects that will be conducting field work in the Antarctic (and sub Antarctic) do not need to apply for a Section 3 permit.
Additional permits, as identified below, are needed by Principal Investigators whose projects involve the following:
Collecting of any geological samples – including lake and marine sediment cores. Such samples are deemed to be ‘mineral resources’.
If your project requires a Section 6 permit, submit a completed Section 6 Antarctic Permit form, to the Antarctic Funding Office. Please note that all permit application forms are currently being reviewed by the FCO. These new forms should be available by the end of June. If you think you will require a Section 6 permit, please contact the Antarctic Funding Office in the first instance.
If your project is likely to require a Section 7, 8, 9 or 11 permit, you should contact the Antarctic Funding Office no later than 19th April 2013. BAS has delegated authority to grant permits for Section 7, 8 or 9 activities to BAS staff only.