Permission for export of natural history specimens

Under Act No. 60/1992, natural history specimens may not be exported from Iceland except with the permission of the Icelandic Institute of Natural History and under the conditions set by the Institute on each occasion. The same applies to micro-organisms originating in geothermal areas and their genetic material.

The Institute is responsible for evaluating whether a natural history specimen is unique or rare enough to constitute an Icelandic national treasure, which under no circumstances may be exported. Examples may include rare minerals and fossils.

The fee for issuance of an export licence for research samples is 58,500 ISK. The fee for export licences for members of the general public for souvenirs and mounted animals is 8,400 ISK, as per the IINH fee list.

A formal application should be sent with an application form (PDF) to the IINH by e-mail, The form can be filled out on the computer if opened in a PDF reader.

Bird ringing permits

The Icelandic Institute of Natural History is responsible for bird ringing in Iceland under Act No. 64/1994 on the protection, conservation and hunting of birds and wild mammals. The IINH has the sole authority to ring or otherwise mark wild birds in Iceland.

Bird ringing is carried out by bird enthusiasts and ornithologists who have received the necessary ringing permit. A basic ringing permit allows a bird ringer to capture wild birds, fit them with metal bird rings and then release them again after ringing is complete. Other marking is forbidden without an additional permit. Bird ringing is volunteer work, but bird ringers have rights to handle wild birds that others do not.

For more information, contact the IINH by telephone during office hours at +354-590-0500 or send an email to

More on bird ringing.