Applying for a permit to travel to the Antarctic

Although the Antarctic does not "belong" to anyone as such, anybody travelling to the territory covered by the Antarctic Treaty must comply with certain rules during their stay. Any German national planning an activity in the Antarctic or organising a journey which originates in Germany must be granted approval from the German Federal Environment Agency.

According to the Act implementing the Protocol of Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (AUG), all activities in the Antarctic which are organised in Germany or proceed from its territory require official approval. A permit for the planned activity, for example by researchers, tourists or journalists, must be granted by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in Dessau-Roßlau, which is the competent authority in this regard. The application for the permit must be submitted in writing and well in advance of the planned activity. The UBA will subsequently take a decision on whether to issue a permit.

You will find information about the legal framework on the pages about the Antarctic Treaty System. On the following pages you can read up on the permitting procedure in Germany and download the application forms.

You will find all necessary questionnaires for your application on the page “Overview of application forms”. Based on the descriptions in the questionnaires, the UBA staff evaluates the impact of your planned activity on the assets to be protected and listed in the AIEP. As result of this evaluation a permit is issued for your activity, which can contain provisos and conditions.