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Factions and their Princes recognize the Trade Permits that a Star Trader may carry with the stamp of approval of a Faction. These Trade Permits are issued by individual Factions and are integral to the system of trading that supports the Star Trader civilization. They allow a captain to gain access to what might otherwise be considered restricted trading within the Star Traders Exchange. What may be illegal for an unlicensed merchant captain to sell on the Exchange may be perfectly legal for a Star Trader captain carrying a verified Trading Permit with the Faction’s seal. Trading Permits are another way that the Factions cater to Star Traders to gain their loyalty, business and services.
There are 4 levels of Trade Permits (Spice, Free, Full, Principal). Trade Permits can be obtained from select faction contacts, when a captain has sufficient reputation with the contact to be deemed worthy of such an honor. Not all contacts can issue up to a level 4 Permit. A Permit is only good with the faction that issues it, but it applies at all faction worlds throughout the galaxy.
Trade Permit levels correspond to the permit levels of trade goods. Each Trade good has a permit level from 0-4, with 0 meaning that the good does not require any type of permit. In order to trade a permit level 2 trade good for example, a trader needs a level 2 (Free Trader) trade permit or higher with the given faction. It is important to note that Trade Permits and levels have nothing to do with the legality of a particular good. Higher trade permits do not change whether a good is deemed legal or illegal in a given zone. It is also important to note that a good's permit level does not change across factions or zones. A permit level 3 good will require a Full Trader Permit on any world it is sold. The only exception being that Independent zones do not recognize Permits or permit levels on trade goods, thus making them ideal places to unload high permit level goods.