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This is the most popular time of year for folks to visit Costa Rica, especially those experiencing the “polar vortex” up north. And many people wouldn’t think about traveling without their pets. Here’s a good place to start to find out what you need to know to bring your dog or cat into Costa Rica. The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica has published the requirements for importation and exportation of cats and dogs on it’s website. Here’s the post:
The dog or cat must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, and endorsed by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) veterinarian. That endorsement needs to be done by the APHIS Veterinary Services Area Office in your home state. Contact information for that office can be found on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), then clicking on, “Travel with my pet”, on the right side. Additional information shall include:
- The dog/cat was examined and found to be healthy and free of any clinical signs of infectious disease. This examination should be conducted within 2 weeks of the departure date.
- Dogs were vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, Leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies.
- Cats were vaccinated against rabies.
- See Certification Statement No. 2 above.
- Animals over 3 months of age must be vaccinated against rabies.
- It is recommended that an International Certificate (APHIS FORM 7001) for Small Animals be used.
- The health certificate should be made out in duplicate.
- The health certificate does NOT need to be signed by a Notary Public, nor does it need to be stamped by the Costa Rican Consular office.
- Animals exported in commercial lot numbers must be accompanied by an Import Permit. Personal pets (dogs or cats) do NOT need an Import Permit.
- The official rabies vaccination certificate must accompany the health documents and is valid for the period of the vaccine (1 or 3 years).
- The dog/cat and supporting documentation will be inspected/reviewed upon arrival to Costa Rica.
TO TAKE YOUR DOG OR CAT FROM COSTA RICA BACK TO THE UNITED STATES.
(Of course, if you are returning to a country other than the United States, you should check with your embassy.)
- You will need a Certificate of Good Health from your veterinarian in Costa Rica and an authorization issued by the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture (SENASA-Departamento de Cuarentena Animal).
- Normally, your Costa Rican veterinarian can take care of all the required authorizations. If he/she does not, you will also need to visit the Ministry of Agriculture directly to obtain the authorization. The Ministry (SENASA- Cuarentena Animal) is located in Barrial de Heredia, Jardines del Recuerdo, 2 Km West, 400 Meters South, Heredia. Telephone number: 2260-8300 Ext. 2024 or 2093 or 2260-9046.
- You will need to take with you to the Ministry the following stamps, which can be purchased at most book/stationary stores: one “fiscal” stamp of ¢25.00 and one “archivo” stamp of ¢5.00.
To pay the required fee, you must deposit ¢4,717.00 (please confirm the correct amount with SENASA before depositing since amounts change frequently) into one of the following accounts:
|BANCO||No CUENTA||MONEDA||NOMBRE||CUENTA CLIENTE|
|Banco de Costa Rica||001-262585-7||COLONES||Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal||1520100102 625857|
|Banco de Costa Rica||001-259744-6||DOLARES||Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal||1520100102 5974467|
|Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal||161-010-089-1-019474-1||COLONES||Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal||161010089 10194741|
|Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal||161-010-089-2-001776-5||DOLARES||Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal||161010089 20017765|
|Banco Nacional de Costa Rica||100-01-061-000890-1||COLONES||Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal||151061100 10008909|
|Banco Nacional de Costa Rica||100-02-061-600392-3||DOLARES||Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal||151061100 26003920|
|Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago||105519621||COLONES||Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal||15302001055 196219|
|Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago||105519622||DOLARES||Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal||15302001055 196225
It takes approximately ONE to TWO working days for the Ministry of Agriculture to issue your authorization.
This should be done within 30 days of your trip to the U.S.
IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT THE COSTA RICA APHIS OFFICE.
TEL. (506) 2290-4548, FAX (506) 2296-3556.
- Link to the article on the U.S.Embassy website: http://costarica.usembassy.gov/catsdogs.html