Bringing your Pets to Costa Rica
Bringing pets to Costa Rica is easier than you may think. If you are planning to move to Costa Rica and want to bring your pet with you, here are the requirements and process to do so. The procedure differs if you are traveling with your pet or if you are shipping your pet separately.
1. If Your Pet is Traveling or Accompanied by you on the Airline Flight.
If you are traveling to Costa Rica on an airline with your pet (dog or cat) then you will need to present the following documents at the Costa Rica customs department when you arrive in Costa Rica.
A. Present an International Veterinary Certificate (original and a copy). The International Health Certificate for the export of pets is completed by an accredited veterinarian in your home country who certifies the health status of the pet and conducts test and records the results.
The certificate will indicate that your pet was examined by an authorized veterinary. It will also state that the pet has been treated with medication to ensure that it is free of any parasites and ticks. The examination should be conducted within 2 weeks of your intended departure date.
B. Present a Certificate of Vaccination. In addition to the veterinary certification if you are bring a dog into the country you must demonstrate that it has been vaccinated against moquillo, hepatatis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies. In the case of a cat you must show that they have their rabies vaccination.
Note: Before you travel contact your airline to inquire about their policy and procedures for traveling with pets.
2. If You Are Shipping Your Pet Separately.
If you are shipping your pet to Costa Rica unaccompanied by the owner since it is transported as cargo you will need to provide in addition to the International Veterinary Certificate indicated above an a completed import request form DCA-PG-12-RE-02. In addition the local “importer” that is receiving the pet must have a Customs Clearance Authorization Form which is provided through a Customs Broker. If you decide to ship your pet in this manner it is recommended that you hire the services of a local Customs broker to assist you with the clearance process in Costa Rica.
The office in Costa Rica that establishes the regulations for the importation of animals to Costa Rica is the National Animal Health Services known as SENASA. The laws which govern the import of pets to Costa Rica is the General Animal Health Law No. 8495 and the Animal Sanitation Regulations No. 14584-A You can obtain further information directly at the SENASA website http://senasa.go.cr