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Moving to Panama with your pet

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Bringing your pets to Panama is permitted, so long as certain procedures are followed. What follows is a guide; your vet at home will have access to and a better understanding of requirements for any country, and Panama’s requirements are no stricter than most.

Even if you intend to trust your vet to do what is necessary as regards vacinations etc, it is advisable to check the conditions with the Panamanian embassy or consul in your area, or the Ministry of Agriculture of Panama.

It is also recommended to seek information on the health risks in the country and take all necessary precautions for your pet. Transport conditions also have to be checked with your carrier or with the International Air Transport Association (IATA)

There are specialist pet movers who will take the responsibility for getting your animal from A to B, and they may or may not get involved in the preparation too. They will certainly want to make sure all the processes and documentation are complete before playing their part in the move.

Most of the information you will find, here and elsewhere, concerns dogs, as they are the kind of pet most likely to be taken along. For other, less common animals, you should again contact your vet and do your own research.

Procedures

Your pet must be in possession of a health card mentioning its race, name, as well as its owner's contact information. It must also have a rabies vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before the scheduled date of departure, as well as an animal origin certificate. Note that the health certificate must also mention that your pet has received treatment against parasites such as fleas, ticks and worms. It must also wear an identification microchip.

Thereafter, you must obtain an import license from the Ministry of Health of Panama. Your pet may be quarantined upon its arrival in the country.

 Good to know:

There is no limit on the number of pets you can bring to Panama.

Arrival

The import licence must be sent in dvance to the quarantine department of the airport at which you will land. On arrival, your pet will be inspected by a licenced veterinarian. Fees apply. Additional fees will apply if you arrive before 9 am or after 3 pm or during the week-end. You will also have to pay quarantine fees of some US$ 130 per animal for a period of 40 days.

However, animals with no symptoms of fatigue or illness may be allowed to leave on the same day.

  Attention:

You will have to leave the port of entry without your pet if you have not sent the quarantine request form in advance. It will then be taken into custody by the immigration service. You will need to come back to complete the inspection procedures and other formalities.

Exotic animals

If you want to travel with exotic animals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals, you must be in possession of the following documents:

 Useful links:

Ministry of Agriculture of Panama
Ministry of Health of Panama
IATA

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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expat.com Your favourite team
Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
2 Comments
throatpuncher
throatpuncher
10 months ago

what about service dogs? i am blind and must have my dog with me at all times. i also have a service dog for a rare form of diabetes. they can hardly quarantine animals that i need for my health, can they?

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Toddlewis
Toddlewis
3 years ago

A good start...there is a lot to be done, much of it at the last moment. Consider a pet relocation expert if the fee is not an issue.

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See also

Expats moving to Panama should find a reliable moving company, though those moving from the Americas may consider moving their belongings themselves.
Panama customs do not impose many restrictions on foreigners. However, firearms must be declared on arrival. These will be retained until your departure.
The investor visa grants permanent residence in Panama for two years. The agricultural investment visa grants six years temporary residence.
Located in Central America, Panama is popular with expats due to its tropical climate as well as its stable government and economy.
Expat entrepreneurs are able to establish a business in Panama, though different types of company have different requirements.

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