Pet Passport Costa Rica
Regulations for taking a pet dog or cat to Costa Rica
Costa Rica does not quarantine healthy pets who meet the following requirements but these requirements must be followed exactly:
- Your dog or cat must be vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days prior to entry and the vaccination musst not have expired. Other vaccinations are also required within one year of entry.
- Your dog or cat will need a Veterinary Health Certificate for Costa Rica issued by a licensed veterinarian and endorsed by the USDA or CFIA depending on the country of origin (United States or Canada). If you are traveling from another country, the Governmental Authority of your country should endorse the forms.
- A copy of the Rabies Certificate should also be included for endorsement.
Import Permit is required under the following conditions:
- if your pet is not accompanied by you, the owner.
- If you are entering Costa Rica with two or more large breed dogs.
- If you are entering with 5 or more pets.
- If your pet is entering Costa Rica for commercial reasons (breeding, competition or resale.
- Your pet may be held for 24 hours for additional inspection and paperwork.
This completes a passport for your dog or cat to enter Costa Rica.
Please note that all requirements must be met or your pet will be
returned to the original destination or euthanised.
You will need to carry a personal letter stating your pet's market value or a document that proves it such as an invoice. Or, you may provide this information on the Veterinary Certificate.
All pets arriving as manifest cargo must have a Import Permit and the transport must be arranged by a licensed agent.
kittens under 3 months old may enter Costa Rica with a health
certificate endorsed by the governmental authority responsible for the
import and export of animals.
Failure to comply with these regulations will mean that your pet will be refused entry or returned to the country of origin or placed in quarantine, all at the expense of the person responsible for your pet.
Inspection: All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease
communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry to
Costa Rica. If your dog or cat is not in apparent good health, further examination by a
licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense.
Other Animals: Birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and rabbits are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to enter Costa Rica. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the country of destination.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a
turtle or parrot, you should verify that
it is not protected under the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITIES). You will need to apply for additional permits
if this is the case. Search their database.
Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITIES regulations. Read more about CITIES.
Veterinary Certificate: All countries have unique veterinary certificates. This form may differ from the veterinary certificate issued by veterinarians in the United States. (APHIS 7001) It is an essential part of the cat or dog passport.
Pet Microchip: Although Costa Rica does not require a pet microchip, we strongly recommend that you microchip your cat or dog prior to traveling.
Need a pet friendly hotel in Costa Rica?
The information published here is a guideline for pet owners importing their pet to Costa Rica. Further detail on import permits (if applicable), costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at PetTravelStore.com if you need them. We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping until 4:00 PM EST.GOT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS??? You can post them directly to our Facebook page, blog, forum or just enter them below. We will respond as soon as we can.