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Pet Travel on Private Yacht

dog on private yacht

There are a number of immigration issues when taking a pet on a boat or yacht to various countries. Know that your ship's log will need to reflect all countries that you have previously visited. If any of these countries are high-rabies countries, there could be additional tests that must be done or your cat or dog will be refused entry.

Many countries will extend validity periods for health certificates and parasite treatments if your ship's log can support that you did not land at any intermediate port from the time the certificates were issued or the tests were done. An example of this is the Queen Mary 2 which sails between New York and Southampton, England and allows pets.

If your cat or dog remains on the boat when you visit these countries, then technically no paperwork is required. However, some countries may not allow you to tie up at the dock for fear that the pet will somehow get ashore. This is rare but if it happens you will be asked to anchor out.

Barbados is an example of one such island. All animals entering Barbados must travel directly from their country of origin to Barbados without entering or transiting any other country without the permission of the Senior Veterinary Officer. Because of the difficulties of policing this, pets on yachts, cruise ships or commercial vessels are not allowed to land in Barbados. Click here for more information on importing a pet to Barbados.

Owners or captains of pleasure/leisure crafts, boats, yachts and commercial or cargo ships arriving in Barbados are required to report the presence of any animals onboard their vessel to the Port Authority and to the Veterinary Inspector. They must arrange for proper inspection of the animals.

Any animal on board any ship or above-mentioned vessel must be kept securely on board in a locked room for the duration of the vessel's stay in Barbados. Owners must not walk these animals on piers, jetties, quays, beaches or other areas as the animal will be deemed to have been imported and landed illegally and will be seized.

Minimum requirements - From a practical standpoint, you should at least have proof of current rabies vaccination (rabies certificate) as well as an endorsed health certificate from your veterinarian stating that your pet is healthy and free of parasites and has all current inoculations. If sailing from the United States, the APHIS 7001 form endorsed by the USDA State office would be a minimum requirment.

European Union
If you are traveling to a country within the European Union, then you must use the EU veterinary certificate Annex IV. The certificate is only valid for 4 months from the date issued. After that time has passed, you will need to visit a vet in the EU if you are planning to visit additional ports.

Most European countries will welcome your pet if you have the EU form Annex IV. England>, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Malta will also require a tapeworm treatment by licensed veterinarians between one and five days of entry.

Caribbean and Mexico
It has been reported to us by other traveling pet owners that when visiting many of the Caribbean countries as well as Mexico the form 7001 and a $20.00 bill is all that is needed. There are certainly exceptions. The Bahamas requires you to get a permit in advance, which costs $10.00. Some of the British colonies have stricter rules and a few islands prohibit pets coming ashore entirely.

If you are planning to visit islands such as St. Lucia or St. Kitts, your dog or cat should have a rabies titer test.

South Pacific
Many of the Islands of the Pacific including Hawaii and French Polynesia prohibit pets without quarantine or advance blood tests.

New Zealand
Cats and dogs arriving onboard private yachts, boats or commercial vessels must meet requirements to enter New Zealand. They must be secured onboard while docked at an approved port until they are given clearance. If your cat or dog does not meet the requirements, your pet must remain secured onboard the boat while the vessel is docked.

Click here for pet import regulations for entering over 200 countries.

Pet Travel Private Yacht