Taking Your Dog or Cat Out of Costa Rica? Follow These Instructions

    SENASA remembers procedure for departure of dogs and cats from Costa Rica

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    The National Animal Health Service, SENASA, of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock reminds people who intend to take a dog or cat out of the country that they must comply with a specific procedure that responds to applicable international requirements.

    The export certificate that supports the departure of dogs and cats is initially prepared by the private veterinarian who inspects the pet, and must comply with the health requirements established by the country of destination.

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    Subsequently, these documents must be reviewed and signed by the veterinarians of SENASA, an entity that validates it as a document issued by the Government of Costa Rica.

    In the case of pets that have remained in countries not recognized as free of canine rabies, and that move to countries that are part of the European Union, members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the United Kingdom must comply with the provisions of Article 10 of EU Regulation No. 576/2013 of June 12, 2013.

    Said regulation is summarized below:

    • Microchip implantation by an authorized veterinary doctor (prior to vaccination against rabies).
    • Rabies vaccination starting at twelve weeks of age (3 months); the administration of the same must not precede the date of application of the microchip, if it already has this or a tattoo, you must indicate the date of reading, prior to vaccination.
    • Collection of a blood sample 30 days after the date of vaccination against rabies, which will be analyzed in a laboratory authorized by the European Union. The lab result should indicate that the animal developed rabies antibodies. The departure of the pet will be authorized 3 months after the blood sample is taken.

    National regulations

    Pets that must be accompanied by an identification document according to article 25 of EU Regulation No. 576/2013, model Animal Health Certificate for non-commercial movements of dogs and cats to member states from a third country, must additionally comply with the following steps for the review by the SENASA veterinarian:

    • Send documents to the Animal Quarantine Directorate (DCA) of SENASA for review of the procedure to the email [email protected]
    • The private veterinarian must manage the endorsement of the documents in the DCA at the central offices of SENASA, presenting the documentation of the procedure.

    SENASA also informs that any person who enters Costa Rican territory with their pet in transit mode, this means that they can circulate through the country in a period not exceeding 24 hours until the point of departure, must present themselves at the SENASA offices located at the border inspection posts (PIF) for the review of the documentation and issuance of the “International Transit Authorization” document (ATI).

    SENASA warns people interested in traveling with their pets to be well informed about the requirements of each country. For more information, you can access the SENASA page, at the following link:

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