Border control officials require a certain amount of documentation when traveling to Mexico and want to bring your family pet. Completing all the necessary forms can sometimes be rather tedious. The following information could have variances to it. Everything depends on how many pets you’re bringing, unforeseen problems or restrictions regarding their species, and health and/or paperwork. Bringing your pet to Mexico should be rather simple, and we hope this information will get you through customs without a problem.
Bringing Your Pet to Mexico Requires Research
The first thing you should do when bringing your pet to Mexico is to contact the following agencies:
- Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad, Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA);
- Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alemintacion (SAGARPA).
The first one falls under the jurisdiction of the second one but contacting both is a good idea to gather as much information as possible. You will also need to contact the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). These three specific agencies will provide you with the pertinent information and needed paperwork, as well as answer any queries you may have about species. The Secretariat allows legal exotic pets but the process for them is different than for the usual domestic dog or cat.
Make Sure Your Pet Has Great Health
Veterinarians will issue on their letterhead a certificate of good health. We advise you ask for this ahead of time. You need to address the following points exactly:
- Veterinarians must type all documentation, certificates and required letters. Handwritten documents are not allowed. They need to be on the original letterhead. No copies are allowed.
- You need to fill out the SENASICA and SAGARPA paperwork completely. Make sure you include addresses of your current origin and Mexico destination.
- Original documentation stating that the pet(s) have had all their vaccinations, including a rabies shot. The documentation needs to provide dates for when the shots were administered, by whom, how long they’re good for, and when a new shot is needed.
- Make sure the doctor specifically writes in detail the health of your pet(s).
- Documentation is needed for the pet’s pre-treatment against any and/or all parasites. Make sure these exams are current within a few months of your travel date.
- In all the required documentation needed for entry to Mexico, make sure the veterinarian includes their address, phone number, professional license number and original signature. Authorities will not allowed stamps, just original signatures.
Let Authorities Do Their Job
Upon arrival at the port of entry, a representative from SENASICA and/or SAGARPA will meet with you. They will perform a brief exam and review your paperwork. Here are a few other important things to take into account:
- The carrier should not have any bedding, toys, or dishes. Collars and leashes are the exception.
- The Mexico officials will spray a sanitizer in the pet’s transporter/carrier.
- Bring enough food just for the day of travel. Customs officials do not allow most pet foods to be brought into the country. You can buy pet food anywhere in Mexico.
- Officials need to pre-approve any of your pet’s favorite blankets before bringing them with you. Authorities will dispose of them at the port of entry if they are not approved.
As of the beginning of 2017, there are no import fees charged to bring in three or less pets. However, when you contact SENASICA and SAGARPA, inquire about any fees that need to be paid beforehand and/or at the port of entry. If you are bringing in other pets like birds, turtles or ferrets, you will need to specify these types of animals with the agencies. Authorities will inform you of any additional documentation and information needed to import your pet.
Check All Permits and Requirements
Lastly, if you’re bringing your pet to Mexico via airplane, make sure you check all the needed requirements with the airline previously, as well. Most airlines have the same protocol of embarkment when it comes to pets. Clerks at the airport check-in will determine whether your pet needs to be checked-in with luggage or is allowed on board the aircraft. This depends on the pet’s size and weight. You will also need to make sure you have the proper cage for the pet in question. Follow all the airline’s instructions to avoid problems. Airlines usually charge an extra fee for bringing your pet to Mexico through them.
Bringing your pet to Mexico can actually be very easy. As long as you follow the agencies’ exact instructions and in full detail, everything will run smoothly.
Authorities suggest to always keep your pet on a leash once you settle in. Bring your own food and water wherever you take them and make sure your pet behaves in public. Mexicans consider pets an extension of the family and treat them with great respect. Both you and your furry little friends will have an amazing time here.
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