Beware of bad information in books and on websites as it is abundant. There are several people in Costa Rica that will give you out of date or incorrect information about all sorts of things related to your move to Costa Rica.
One example is ARCR, if you are a member, you are paying them for the information that you get from them but if you are bringing pets into Costa Rica they have all of their information wrong. They charge you for documentation that you do not need and give you a list of useless information.
Since I have been moving pets for many years and have been a member of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association for some time now, I get very upset at entities giving out bad information especially when it comes to pets because this poor information can affect their livelihood and cause unnecessary stress on the family.
I have recently read in 2 books from well known authors that have listed incorrect information. This can not only be misleading, it can be downright dangerous to your pets.
Some of the wrong things that are being written are corrected below:
You can NOT take a pet in your purse in the cabin with you on ANY airplane.
You do NOT need ANY documents authenticated or certified by the Costa Rican Consulate.
You do NOT need an import permit for dogs or cats.
At the present time, you can not bring birds into Costa Rica as the rules have changed in the last year making it impossible to meet the requirements of the MAG and the MINAE.
A rabies vaccine must be OVER 30 days and less than one year old.
Your regular veterinarians health certificate is not adequate for entering Costa Rica.
You MUST have an APHIS form 7001 issued by the United States Department of Agriculture in the state where you live.
I get angry when people have been told a list of lies in order to collect money from them. When you join a group like ARCR only to be left to your own devises when they don’t return emails or phone calls and a family is trying to get the right information for their pets. Or when someone takes what they read in a book as being fact when the author is not an expert in all areas and particularly not in the moving of pets.
Animals are my first love and I do everything that I can to protect them and insure a safe and trouble-free trip for them to Costa Rica and leaving Costa Rica as well.
There is not a lot of information out there about how to get your pets out of Costa Rica and thank goodness for that because the rules of each country vary greatly. Some countries you can not send your pets directly from Costa Rica.
Some countries require tests that take 3 months to acquire, particularly anywhere in Europe.
You can not move pets to Australia or New Zealand without first going through quarantine in another intermediary country.
There are so many ins and outs to moving your pets. It’s just not as easy as calling the airlines and sticking them on a plane. You should really have someone that knows customs and import and export requirements.
I have heard from customs agents of people coming to Costa Rica without the proper documentation. It has taken a day to 3-5 days of them sitting in the customs warehouse in their kennels to get them cleared. If they can’t be cleared, they are put in quarantine.
As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, a veterinarian in Costa Rica that claimed that he knew how to get animals into Europe sent them with only a health certificate from Costa Rica which is completely unacceptable. These pets were returned to Costa Rica at the owners expense. They contacted our office and we got the EU Certificate completed along with the rabies titres and they eventually made their way back to Europe.
If you need accurate and up to date information on what is necessary to get your pets in or out of Costa Rica, contact IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association) from anywhere in the world. They have members all over the world that often work together with other members to insure a safe trip for your pets. It can be expensive, but not as expensive as having your animals shipped back to their country of origin because things were not done correctly.
Go to www.ipata.com and on the left side of the screen there is an option for find a pet shipper. You can put in the country you are leaving from or the state if coming from the US. Since we are the only members in Costa Rica, we will help you on this end to insure that your pets are only in customs for a couple of hours rather than several days.
With the agent that you are working with in your home country and our office coordinating our efforts, we can insure that you will have all of the proper documentation, then forward that onto us so that we can pre-clear your pets.
Now you know from my previous posts that I do not talk ill of other people or companies but when my client called me crying because they couldn’t get hold of ARCR after paying their membership fee. They were only days away from flying down and they didn’t have any of the documentation that they needed. I get angry and want to warn other people not to put themselves in the same position.
We had to hustle to get everything together but they made it down with their 3 dogs after seeking help from myself and an agent in San Francisco.
If your considering a move in or out of Costa Rica and you have pets, please contact myself or another IPATA agent.