We’re sometimes contacted by readers who plan to bring their pets or birds with them to Mexico—on vacation, or as part of a move here. Like most countries, Mexico has specific rules and procedures for the import of animals, including domestic pets.
Bringing Dogs and Cats to Mexico
Domesticated dogs and cats are relatively easy to bring to Mexico: you are allowed to import two pets per person provided that each animal’s zoo-sanitary paperwork is in order. You can import up to 3 pets at no charge; If you bring 4 or more pets with you, you’ll need to pay import processing fees.
Regardless of how many pets you bring, you need to have certain veterinary paperwork in order when you arrive that demonstrates that the animal is in good health and that its vaccinations are current. If you’re flying to Mexico, airlines also have rules and procedures to follow in regard to transporting pets; you can find general advice about this, as well as information about the zoo-sanitary paperwork on the Mexperience guide to Bringing Pets to Mexico.
When you arrive at the port of entry in Mexico, you’ll need to attend the SAGARPA desk/kiosk, where an official from the Mexican ministry of agriculture (SAGARPA-SENASICA) will check the documentation you present, undertake a physical review of the animal(s) and, provided everything is in good order, will issue you with an import certificate.
Importing Birds and Reptiles to Mexico
Importing any animal other than cats and dogs to Mexico —most commonly, people wish to bring pet birds and reptiles— requires considerably more effort. You’ll need export permits from your home country, and an import permit from Mexico. Some animals (or species) may be banned from either export from your country of departure and/or import to Mexico. You should contact your nearest Mexican Consulate for details and be prepared to pay for the services of a customs import agent in Mexico to facilitate the process.
Taking your pets abroad from Mexico
If you’re resident in Mexico and plan to take your pet abroad for a short while, you’ll need to check the requirements of the country you are traveling to and ensure that you have the necessary health certificates ready to present to the authorities overseas. Some countries have quarantine regulations in place, and if this is the case your pet will need to be quarantined (at your expense) for a determined period upon arrival. You will need an exit permit for your pet when you leave Mexico: this is issued by SAGARPA who will also undertake a visual inspection of your pets to assess their state of health. This certificate is only valid for six months, so if you plan to be outside of Mexico for more than six months, you’ll need to get health certificates and vaccinations from a veterinary abroad (see procedures above about bringing pets into Mexico) before you return otherwise you won’t be allowed to re-import the pets.
You can find more details about the procedures, as well as links to relevant websites, on the Mexperience guide to Bringing Your Pets to Mexico.
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