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    Importing Pets Into Mexico

    Many foreigners who move to Mexico bring their beloved pets with them. In the following instructions, we are focusing only on dogs and cats when we say “pets”. The rules for your pet pig, bird, snake or other creature will likely be different, and if you are interested in importing any animal other than a cat or dog, it would be best to check with the consultants at Yucatan Expatriate Services, who can investigate the latest rules for any out-of-the-ordinary pets.

    Three Steps

    If you drive, fly or sail into Mexico, it is important to have your papers together and ready to show the authorities. You will quickly learn that having something out of order in Mexico gives someone in a government office a chance to hold up your show, and if they can, they usually will. Better to have everything and more in one handy packet and be prepared for any contingency. With that in mind, the following are the documents that you must have and the procedure you will likely have to follow. You must follow three steps to import your pet:

    Present your documents to the OISA
    The documents that you collect and bring for your pets must be presented at the Offices of Agricultural Health Inspection (Oficinas de Inspección de Sanidad Agropecuarias) located in:

    • International Airports
    • Borders
    • International Seaports

    You will need a Health Certificate of Export for each individual pet. This may also be known as an International Health Certificate, and is obtainable from most vets in the USA or Canada. Be sure to have the original and at least two copies (one is required, an extra one just in case). The International Health Certificate must be issued by the corresponding Federal Authority of the country where the pet is coming from or by a veterinarian of that country. Most veterinarians will be happy to issue these certificates.

    The International Health Certificate issued by the veterinarian must be on their letterhead, with an indication of their professional standing. In most cases, their letterhead will indicate their title and qualifications, but if you want to make doubly sure, bring a copy of their license or business license. The International Health Certificate has a maximum validity of 10 days after being issued. This requires planning, so be sure to schedule an appointment to see your vet and get the document close to your departure date. The closer the date, the better, as that leaves you a few days grace period in case of emergency (flat tire, flight delays, etc.). The International Health Certificate should indicate:

    • Name and address of the exporter (that is you, the owner) and importer, as well as information identifying the pet and the pets final destination.
    • Rabies vaccine, indicating the date of application and duration of the vaccine. Exempted from this requirement are pets under three months old.
    • That at the time of inspection of the pet, it was found clinically healthy before it began traveling.

    NOTE: If you choose to get the Health Certificate with the USDA official format, make certain that it is signed and sealed by an official member of the USDA in order to be valid.

    If the International Health Certificate is missing the information about vaccinations, you will be allowed to submit an immunization card or cartilla de vacunación (original and copy), stating the vaccines received and the dates of those vaccines. If you do not have proof of these vaccines, your pet will not be allowed into Mexico and you will be required to obtain the vaccines before the pet may enter.

    Physical inspection of pets in the OISA
    In order to verify that the physical description set forth in the International Health Certificate matches the animal that you are bringing into Mexico (sex, race, color), there will be a physical inspection.

    In the past, if it was found that the pet had external parasites, the inspector would call in a Veterinarian of his choosing to apply the required treatment, and the owner would be charged the vet’s services at whatever rate that vet chose. This is no longer necessary. However, making sure your pet has no external parasites will ensure that no official has any excuse to charge you money for a perceived problem.

    Issuance by the OISA of the Animal Health Certificate for Import
    Once you have met the requirements, the inspector at the OISA will prepare the Health Certificate for Import or Certificado de Importación.

    Importing one or two pets does NOT require a fee for the Health Certificate for Import. More than two pets will incur a fee of $1,817.00 pesos , to be paid via the website or at a bank. While you arrange to pay this fee, your pets will be held by the Customs Authority (Aduana). If you are importing three or more pets, Aduana will transfer them to the cargo area (in the airport), while you comply with the national regulations for commercial imports and complete the procedure through the OISA.

    Details to Keep In Mind

    In the regulations are a few caveats that you should be aware of. The regulations state that even though an animal measures up to all the above-mentioned health requirements, the documents are still required. Just because your animal is healthy and maybe you have the vaccination records with you, that doesn’t exempt you from having to prevent the International Health Certificate, signed by a legal veterinarian.

    The regulations also state that you may not import a bed and/or similar materials to accompany the animals. Technically, you are only allowed to include a ration of food enough to feed the animal until the day of arrival.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What happens if I don’t have any document when I arrive in Mexico?
    If you do not have the required paperwork, your pet will remain in the offices of the OISA until a veterinarian brought in by the department checks and certifies its health status and applies both a rabies vaccination and preventive therapy parasiticide. After this, you will be allowed to continue the process of import. This, of course, can cost both time and money, all paid by you, the pet owner.

    What happens if I have a small animal of another species, for example, reptiles, songbirds and ornamental birds, ferrets or turtles?
    There are special requirements for other animals. You can read more about these requirements (in Spanish) in the section of Animal Health Requirements for Import on the OISA website. MCRZI stands for Módulo de Consulta de Requisitos Zoosanitarios para la Importación.

    If you do not find your particular type of pet on that page, you can direct a request (in Spanish) to the General Director of Animal Health located in Avenida Cuauhtémoc No. 1230, Col. Santa Cruz Atoyac, Del. Benito Juárez, CP 03310, Mexico. Phone numbers for that office are 01 (555)-905-1066 and 01 (555)905-1072 or Toll Free in Mexico 01-800-987-9879. Please be prepared to speak Spanish if you call this phone number.

    Where can I direct questions or complaints about this process or similar issues?
    If you have questions or complaints about the Animal and Plant Inspection Service, you can email contacto@senasica.gob.mx. Again, we suggest that you compose your complaint or question in Spanish for the best results.

    You can also contact the Internal Control Group in SENASICA, Secretary of the Public Service and Area of Responsibility and Complaints.
    Av. Insurgentes Sur No. 489, PH1,
    Col. Hipódromo Condesa, C.P. 06100, México D.F.
    Ph: 01 (55) 3871-8349 or 3871-8300, ext 20349,
    quejas@senasica.gob.mx

    YES Can Help!

    If you have one or two average sized pets, this is a process that you should be able to navigate yourself, with little or no Spanish skills. If, however, you have very large pets, more than two pets, or out-of-the-ordinary pets, you may have trouble with the ins and outs of governmental regulations in Spanish. The consultants at Yucatan Expatriate Services have helped many expatriates import their pets to the Yucatan. If you need help, give us a call at +52-999-927-2437 or email us at info@yucatanyes.com. We look forward to helping you!

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    168 Comments

    1. June 28, 2011

      We have a tale to tell about flying pets into Mexico and unfortunately, we think we are not alone, as a friend of ours suffered similarly. If you are driving pets into Mexico, there seems to be no problem. But flying in is a whole different story. Despite having all correct paperwork, our dog was still kept in his crate in Cancun airport for 26 hrs after landing. It took three hours to even locate the dog after landing as no one seemed to know or even care where he was being kept. This dog had just endured a 10-hour flight from the UK. Eventually my partner found him and asked to be allowed to see him. He was told the office was closing and he would have to come back in the morning. Then he asked to be allowed to give the dog water and food, as no one had any for him. He had to leave the airport to buy food and a bowl for the dog. He then had to find a hotel for the night and extend car rental time. He also had to locate a customs broker to get the dog released. I won’t bore you all with the details but it took 26 hrs and cost $7000 pesos to get the dog released from customs, despite having all relevant paperwork. Very stressful and sad. Happy to say, the dog and owners are now very happy living by the beach in Chelem.

    2. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      June 28, 2011

      Karen,
      Would you mind telling us which airline you flew in on when this happened? We are actually working (as are others) to contact some people about these issues. Thank you for sharing your story.

    3. John Venator
      June 28, 2011

      I guess we were very lucky all the 12 or so years we brought our cat Rocky with us several times each year to and from Mexico, when we were living in Chicago.

      We simply followed the procedures above. Our vet in Chicago go very accustom to filling our the info for us for each trip.

      Fortunately Rocky was small enought that he did NOT have to fly in the baggage hold of the airplane. Rather we reserved with the airline qwell in advance of our flight as most only allowed one or two animals in the passenger compartment for any one flight (we flew United, American, Continential, Mexicana, and others). Therefore, a “slot” for Rocky was reserved in the passenger compartment of the airplane. The airlines charged us $50 to $150 per flight for us to take him. Some even gave him “frequent flyer points”.

      His carrier was under our seat for take off and landing – but we put the carrier on my lap during the flight (as he was more content then). We did not give him any food or water from midnight before the flight. Fortunatley, except for a couple flights connecting through Houston or Mexico DF – they were all non stop to Cancun.

      Once in Cancun – we took Rocky in his carrier and the paperwork to the proper officials at the airport. Interestingly we found that they mainly seemed to care about the paper work as not once in 12 years did anyone actually examine him.

      The reverse trip was pretty much the same – and the US officials in Chicago O’Hare airport never examined Rocky either —but they always wanted to see his paperwork.

      Since we did it 6 to 8 times a year for 12 years – we got quite good at it and even became acquainted with some of the officials in both the Cancun Airport and Chicago O’Hare Airport.

      Therefore – our experience was totally different than Karen who had to have her larger animal travel in the luggage hold. I shuddered when I read her account and was thankful that Rocky was small enough to be with us on the plane.

    4. ML
      July 7, 2011

      When you LEAVE Mexico with your pet, is there a Mexican Custom Fee that is required and must be paid? If so, is it different depending on whether you drive or fly?

    5. July 13, 2011

      ML, when pets (dogs and cats) exit Mexico, the exporter only has to pay when they are more than 2 (it is just like the import) and the payment is 385 pesos; it is the same whether you exit by plane or by car.

    6. Cindy & Dan
      August 4, 2011

      There is a group of amazing people affiliated with an organization called CANDi (Cat & Dogs International) that live in Cancun/Isla/Cozumel etc. all year round. They work with many groups doing animal rescues from Mexico into Canada and the USA out of the Cancun airport and are extremely knowledgable as well as ‘connected’ to the airport staff. They know all of the vets and are on top of all of the changes as they happen since they ship out hundreds of dogs and cats each year, especially in the spring and fall when they do their free clinics. Partnering with them would be a great thing for all of us in the Yucatan.

    7. Cindy & Dan
      August 4, 2011

      We are planning on taking a month long vacation to Canada in October, but we live here full time. We will be taking our cat out and back into Mexico with us so the originating veterinarian documentation will be coming from a Mexican licensed Vet – as will the rabies shots etc. However, since we will be gone longer than 10 days, does this mean that a Canadian Vet will now have to re-issue all the paperwork? Does anyone know this?

    8. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      August 8, 2011

      Yes, you will have to get an international certificate from a vet in Canada before you can travel into Mexico with your pet.

    9. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      August 8, 2011

      That is a great idea, Cindy and Dan. We will look into it and we encourage others to as well.

    10. Andy
      October 3, 2011

      A loooong story short, we have a good experience bringing our three dogs into Cancun (and on to Merida).

      We flew AeroMexico MIA-CUN as early as possible in the morning (to keep things cool on the tarmac). As there was no one in the airport (end September – 10 people on flight), it was easier. A long (2-hour) paper process for 3 dogs but the Mexican officials were sweethearts – really – awesome people who helped us even push them in their crates to outside – just great people at the airport.

      We had the proper docs – rabies, health certs (from vet/dept. of agriculture), and vaccination certs. They were all required.

      Anyway – maybe not everyone’s experience, but if you do your best to help them help you, my experience is the people here will jump through hoops to assist. Be nice, BE POLITE and say thanks (even “gracias”) – and you’ll make things much easier 🙂

    11. john barlee
      October 3, 2011

      For 15 years I have been flying to Cabo San Lucas with Alaska Airlines, with my golden retriever as baggage $200 return, no broker required. This year I decided to come to Merida with Continental. It costs over $1000 cargo for the dog plus make my own customs broker arrangements for the dog. I am in Canada and it is impossible to phone a broker in Merida. I have tried 7 times so far and have not yet been able to complete a call before it has been dropped. Help please! I am arriving November 15.

    12. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      October 4, 2011

      John,
      We will email you with information.

    13. april
      October 20, 2011

      we will be soon taking our dog Sara checked as baggage to Cancun on a yearly basis as we are building a winter home in Tulum. Do we need a broker plus the certificate? I am panicked already about putting her in baggage…

    14. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      October 26, 2011

      As far as we know, the Mexican government does not require you to have a customs broker to bring your pets as long as you have all the requested documents and certifications from your vet. However, if you are flying on Continental, they require one; they are the only airline that we know of that does. If you want to fly directly into Merida, your options may be limited to Continental, so if you want to avoid the additional fee, you should consider flying into Cancun.

      If you need a custom broker referral please email betty@yucatanyes.com

    15. Cindy & Dan
      October 26, 2011

      Hi April,

      You do not need a customs broker to bring a dog into Merida on Continental – at least you did not need one as of October 4th of this month.

      Here is the info given by Continental at that time.

      Tape a copy of your passenger record number to the top of the kennel and make sure that the departure staff record this number on the waybill documentation as well.

      Put the original and one copy of all necessary Mexican customs documentation to the top of the carrier. Keep a 3rd copy with you.

      This includes the – Health certificate (preferably on Veterinarian official letterhead) dated more than 72 prior to travel. – Mexican certificate of parasite free status inside and out – proof of Frontline (within 72 hours of travel with a note that this contains Ivermectine), – proof of rabies vaccine given within one year.

      Hope this helps.

      Cindy

    16. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      October 26, 2011

      Cindy, this sounds great… but did you actually do it? That is exactly what the website at Continental says but people who have brought their dogs in have experienced something different… and not particularly pleasant. They have had trouble getting their dogs back and the people in Merida have insisted on a Customs Broker. We are just trying to help people avoid problems and delays. But if you have a different experience, please do tell us that. We’d love to hear that things have changed.

    17. april
      October 26, 2011

      Thanks so much. We do fly Air Canada into Cancun so with all the documentation it should be OK.

    18. Debbie
      December 21, 2011

      Does anyone know where I can get copies of these forms? I have the International Health Certificate, but apparently Mexico has their own. Also, where would i find a Mexican certificate of parasite free status?

    19. Sandra
      January 17, 2012

      Hello , Can anyone please help me out by giving me some name of airlines and maybe some price’s … I want to bring my 2 dogs and my cat here to the U.S from Cancun Mexico… But dont no where to start at … Thank you …

    20. Heidi Petre
      January 19, 2012

      My two dogs were kept in Cancun Customs for 5 days, flew with Continental that said I did not need a broker. Arrived Friday morning, had all the proper documentation, paid to transport dogs as baggage, not cargo. No one at airport could direct me to my dogs that were immediately taken to Customs office. Brokers don’t work on weekends and my dogs were not released until late Tuesday afternoon for $650.US. I was allowed one daily visit to feed and water and let them relieve themselves. It took 4 months for my beautiful standard poodles to recover!

    21. Donna Froio
      January 25, 2012

      My husband and I will be purchasing a home outside of Merida in Chelem. Eventually we would like to spend several months at a time there. We have a medium-size Cockapoo and I just spoke (1/24/12) to a representative at Continental who stated that we would absolutely have to have a Customs Broker upon arrival in Merida. After reading the different comments/posts above I can’t figure out if this is true or not. Can anyone help me?

    22. January 25, 2012

      Donna, we have attended many cases of expats bringing their pets to Merida through Continental and all of them were requiered with a Customs Broker. Please contact the Custom Agency affiliated to the YES network: “Agencia Aduanal del Valle”. Write an e-mail to Dacia Zea: daciaz@aduanaldelvalle.mx. She speaks English.

    23. Donna Froio
      January 26, 2012

      Thank you Adriana for your helpful comments. If we did not want to go through the extra expense of having a Customs Broker would we be better off to fly into Cancun and drive to Chelem?

    24. January 26, 2012

      You´re welcome Donna; if you fly to Cancun with another airline you could avoid the requirement of the Customs Broker. But I´d suggest you quote with the broker first since if you arrive to Cancun you will have to drive for approximately 4.5 hours to arrive to Chelem and there will be gasoline to pay, plus 2 tolls. It would be much more comfortable for you to arrive in Merida.

    25. Donna Froio
      January 27, 2012

      Adriana,

      You have been so very helpful. After I hear back from Juan I’ll also try to connect with the Merida Airport Customs Department.
      Thanks once again

    26. Sharyn Guzzi
      February 28, 2012

      Hello,

      I am going to Cancun and last time I went I was detained in Agriculture for hours because my dogs papers did not have the FRONTLINE sticker next to where the veterinarian signed off on it. They charged me $50 dollars to get the sticker and had a veterinarian come to the airport. Did anyone else have to purchase a sticker that comes in the Frontline box

    27. March 2, 2012

      Por favor actualizar en esta pagina el costo del certificado cuando son de tres o mas mascotas.Gracias
      Saludos // Please update in this site the cost of the certificate when it is 3 or more pets. Thank you Regards.

    28. March 2, 2012

      Hola Reyna, sí efectivamente estábamos por actualizar este artículo, lo verás en pocos días. El costo actual es de 1,817 pesos // Hi Reyna, yes actually we were going to update this article soon, you´ll see it in a few days. The current cost is 1,817 pesos.

    29. Shelly
      March 12, 2012

      I am bringing my dog to Mexico from Cnada, is there a number of day that the rabies has to be given to get into the country? I have seen on one site and only one site that it must be prior to 15 days…is this true??

    30. March 14, 2012

      Shelly, we got this information from a person of the Government office that regulates the import of pets into Mexico: “…in Mexico it is not required that the pet receives the rabies vaccine with an exact number of days prior to the import. The only requirement is that the pets or pets receive the rabies vaccine, stating the date of application and its expiration (pets younger than 3 months are exempt)”.

    31. Sandie
      March 16, 2012

      Hello I am trying to bring my two best friends (dogs) from Cancun to the US .. can anyone help me .. I have been trying to get them here sine Jan ..And I keep getting a run around …so if anyone know how I can get them here please let me know .. Thank you …

    32. March 16, 2012

      Sandie, take a look at this link from the website of the Government´s office that regulates import and export of pets, it contains what you need to know to return your dogs back to the US: http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=3705.

    33. Sandie
      March 24, 2012

      Thank you , Adriana … Do you know the name of any airline I can call to make the resrvion to get them here to the US ? they tell me I have to call to cancun and do it .. but when I call they have know clue what i am talking about .. so if you can help with names and phone number i can call so i can get them on a flight , that will be great .. Thank you ..

    34. March 26, 2012

      Sandie, if you tell me by which airline you would like them to be transported, I could give you a phone number of the airline in the airport of Cancun.

    35. Sandie
      March 27, 2012

      @ Adriana , I don’t know any … Maybe American Airline or Continental Airlines. Thank you for your help .

    36. April 2, 2012

      Sandie, here´s a link to Cancun´s airport directory of airlines, you can look and choose the one you prefere the most and contact them: http://es.cancun-airport.com/directorio-de-aerolineas.htm.

    37. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      April 11, 2012

      Sandie, if you are flying into Cancun, you might want to communicate with CANDI. You can reach them here:

      http://www.candiinternational.org/candis-programs/air-transport-program/program-coordinator

      I suggest that if you use their advice or services, you send them a donation. This organization does a lot to help stray animals along the Mayan Riviera.

    38. Jen
      April 25, 2012

      Hi Adriana and all
      I am relocating to the Progreso area in the next month and I have 2 cats to bring along with me, I am planning on flying West Jet to Cancun and drive into Progreso from there. Is the IHC from the vet all I need or should I be bringing anything else for any unforseen problems?
      Thanks for you help

    39. April 25, 2012

      Hi Jen, just the IHC (original and copy) issued by an authorized vet, in letterhead, including his license number or a copy of it, and signed and stamped by him. You could send a scanned copy of it to the SENASICA officer in Cancun for their revision prior to your trip (SENASICA is the authority that regulates the import of pets into Mexico). His e-mail is: joel.arrioja@senasica.gob.mx

    40. april
      May 2, 2012

      Hi Jen
      Where are you coming from? Canada?
      In 2013 we will be bringing my dog, I love so much and our cat into Cancun for 6 months. Just talked with our Vet and he needs all the documents needed. So I still have lots of time but stress about it already.

    41. Susanna
      May 6, 2012

      We are flying out of Cancun on May 28th with 2 cats on WESTJET. Do we have to pay anything to export them out of Mexico?
      Also, since Continental – United no longer allow pets in the cabins, but Westjet does, will there be a problem with taking our pets on the Westjet flight (they are already booked on that flight to be in-cabin with us).
      I was told by United-Continental staff that ALL airlines
      flying in or out of Mexico can NO longer allow pets in the cabin, due to a recent (3 days ago!) change implemented by the Mexican government!!
      Can you confirm this?? Many of us who fly with our pets in the cabin are confused and VERY concerned about this!!

    42. May 7, 2012

      Susanna, no you don´t have to pay because it is only 2 cats, if they were 3, then you´d need to pay. About that “Mexican Law”, it is not true, Mexico has not issued any law on that regard (this was confirmed today to us by personnel of Senasica, the government office regulating import and export of pets); this law is from the airlines and Mexico has nothing to do with it.

    43. Caroline
      May 23, 2012

      I am trying to understand the international health certificate type that is required to bring two dogs into Puerto Vallarta from Toronto. In some places I have read that a sealed food and agriculture official international health certificate is required. In other places it appears that my regular vet can issue their own version of an international health cert listing microchip data and vaccination records on rabies and reporting that the animal is free of external parasites. Someone please help me. Do I need to go to my vet and then have an official state vet in Markham Ontario sign off on their report or can my vet around the corner in downtown TO give me everything I need. I am terribly confused and obviously cannot get it wrong. My vet seems not to be able for some reason to answer this question for me. Also, what information can anyone provide me about flying into PV with two dogs. They are both under 10 pounds so i would like to put them in the cabin. Shall I have a friend fly with me to bring the second dog or can i put on in cargo (departure date first week of june) and bring the other with me in the plane, going solo on my own.

      Caroline

    44. May 25, 2012

      Caroline, just the IHC (original and copy) issued by your vet is enough but it should be in letterhead, including his license number or a copy of it, and signed and stamped by him. The Mexican authorities would like to see this document or the one issued by a vet from the USDA, either one of them will work. You could send us a scanned copy of it before so we can send it to SENASICA officers just to make sure it contains everything they need: adriana@yucatanyes.com. About your dogs flying in the cabin, you should consult with your airline first since starting a couple of weeks ago some airlines, like United Airlines, are not allowing pets flying in the cabin anymore.

    45. Ursula
      June 2, 2012

      Hi Susanna and everyone –

      Sorry I didn’t see your post earlier. I flew into Mexico with my dogs in cabin (to Cancun) on May 17th and I had no problems. We took them home on May 28th, and again, no problems. Both times we flew WestJet direct to Canada. Seems as if the US airlines are having some trouble that the Canadian airlines don’t have. I understand it is in reference to an interpretation of some Mexican law. Hope it is resolved soon!

    46. Donna Froio
      July 11, 2012

      Dear Adrianna,
      You’ve been very helpful with your answers to me in the past and now I’m bugging you with another one. My husband will be traveling to Cancun in October and staying in Chelem for 2 weeks with our dog. Because of this website I am familiar with requirements for bringing our dog into Mexico but what requirements are necessary to bring her back into the United States. For instance, does she need to be checked out by a vet in Mexico or is the IHC we have for going into Mexico enough?
      Thank you once again for your help.
      Donna

    47. July 12, 2012

      Hi Donna, you´re welcome! You can read about what you need to know and do to travel back to the States with your dog here: http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=3705.

    48. Stacie
      August 7, 2012

      Hi guys, I am seeing so much conflicting information all over the internet I am completely lost. Wanting to bring my chihuahua to Mexico with us. I have the health certificate. I have heard it needs to be dated anywhere form 5 days to 15 days within travel. Which is it??

      1) Health certificate

      Next, do I bring just the Health certificate? It mentions nothing about parasites on it. I have read they need to be parasite free. Do I need to get him treated with frontline before we travel?

      2) treat with antiparasitic?

      Once we arrive to Cancun and disembark from the plane. Do I go through customs and immigration as normal or do I need to go somewhere else?

      3)where do I go?

      To leave Mexico do I need a health certificate from a Mexican vet? Dated how far in advance of flight?

      4.) Mexican Health certificate?

      Thanks for your help!

    49. August 9, 2012

      Stacie, this is what you have to present when you get to Mexico:
      Health certificate (original and copy) issued by a vet of the USDA (with stamp and signature) or by a private vet (in letterhead containing his vet number or a photocopy of it), stating:
      1. Name and address of the exporter and importer.
      2. That the dog has been vaccinated against rabies, indicating the date the vaccine was applied and date of expiration (pets younger than 3 months are exempt of this requirement).
      3. That in the inspection prior to his export, the dog was found clinically healthy.
      Mexico is not requesting that the vaccine is applied 5 or 15 days before the travel, it is only asking for the date it was applied and when it expires.
      When you arrive in Cancun you will go through the normal process: customs and Immigration, you will see that an official from the Government will be expecting you in order to review the papers for the import of your dog.
      About the procedure to leave Mexico, you can read this link from the Government office in Mexico that regulates the import/export of pets: http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=3705

    50. aline roberts
      September 1, 2012

      hi…most interesting site and thank you for that, as the info you have given is a godsend..we are planning on a six month stay in Cancun with our 3 dogs two medium size and one rather large greyhound..now you recommend getting help with getting the big/3rd dog thru..they all have “pet passports” which is all up to date, and i am on top of all the certs needed..who do i need to contact in regards of meeting us on arrival as our spanish isn´t very good? thanks xx Aline

    51. September 14, 2012

      Aline, we´d love to assist you meeting you on your arrival, but we are based on Merida, so we are not able; I´d suggest you contact this organization, they are based in Cancun and specialize in pets care and provide assistance like the one you need as well: http://www.candiinternational.org/candis-programs/project-cancun.

    52. Leah
      September 20, 2012

      Stacie, I take my 2 dogs down to Mexico a few times a year. The health certificate should be obtained within 10 days of travel and you must have a rabies vaccination certificate (rabies vaccine must have been given more then 30 days prior to travel). The certificate of health includes looking for parasites – no other documentation is needed. I would strongly recommend they the dogs are treated for prevention of fleas and tics. Tics are common and carry many diseases. My dogs also contracted lice in Mexico which would have been prevented if I had had them treated for flea and tics. You have to go to the “oversized baggage” belt to claim the dog. Its very simple process and I have never had an issue. If you are at all concerned, ask the airline staff to take you to where your pup is. As far as coming back goes, the US authorities have always requested my documentation and have never questioned the fact that it was the same documentation I flew down with. I used to fly from Cancun all the time and there was never a problem. For the last 4 years I have been going to Puerto Vallarta instead and they say the state regulations there require a new health certificate. Although I’ve never been asked to see it, I still get it just to be safe. Vets are very cheap in Mexico and to be honest they didn’t even look at the dogs. They just filled out the paperwork and let me pay. I always smile big, act with extreme respect and politeness and I’ve never had a problem.

    53. Donna Froio
      September 24, 2012

      Dear Adriana,
      We will be flying into the Cancun airport on 10/2/12 from the US. Is there a specific area of the Cancun airport where we go to pick up our dog once we arrive?
      Thank you for your helpful advice.
      Donna

    54. September 24, 2012

      Donna, as Leah mentions above, you have to go to the oversized baggage belt, which is near where you pick up your regular luggage.

    55. Donna Froio
      September 25, 2012

      Dear Adriana,
      I should have looked at Leah’s post. Thank you so very much.
      Donna

    56. Donna Froio
      October 23, 2012

      Dear Adriana,
      You will probably remember me due to my frequent email questions about importing your dog into Mexico. I wanted you and all your subscribers to know of OUR GREAT EXPERIENCE in the Cancun airport on October 2nd. We traveled via Delta Airlines from Atlanta to Cancun on this date. We were greeted by a young woman from SENASICA by the name of Martha. Martha handled our dog Maya’s paperwork and the entire process seamlessly and we and Maya were on our way in less than a half hour.
      Thank you for all the information that you and your subscribers have shared. I felt very prepared for what to do as a result of this information and we will look forward to bringing our dog along on future trips to the Yucatan because of the great experience we had!
      Sincerely,
      Donna Froio

    57. October 24, 2012

      Donna, this is great news, thanks for sharing it with us!

    58. april
      October 24, 2012

      Hi Donna
      That is my huge concern is shipping our dog Sara, collie and what to do in Cancun. We would be coming with Air Canada from Canada. Is this the contact for someone to help you in customs?
      info@yucatanyes.com.
      Is there a fee?? OMG that is so wonderful to have someone help at the airport…yes yes yes
      We would be coming and returning to Cancun every 6 months.

    59. October 24, 2012

      April, I´m Adriana from Yucatan YES and unfortunately we cannot help you in customs in Cancun, since we are based in the city of Merida. Donna talked about a lady named Martha who is an officer from SENASICA, the Mexican Government office that regulates import of pets into Mexico (we don´t have her contact info). Our advice is that you travel with your dog, do not ship it as cargo -if you ship it as cargo it is likely she will have to sleep one night at the warehouse of the airport-, and bring the Health Certificate from the USDA proving she has been applied with the vaccines stated in our article above and that she is free of any parasite and found clinically healthy. Good luck!

    60. Donna Froio
      October 25, 2012

      Dear April,

      Our dog flew in the baggage compartment of a Delta Airline plane. Prior to travel our vet had examined her and completed the USDA Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals as well as a form from her office, a “Health Certificate” which listed her vaccine status. Upon arrival to Cancun, Maya was in her appropriately labeled kennel and was delivered with other luggage. Martha greeted me and escorted me to an office where she reviewed my passport and all of Maya’s paperwork. She then issued a form entitled, “Importation Certificate” and we were on our way. Martha’s complete title and name is: Medical Veterinarian Zootecnista Martha Alejandra Garcia Trejo. I sent an email to her superior and that address was: oisacancun@senasica.gob.mx
      Please let me know if I can answer any other questions. There was no fee for this process in Cancun.
      Sincerely,
      Donna Froio
      dfroio@verizon.net (my email address)

    61. april
      November 2, 2012

      Thanks so much Donna. Thats makes me feel so much better. I will do this next year when we take Sara for 6 monthss to her new home .
      Take care

    62. Kristina
      December 5, 2012

      I am pretty stressed about bringing my dog into Cancun. She is a King Charles Cavalier spaniel and I am bringing her so my fiance can meet her for Christmas. One site states that the rabies has to be 14 days before travel AND no more than 12 months old. My dog has the three year rabies vaccine and it doesnt expire until next september. I leave in 5 days. Help!!!

    63. December 5, 2012

      Kristina, have your private vet or the USDA vet specify in the health certificate that your dog has the 3 year rabies vaccine, putting the exact date it was applied and the date it expires.

    64. Joanne loutier
      January 15, 2013

      Arrived 2013/01/02 in cancun via Westjet with our dog in cabin. Our papers were15 days old and the agent insisted on 5 days. As we were driving to Merida we were ery worried we would have to wait a day in Cancun. The agent called a vet to the airport: a quick look at our dog and papers, a verbal confirmation that she had taken Frontline and 600 mxn pesos and we were out of there in less than2 hours. While we waited a woman came in with her cat and her papers less than 5 days old and she was let through in 15 minutes. So we are ready for our next visit 🙂

    65. Michelle
      April 24, 2013

      I’m planning on taking my Great Dane to Playa del Carmen in November for 6 months. Are there cage requirements? Can I ship him in his regular wire crate?

    66. April 26, 2013

      Michelle, the instructions of the Mexican authority that regulates import of pets (SENASICA) is that “they must enter Mexico on a conveyor, container, or other kennel, clean, without bed or similars, without attachments or accessories, or they will be removed by the official staff for destruction”.

    67. Kai O'Connor
      August 16, 2013

      Greetings,

      My husband and I will be driving to Merida from northeast Pennsylvania in October 2013. Our two cats will be going along for the adventure. I think I understand the health certification requirements but I have a question about the bedding. Our cats will be in a large crate for the duration of the drive across the US so will have a comfortable bed within. Must we destroy it upon arrival at the border? We will have another 3-4 days of travel and it would be good to have a familiar bed for the cats during the drive.
      Thank you for your wonderfully helpful site.
      Kai O’Connor

    68. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      August 22, 2013

      Kai, beds are not allowed, only crates, we´re sorry!

    69. Asa
      September 16, 2013

      Hi,
      I have read a lot about flying in with dogs in cabin to Mexico. But no where I have found information about flying in from other countries then USA and Canada.
      I`m entering Cancun with a “cabin dog” from Sweden.
      What Health certificate are needed from Sweden? We do not have the same form as in US…
      Also do I require to report my arrival with pets to custom in beforhand?
      There seem to be a lot of different ways of doing this and also experiences of taking dogs to Mexico.
      Can someone please specify exactly what rules are significant and up to date in september 2013. The rules seems to change a Little in Mexico also…
      Big thanks!

    70. Alejandra W
      September 21, 2013

      Hello. I a writing because my husband and I are very worried as we were living in UK and we have decided to return to Mexico. We have a lovely cat and she is part of the family. We haven´t found anyone we trust to look after her so we want to bring her back with us. Would anyone have any information regarding pets from coming from UK? We are very worried she will be very stressed and even worse, get lost. 🙁 Thanks

    71. September 30, 2013

      Asa, the requirements are the same:
      – Original and copy of the pet´s health cetificate, issued whether by an official veterinarian (from a Government Institution) or by a private veterianarian (providing his name and professional number); the health certificate should state the name of the importer and the exporter as well as the address where the pet is coming from and where the pet is going to.
      -If the pet is more than three months old he must have rabies vaccination and the documents to prove it.
      -Certificate stating that is free of internal and external parasites in the 6 months prior to the trip.
      -Booklet where there is the control of his shots (supporting documents).
      You should hire the assistance of a customs broker beforehand if the airline you are travelling with requests it.

    72. September 30, 2013

      Alejandra, requirements for bringing cats from the UK are the same (please read comment above); but since the cat will be travelling alone, you will need to hire a customs broker for his arrival.

    73. Amalthea
      October 4, 2013

      Anyone have experiences taking guinea pigs to Mexico? My husband is a Mexican national and we are considering moving there in a year or two. I’m trying to find info on taking my precious piggies across the border (by car from San Diego, ca) and can’t find any information!

    74. Kai O'Connor
      October 5, 2013

      Is a USDA endorsed APHIS 7001 form from the USDA required for importing 2 cats to into Mexico from the US?
      I read in your previous answers it is either an APHIS form or a veterinarian’s certificate of health that is required but I’ve read different accounts elsewhere. The either/or condition is confusing. Now, with the government shutdown, it will likely not be possible to get the USDA form endorsed. Will my vet’s certification of health for the cats (He is licensed by the USDA in PA.) be sufficient? I don’t want to arrive at the border and be told that it is APHIS 7001, or nothing.
      Thank you.
      Kai O’Connor

    75. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      October 8, 2013

      Amalthea, we have not had experience importing guinea pigs, however, here is the phone number of the Mexican authority that can answer your questions in this regard: +52 55 5905-1000 ext. 51911. It is called SENASICA.

    76. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      October 8, 2013

      Kai, in our personal experience, we have seen that some customs offices only accept the USDA form; however, in the SENASICA´s website it says that a private veterinarian´s health certificate is also accepted; our suggestion is that you contact the customs office of the border you will cross to make sure if both are acceptable.

    77. Amalthea
      October 18, 2013

      Ok, thank you!

    78. April
      October 26, 2013

      We are flying into Cancun in 1 week. I emailed Senasica to find out if I needed a Government form. She said all I needed was a Vet health certificate with rabies shots and we are also getting frontline done. It has to be within 72 hours the forms signed by your Vet. She said that is all we need.

    79. Jerry
      November 19, 2013

      I am planning on flying my dog as baggage into Cancun at the beginning of the year. The process seems pretty straight forward except for finding a health certificate that is in both english and spanish – which is apparently what is needed. Does anyone have one that has worked for them – or know where one can be obtained/downloaded?

    80. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      November 20, 2013

      Jerry, in our experience a health certificate in English works, but let´s see if other expats here can share their own experiences.

    81. Asa
      November 20, 2013

      Hi,
      I have done a lot of research about importing dogs to Mexico and the requirements according to the Mexican Embassy (in Sweden), and they follow the rules of Mexican law is as follows.

      1) Documentation verification at OISA
      The owner must present the Certificate of Export of Animal Health (Health Certificate) in original and copies issued by the Federal Authority of the country where the pet is arriving from; or by an authorized veterinarian practising in the country where the pet is flying from.

      The certificate issued by a veterinarian must be on his/her official letterhead, with the veterinarian’s professional registration number, in original, and should not be more than 5 days old by the time the pet arrives into Mexico.

      The certificate must indicate:
      •Name and address of the exporter and importer, as well as information identifying the pet and the final destination.
      •Information about the Rabies vaccine, specifying the date of application and its validity. Animals less than three months old are exempt from this requirement.
      •That the animal or animals have been subjected to a preventive treatment against internal and external parasites within a period of six months prior to their arrival into Mexico, and that they are free of external parasites.
      •That during the clinical inspection performed prior to the trip to Mexico the pet was found healthy.

      And there´s Always a good thing to have a petpassport.
      I hope this helped.

      I´m flying in with a dog within a few week, I can write and tell if it worked because I´m going by these rules.

      IF it should not work, is there anyone avalible to help me with a broker in Cancun?

    82. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      November 20, 2013

      Asa, thanks for sharing, this is the information we have as well. If you need a broker when you get to Cancun, please contact us to give you a referral: info@yucatanyes.com

    83. April
      November 20, 2013

      We just arrived 2 weeks ago from Canada to Cancun with our large Collie dog. I had emailed the Cancun agriculture authority at the Cancun Airport. She advised us we only needed our local Vet stating she had rabies done with the date. Then we had him state on her health certificate she was healthy and free from all parasites and disease. Then the date she had her her Revolution administered with 72hours of flying.
      We arrived late Sunday night on Air Canada. They took us to the office right at customs arrivals inside and within minutes stamped and gave us her entry form and no cost.
      I worried and worried that we needed a Govt form, in Spanish and English and a very formal form.
      It was so easy and they didn’t even look at her. They took her original health certificate ( I had 3 photocopies) and kept it. It had the Vet info, our info, destination and our dog name, breed and age etc. Like I said it was so easy.

    84. Lizzy Hall
      November 22, 2013

      We are planning to buy a house in Merida & eventually stay for 3-6 months at a time. The problem is that we have four (4) cats ranging from 10-20 lbs and are coming from New Orleans, LA. We can’t decide which mode of transportation is best for us. Spending 3-4 days in a car driving with all the kitties seems unreasonable (they can barely tolerate the 10 minute car ride to the vet). Does anyone have any suggestions for us? Would it be easier to get a customs agent? Will a 20 lb Maine Coon cat be acceptable in the the cabin of the plane? Does anyone have any info regarding the possibility or chartering a plane/boat to Merida or Progresso? Please let us know!
      Thanks,
      Lizzy & Greg

    85. Jerry
      November 25, 2013

      Thank you April for sharing your experience. I’ve spent untold amounts of time trying to make sure I have everything covered so there aren’t any problems. Interestingly I found the official Canadian health certificate which is trilingual. I have now painstakingly redone the form so my vet can sign it when the time comes. Do you have the contact information for the Agriculture authority in Cancun? And did they speak english? Thanks!

    86. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      November 26, 2013

      Lizzy, you and Greg could travel by plane with the 4 cats and import them, 2 each. Most airlines won´t ask for a customs broker for the import, since 2 pets per person are allowed.

    87. april
      November 26, 2013

      hi Jerry
      I did check out the CAD HEALTH cert in 3 languages. It is not needed. Here is the email address who I contacted . They explained I did not need that form either. Just a health certificate from your vet with all his info/your info/pet info and all the shots and rabies. He actually took the rabies sticker and put it on her form as she was ready for a renewal. Her frontline/advantage cert within 72 hours and she was healthy and free from all diseases/parasites etc. The agriculture woman took the form and then issued the approval certificate stamped. No fee. Took 20 minutes
      Here is the email and info of who I contacted.
      Atte.

      Ing. Reyna Pérez Cazares

      Jefe de Turno de la OISA de Cancún, Q. Roo

      DIRECCION GENERAL DE INSPECCION FITOZOOSANITARIA

      Sala de Llegadas Internacionales Terminal 2

      Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún, Quintana Roo

      Tel: 52 (55) 5905 1000 ext. 51860, 51861 y 51862

      Tel: 01 998 8860138

      Correo electrónico:

      oisacancun@senasica.gob.mx

    88. april
      November 26, 2013

      oh yes they returned my email in english and in customs they just wanted the health certificate nothing formal required

    89. Asa
      December 4, 2013

      Hi,
      I have now arrived to Mexico, Cancun Airport with my pooch.
      This is what you’ll need when importing your dog from Sweden and Germany to Mexico by air. (I guess it’s the same for all EU countries when the rules are the same, but haven’t checked).
      – you’ll need a pet passport with all vaccination stamps, take a copy that you’ll leave at the OISA.
      – a health certificate by a veterinarian (state veterinarian not needed) with the Rabies shot and Frontline + inner parasite check up. My form was by a “SV” but not needed they said. Original and copy.

      This is what they did.
      – they took the pet passport and checked the vaccinations compared to the vet. certificate. They kept the vet. original and copies of the pet passport.
      – they looked quick at the dog (would not call it an inspection…)
      – wrote an approval and off I went.

      Very friendly staff and easier than I thought.

    90. Asa
      December 4, 2013

      Oh and the vet certificate can be in English only.

    91. Jerry
      December 18, 2013

      Thank you April. You have been very helpful. I hope my experience is as good as yours!

    92. Miguel
      April 2, 2014

      Hola, soy de España y llevo en Mérida unos 6 meses aproximadamente, he adoptado un perro mestizo y me gustaria saber que tramites necesito para llevarmelo a España de vuelta. Aún no tengo claro ni como llevarlo de Mérida al aeropuerto de Cancún! Gracias por adelantado.

    93. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      April 2, 2014

      Miguel, te dejamos este link del sitio web de la Autoridad Gubernamental que regula la entrada y salida de mascotas; aquí podrás encontrar información sobre qué documentos necesitas para poder viajar con tu mascota fuera del país: http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?id=623

    94. Julie
      November 17, 2014

      Do you have contact info for international pet shippers and custom brokers for Mexico?

    95. Eric in Mexico City
      November 18, 2014

      Hi!

      I stumbled on this site while researching some information about taking my 90 lb Black Lab to Mexico City. There is so much great information here I was wondering if you had any contacts in Mexico City that I could get in touch with. Please let me know, thanks!!

      eric.spirko@gmail.com

    96. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      November 20, 2014

      Julie, we do not have info for international pet shippers but we do for custom brokers. If you could tell me in which part of Mexico your pet will land, we could help you.

    97. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      November 20, 2014

      Eric, we are sorry, but since we are based in the State of Yucatan, we do not have contacts in Mexico City.

    98. Peggy
      January 19, 2015

      we are flying Delta to San Jose del Cabo soon, bringing our pet. All paperwork is completed. I need to bring her food. Am I allowed to bring 2 sealed 5 lb bags of speciality dog food which does not contain meat, meal or any fillers. Main ingredient is fish, made by Orijen, Ingredients listed in Spanish. If so, do I declare it? Will it be taken from me?
      It cannot be purchased where we are going.

    99. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      January 20, 2015

      Peggy, the Government office that regulates the import of pets (SENASICA) states the following regarding their food: “You can enter dry food in bulk, corresponding to the portion of the day and accompanied by the pet, or a package of 50 lb per family or its equivalent in kg is accepted, it may be submitted in one package or up to two as long as it does not exceed the allowable amount”.

    100. Terry
      January 28, 2015

      Hello,

      Thank you for all the information. I do have a few questions.

      Our flight arrives from Canada at 12:30 AM, would someone be there to process the dog

      Is Frontline a mandatory treatment or anything like Frontline?

      From what I have read Rabies is the only mandatory treatment.

      Our dog gets a 3 year vaccination and it is due in July 2015. Is there any issues we might have with this?

      Thank you…

    101. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      January 31, 2015

      Terry, please read the requirements directly from the Government´s office that regulates the import of pets (SENASICA): http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=623. We believe you will find the answers to your questions there. It is in English.

    102. Asa
      January 31, 2015

      They are checking tics treatment i Mexico. So yes, frontline would be good!

    103. Terry
      January 31, 2015

      Thanks, the site is down and has been for awhile. I did contact them from a post from here with a direct e-mail. They were great.

      No frontline or anything else except rabies.

    104. april
      January 31, 2015

      We brought our Collie from Canada 3 months ago. Customs/agriculture were so great. We had her tick/flea med Revolution done. Plus her rabies which is good for 3 years. This is her 2nd year for rabies. We did get a Vet certificate stating she is in good health and free from all parasites and disease. The office took about 10 minutes and we were gone. It is very easy and no cost. This was at the Cancun airport.

    105. Terry
      February 3, 2015

      April, for the health certificate, was it on the back of the rabbies certificate.

      On my rabies certificate on the back it says ” International health Certicate” It needs to be signed and dated by the vet. I live in Ontario..

    106. april
      February 4, 2015

      Yes I have 1 certificate with her rabies 3 year tag on it. It has a bar code and says 3 years. I made my vet add onto the health certificate that she is ” in good health, free of all disease and parasites”. I dont think they looked at that just mostly the Rabies. Plus put the recent Revolution sticker on it too. When we leave Mexico our vet here does the same thing.

    107. Terry
      February 4, 2015

      Hi April,
      Rou said 3 year tag for rabies, all my certificate says is the type, year and expiration date all written by hand..no bar code

      It is just a small piece of paper 4 inches by 4 inches

      On the back of it, it says International health certicate that needs to be signed and dated…is this the same thing that you have/

      thanks

      terry

    108. april
      February 5, 2015

      The rabies was on the bottle of the rabies shot and the vet gave it to me on her Certificate. It has a bar code and the number of the rabies shot. So the original. also the Vet certificate is on the vet original letterhead a 8.5 x 8.5 piece of paper with all my info/dog info and vet info with the vet license #
      april

    109. John
      March 2, 2015

      I am trying to fly my 11 week old puppy with me on United into Cancun. The process is very confusing. We can get health cert and docs no prob. There is some confusion whether or not she will fit under the seat and I am travelling business class. Do we need a broker if she flies on board with me? Also do I disclose to customs that she sis staying in Mexico as I am moving there to be with my wife who is a Mexican citizen. Is it possible I could arrive at the airport and they say she cannot be on board and then I have a huge cargo cost plus a broker? It is really challenging to get accurate and simple info. My plane is a 737-900 and the bag dimensions I have been given are : 17.5L x 12w x 7.5 hard shell case or
      soft case 18L x 11w x 11h any help would be greatly appreciated

    110. Terry
      March 4, 2015

      Hi we came into Cancun with our dog on February 19th 2015 with no problems. She was in the baggage compartment, not cargo. The weight restriction for West jet is 100 LBS total, dog and crate. We needed no broker so I believe you would not need one if travelling with you under your seat. We did come from Canada, not the US however I believe it would still apply. They want the address where the pet will be staying. If the carrier you have meets the requirements there should be no problem. The other option if the airline has it, is to put the dog in the baggage compartment.

    111. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      March 4, 2015

      John, United does request a customs broker when travelling with your pet. I suggest you to verify this with them.

    112. Ursula
      March 4, 2015

      There are three ways to take a pet into Mexico: in cabin, as baggage, and as cargo. You do not want to go through the experience taking a dog via cargo, which requires a customs broker and is an expensive nightmare. Both in cabin and as baggage are perfectly fine and the Sagargpa agents in Cancun are experienced, consistent and professional. Unfortunately for you, United does not allow pets as baggage so if your dog does not fit in cabin I would pick another airline. Our 18-lb daschund mix fits comfortably in a Large Sturdibag which although bigger than the airline measurements, has flexible ribbing and therefore is allowed. We have found that most airlines do not weigh or inspect the pet so as long as it fits comfortably in your carrier and your carrier fits under the seat you can take her on board. You cannot send her cargo if you are denied boarding – that needs to be arranged in advance – so if that happened you would cancel your flight and stay home until you could work it out.

    113. Donna Froio
      March 31, 2015

      Has anyone flown into the Cancun airport with a medium-sized animal that is certified as an emotional support dog? I understand that the same documentation for her health status and importing her still applies but wonder what we do when we actually arrive in the airport. She’s too big to be in a soft carrier. We intend to have the certificate translated into Spanish but will there be a problem if she is just on a leash wearing identification as a support dog?

      Thank you for your responses,
      Donna

    114. Ursula
      March 31, 2015

      Sagarpa (i.e. the Health Department) won’t care if she’s wearing a vest. The rules and requirements for import are the same. You don’t need to have the certificate translated into spanish either. You might get approached by the security guards at the airport who will tell you that your dog needs to be in a carrier. Be confident. Tell them she is a support dog and that you are heading to Sagarpa and exiting the airport. They won’t do anything. The only thing they could do is tell you to leave the airport, which is exactly what you intend to do. . .

    115. Donna Froio
      March 31, 2015

      Thank you Ursula! I’m hoping that the security guards will be equally understanding when we go to leave Cancun to return to the States.

    116. Terry
      March 31, 2015

      You could also e-mail them and tell them when you are coming and the situation
      oisacancun@senasica.gob.mx

      Also we took our dog out of the crate when she was inspected and put her on a leash. She was crated though until we got to customs.

    117. Donna Froio
      March 31, 2015

      Thanks Terry, that’s a good suggestion.

    118. Wendy
      May 14, 2015

      Hello, We are flying in with our large dog Golden Retriever in a large crate she is allowed to fly with the luggage … Can anybody tell me when we land where I would get my dog in Cancun and when I can take her out of her crate and put on leash she will have come from a 13.5hr flight from Europe I am a bit worried about her is there an area you can walk them and let them out anywhere??? Thank you

    119. Dylan
      June 4, 2015

      Hello!

      This has been such an amazing resource as my fiance and I prepare to make our move to Progreso. We have two dogs that are coming with us one way or the other, and we’d prefer to fly into Merida if possible. We are currently based in Atlanta in the US.

      From what I’ve gathered, if a pet is designated as cargo and is flying into the airport in Merida, a customs broker is required and the process becomes much more complicated. We’d like to avoid this, but between airline and seasonal restrictions, this may be our only option. Is it always a nightmare (as I’ve read) to bring dogs as cargo into Merida airport? Have there been any recent developments or first hand accounts from people who have gone this route? I could swallow having to pay a lot of money, but not having our dogs locked up over night or for an extended period after a plane trip.

      Thanks,

      Dylan

    120. Dylan
      June 4, 2015

      As a quick follow up, does anyone have an opinion on whether flying into Cancun (Delta has direct flights there and we might be able to get them as checked baggage) and finding transport to Progreso / Merida from there? Just trying to assess all of our options…

    121. Carrie
      June 4, 2015

      I am taking my cat through Cancun in-cabin. His rabies vaccine is short 3 days of 30. Will he be quarantined or not allowed in country since it is not over 30 days?

    122. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      June 5, 2015

      Dylan, if you bring the right documents, your dogs won´t need to spend the night at the airport. Please consult with your airline if they need a customs broker, typically they don´t when it´s 1 or 2 dogs or cats. If they say you do need one, please contact us at info@yucatanyes.com so that we can put you in contact with a broker in Merida airport that receives you and your dogs. Also, issues may be casued because international fligths to Merida arrive late at night; if you could fly to Cancun with a flight at mid-day or afternoon that will give you more opportunity for them to clear customs. But let´s wait to hear of recent expats experiences when travelling with their pets to Merida or Cancun !

    123. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      June 5, 2015

      Carrie, the regulations stated by the Mexican Government just say that the rabies vaccine should be valid by the time the pet is travelling. You can check that here (it is in English): http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=623 But in any case, he won´t be denied the entry to the country but you will need to hire the services of a local veterinarian to give him another shot.

    124. cathy
      July 29, 2015

      Good day, This will be our first year bringing our pets. 1 dog & 1 cat.We are landing in the Cancun airport but going to Akumal. The cat will be flying in the cabin with us but the dog will be in the cargo. Here is the situation:
      The food my cat eats is Royal Canin Gastro intestinal Moderate Calorie. We buy this at our Vet clinic in Canada. I have contacted the Mexican Royal Canin and they DO NOT sell this in Mexico. They only sell the RC Gastro Intestinal High Calorie ( more fat ) or Low. But not Moerate.
      So my question is: Will Mexico customs allow me to pack my cats canned food and dry food in my luggage? It is hard to find another for that he enjoys and agrees with him. I really hope I can bring this food in my suitcase? Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

    125. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      August 1, 2015

      Cathy, according to the Mexican regulations you are only allowed to bring the ration of one day’s food, not more: http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=623. However, let´s wait to see if there are other expats who would like to share their different experiences!

    126. april
      August 1, 2015

      We go to Cancun 2x a year ( snowbirds) and bring 2 big bags of kibble closed and sealed for our dog. The only thing they ask in exray is that dog food?? Never a problem.
      \
      Sara is a big collie dog and is in the hold.

    127. Cathy
      August 26, 2015

      We are coming from Canada & flying West Jet. My cat just had it’s Rabie shot. And i have the paperwork from the vet for that. But I have read on SAGARPA that when coming from Canada it is NOT necessary to be checked for ticks or parasites. Plus we DO NOT need paperwork on ticks or parasites from the vet only if you are from Canada or the U.S. I do not like giving drugs unnecessarily to people or pets . So If I do not have to give my INDOOR cat medication for ticks or parasites that he does not have I would rather not. So my question is…..If we are coming from Canada is it necessary to get a health certificate for ticks & parasites for your cat when going to the Cancun airport?
      Also??
      Do you really have to have the VETS PRIVATE CERTIFICATE # OR REGISTRATION # ON THE health certificate? Or can they just have the letterhead, address, signature & phone number of the vet on the health certificate

      ? ?I thought I had the proper info. But after reading all these emails I am now more confused then ever…:) Thank you for your time

    128. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      August 26, 2015

      Cathy, you are right, when cats or dogs come from Canada it is not necessary to be checked for internal or external parasites. As for your other question, if a private vet is issuing the health certificate, it is necessary that it is on his letterhead, with his professional identification number printed on the document or a photocopy of the identification (or equivalent). You can also confirm this information here in this link (in English) to SENASICA´s website: http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=623

    129. Kym
      January 22, 2016

      I have two very large dogs that I want to fly to Cancun in february. They have all their paperwork. I read somewhere that a customs broker is not required for cozumel. Is this correct? I have also tried contacting various brokers with no reply. I am looking for an approximate cost and some advice on theneasiest way to proceed.

      Thank you 🙂

    130. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      January 22, 2016

      Kym, the customs broker is required at your point of entry in Mexico, which in your case will be Cancun, not Cozumel. Depending on the airline they request or not the use of a customs broker. Has your airline requested one? If you need further information, please contact us at info@yucatanyes.com

    131. Ursula
      January 22, 2016

      You will need a customs broker only if your dog flies as cargo. This is expensive and it is not recommended as you do not have control over your dog. Fly your dog in cabin or as checked baggage (luggage) and you will not need a customs broker but will clear the dog yourself. Check carefully with your airline, most of the time the information is right on the airline’s website.

    132. Chwen
      February 29, 2016

      My dog is flying in to Mexico City on the 10th of March as cargo. I have all the required documents ready and they are attached to the cage when my pet is flying in.
      Can you please advise whether a customs broker is necessary for my pet? and where can I pick up my dog in the airport?
      Thank you.

    133. Belinda
      March 1, 2016

      Hello,
      I have rung United Airlines on different occasions but they have given me the same information. I cannot bring my medium size dog to Merida as baggage or in-cabin and the only way to do it is as cargo and have a customs agent clear my pet.

      The quote I received from an international pet relocation company was $3,500 for a one way flight.

      If possible, can you please connect me with a customs agent in Merida that I can deal with directly so that I might avoid the high cost of companies here in the USA

      Since the daily flight on United Airlines arrives at 6.47pm in Merida, does having a customs agent allow the pet to clear customs without having to stay overnight?

      Thank you

    134. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      March 2, 2016

      Chwen, yes you will need to hire a customs broker since your dog will be flying as cargo. Regarding where you can pick your dog at the airport, we don´t know how it works in Mexico City since we are in Merida, Yucatán; here, when a dog flies as cargo, you can pick him up at the customs broker office at the airport.

    135. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      March 2, 2016

      Belinda, you can contact any of these 2 custom agencies to help you with the import of your dog:

      – Agencia Aduanal Cervera: http://www.cervera.com.mx/english/contact/contact.html
      – Agencia Aduanal Mier y Terán: http://www.mieryteran.com.mx/#

    136. Dawn
      April 16, 2016

      I am flying to Cancun with my 13 year old collie/lab in May. I’ve had all her shots and documents done but now I’m seeing I should have the done 72 hours prior to travel? Also I’m reading she may be held overnight. This worries me due to her age and she’s never flown before. We will be arriving on a Saturday around 5pm. How can I make this trip goes as smoothly as possible for her and when can I take her out of her crate once retrieving her. Thanks for any information.

    137. April 20, 2016

      Dawn, we called the SENASICA in Cancun´s airport (they are the Mexican Government´s office that regulates the import of pets) and we were told that the health certificate must contain a validity, when you bring your pet, such certificate must be within the validity. Regarding the time of delivery of your dog, they said they would deliver it along with your luggage but that you should check the policies of your airline (sometimes they request the use of a customs broker and that may delay things a little).

    138. April 20, 2016

      Dawn, we just received a call from an expat asking us to share some information with you: she had a very bad experience at Cancun airport, they kept her dogs during the weekend in the warehouse. She recommends that you do not fly on a weekend, because your dog will be kept in the warehouse. This is what she told us over the phone; like we had previously written, we were told this would not happen, but theory to reality sometimes defer. We´d suggest that you check with your airline if they request a customs bróker and if they do, try to get in touch with one as soon as possible to try avoiding complications.

    139. april
      April 20, 2016

      It really depends on your airline for the broker or not. We travel for 3 years 2x a year with our collie dog. With Westjet from Edmonton direct to Cancun. We make sure our health certificates are within the 72 hours and also valid rabies. Never have had a problem. She comes with the luggage hand carried in her big kennel.

    140. Ursula
      April 20, 2016

      Dawn, is your dog flying as luggage or as cargo? If she is flying as luggage, you will clear her yourself. Sagarpa is open 24 hours. If she is flying cargo, then she is treated as a carton of goods, and might be held over the weekend.

    141. Michelle
      June 24, 2016

      Good morning, my husband and I are leaving Saturday 7/2 to ixtapa Mexico with our 2 yorkies. They will be traveling underneath our seats as carry ons. Other than a health certificate is there anything else we need? Are we ok to have the health certificate printed online and filled out by the vet? Or does it require a letterhead? Does it need notarized or anything?

    142. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      June 29, 2016

      Michelle, the requirements of SENASICA say that when the health certificate is issued by a private vet, it should be printed on letterhead, with the professional license number or a photocopy of the license, signature in original and simple copy.

    143. Donna Froio
      July 4, 2016

      My husband has proper documentation for flying our dog as an emotional support animal. We will be flying from the US into Merida’s airport. Is there any special procedure when we arrive in Merida? I know that the dog needs the appropriate USDA and immunization documentation since we have done this in the past flying into Cancun just wasn’t sure if there was anything unique for Merida. Thank you for your help.

    144. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      July 7, 2016

      Donna, do the same than what you have done in Cancun; regulations for the import of pets are the same throughout Mexico and actually Merida is an “easier” airport.

    145. Donna Froio
      July 7, 2016

      Thank you for your reply, this does much to put us at ease. Sincerely, Donna

    146. Donna Froio
      July 7, 2016

      Does anyone know the hours of operation for the SAGARPA Department for the Merida International Airport? We will be arriving at 8 pm on September 29th and I’m just hoping that there will be someone working in that department, at that hour, to inspect our paperwork for importing our pet at that hour. I so appreciate your help once again.

    147. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      July 8, 2016

      You’re welcome Donna!

    148. July 15, 2016

      Donna, we called the SAGARPA regarding your question and they told us there is staff of them working at 8 PM at the airport.

    149. Donna Froio
      July 15, 2016

      We feel so much better to learn this. Thank you for going the extra mile to help discover their hours of work. We very much appreciate your help!

    150. Nigel
      August 6, 2016

      Thank you so much for this wonderful page! What a great resource of information. I am flying in to Cancun from the UK at the end of the month, arriving early afternoon mid-week, with my dog coming as cargo. From reading the page, it looks like I need a customs broker for that. Can you please confirm if that is the case? There is mention of a lot of problems flying dogs in as cargo. I am aware of the need for the health certificate within 72 hours, including the rabies and parasite protection. Is there anything else that should be looked at to ensure smooth passage due to him arriving as cargo? Thank you!

    151. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      August 8, 2016

      Nigel, thank you for your kind words! Check with your airline if they need a customs bróker, because the Mexican Government only requests one if you are bringing more than 2 pets or if they are flying without the importer. It is the airline who sometimes requests the bróker.

    152. Donna Froio
      August 9, 2016

      Nigel, We have brought our dog into Cancun via cargo for about 6 trips total. Cancun does not require a customs broker. I would be cautious about temperature restrictions however. Although the cargo area is temperature controlled your dog will be facing hot temperatures while it waits to be removed from cargo into the baggage section of the airport. We flew our pet with Delta and here is a cut and pasted list of their restrictions: Delta will not accept animals as checked baggage during extreme weather, if at any point (origin/transit/destination) during the animal’s trip the high temperature for the day is forecast to be: (no exceptions to the temperature restriction)

      Below 10°F (-12C)
      Above 85°F (29.4C)
      Because of these restrictions we were only able to fly our dog during the month of October, no summer flights and no winter flights. It’s best to see if there are any temperature restrictions imposed by your airline. Hope this helps. We found the staff in Cancun that reviewed our paperwork to be extremely friendly with each of our trips. Donna

    153. april
      August 9, 2016

      Yes definite blackouts for pets who are too large to carryon. May 01-Nov 01. All airlines do this as heat is too intense.

      We travel 2x a year to Mexico for our big lassie dog. Never have needed a broker as she travels with us. Make sure the pet is up todate on shots and vet certificates.

    154. Heidi
      August 9, 2016

      Hello April, how tall is the crate that you use for your big dog? Heidi

    155. Ursula
      August 9, 2016

      Not all airlines have a heat embargo. The dates they impose the embargoes differ between airlines so you should check with the airline. Think also about the health of your dog. If you can fly with an airline that will take your pet as luggage in the summer, pick a flight that lands or departs early in the morning or after sunset to minimize risk. Also, there is a lot of confusion happening between travelling with a pet in cabin, as luggage or as cargo. These are three different things and the process differs. Customs brokers are required for cargo travel and I would not do it because if the customs broker is not available then your dog waits at the airport. Travelling with your dog as luggage means you clear the dog yourself through Sagarpa, which is open 24 hours a day at the Cancun airport (I can’t speak for every airport but I can speak for Cancun). You also clear your in-cabin pets yourself and there are the fewest restrictions about when and with whom they can fly, except of course they must be pretty small!

    156. april
      August 9, 2016

      We have the largest kennel the airline accepts. I know the kennel and dog cannot weigh more than 100lbs or you have to ship Cargo.

    157. Nigel
      August 10, 2016

      Thanks all for your advice. I have been in touch with the cargo handling company about the heat issues on arrival, and have been assured that Thomas Cook Airlines, who I am travelling with from the UK, take every possible measure to avoid extended exposure to heat. The handling agent has told me that “pets are taken off the aircraft at the first opportunity and transported to the warehouse as quickly as possible”.

      It is good to know that a customs broker will not be needed. Regarding the process of picking him up, I have been told that if I contact the handling agent on arrival, she will “most likely come and meet you to ensure the process is completed quickly”. She speaks good English and I will be giving her a call before the day to say hello and discuss the arrangements.

      It is very encouraging to hear that the staff are friendly Donna, and I am looking forward to a smooth trip for both of us!

      Thanks again for all the advice, and sorry for the delay replying.

      (FYI to YES I did not receive an email to notify me, even though I subscribed to the comments. I have checked junk mail too and it is not in there. I have also checked my email address is correct in the system and registered as subscribed to these comments.)

    158. August 10, 2016

      Nigel, we’ll check on that. Thank you.

    159. april
      August 10, 2016

      I am a bit nervous about that statement…at the first opportunity…sorry…Most airlines have a heat embargo and wonder why they do not? So you are not traveling with the pet it is going cargo? Our pet comes with us and comes off with the regular baggage. But I do know some pets are taken to their cargo building.

    160. Nigel
      August 17, 2016

      I just wanted to add to these comments, as I haven’t seen specific mention of it on this page, that there is the following requirement from SENASICA for animals traveling in to Mexico from countries other than the US or Mexico:

      – That the animal(s) has/have been internally and externally dewormed within the last six months and are free of ectoparasites. (THIS REQUIREMENT DOES NOT APPLY FOR PETS WHOSE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN OR FROM WHERE THEY ARE BEING SENT IS THE USA OR CANADA).

      Copied from the official page that is also linked elsewhere here:
      http://senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=623

      Since “externally dewormed” doesn’t make any sense, it seems clear that that part is a translation error, and it is external parasites that are being referred to. I have had my dog treated for external parasites with Frontline and an internal deworming tablet (Milquantel), and had this witnessed at the same vet who is carrying out the health certificate inspection before his trip. I have had it mentioned on the general vaccine certificate and also having a letter drawn up by the vet confirming the treatment.

    161. Nigel
      August 17, 2016

      Sorry the above should say “…traveling in to Mexico from countries other than the US or CANADA” but I can’t edit the comment now it has been posted. Thanks.

    162. Suzie Hayward
      October 31, 2016

      Do you have any contacts for the Lake Chapala, Jalisco area? We have 9 cats and I doxie to transport . Does anyone know of others with so many animals to travel and the best way ?
      Thank you

    163. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      October 31, 2016

      Suzie, sorry we do not have contacts for this in the Lake Chapala area; we are posting this comment, in case someone does! Good luck.

    164. Silly Rabbit
      November 20, 2016

      Hi,
      I’m planning to fly to Puerto Vallarta with my documented emotional support dog. She is medium sized. I am wondering if anyone here has flown into MX with a medium size ESA and, if so, what happened when they arrived at the airport? I.e. she won’t be in a carrier (or even have one). What about leaving to return to U.S.?
      I realize this forum is for the Yucatan, but this is the most comprehensive thread I’ve found on the topic of bringing a dog from the U.S. into MX!

    165. Daniel
      December 2, 2016

      Good afternoon,

      I a looking to fly our 60 lb lab to Mexico city. United Airlines said they could do that, but mentioned we would need a broker. They gave me the contact information of a broker and their estimated quote was almost $1,000. Do you have any suggestions on what we could do for it to be a little bit cheaper than that Thanks!

    166. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      December 2, 2016

      Daniel, our suggestion would be to try and get another quotes from other brokers in Mexico City. United Airlines policy is strict regarding the need of a customs broker and there is no way to skip that. Since we are in the Yucatán área, we do not have contacts of brokers in Mexico City, our apologies. Perhaps someone here could help you with information.

    167. Isabelle Campbell
      March 18, 2017

      We just landed in Cancun with our two dogs from the U.S and here are few things I would recommend if you want to avoid the nightmare we went through. I wish I had found this site before we book our travels, it would have saved us and our dogs a lot of unnecessary stress. Knowing what we know now here is what I STRONGLY recommend.
      Note: we used a “professional” pet shipper. Flew on Delta with our dogs in cargo. All of our docs were in order prior to arrival.

      DO NOT FLY YOUR PETS AS CARGO seek another airline that allows you to check your pets as luggage, drive, take a boat, charter a private jet DO whatever you can to avoid checking them as cargo as your dream of living under the palms taking strolls on endless white beaches will turn into a nightmare before you set foot in Cancun. Aside from the custom “agent” we were told we did not need, the mile long list of documents we had to sign and the back and forth between terminals and different offices to get more papers and signatures. The place where they held our dogs while we were running around getting signatures was beyond unacceptable, it was down right scary. WE were lucky or I should say luckier than the other folks we met going through the cargo custom nightmare. I speak fluent Spanish, I had cash, a driver (hubby who had arrived a month before us) and a large SUV. You will not be allowed to take your pets out of their crates until you are outside the cargo facility. If your pet crates are large you’ll need a van to get them out or outside help to help you carry them outside the gates. Make sure you have closed shoes (no flip flops or open shoes allowed and picture ID is required for all entering the cargo lot for pick up). If you don’t speak Spanish get a translator! And bring cash to pay the cargo fees which can vary depending how long they “held” your pets. We paid 700 pesos for 4 hours in hold. Met a couple who were on their third day attempting to get their dogs they were being charged thousands!

      DO NOT FLY WITH DELTA AIRLINES
      Delta changed their policy last year and only accept pets as cargo or in cabin if they can fit under the seat in an accepted crate. They also force you to use an ipata “accredited” pet shipper (what a joke that was) and will not help you in any way as soon as you step of the plane.

      DO NOT FLY ON WEEKENDS, Mexican “holidays” or on flights arriving in Cancun after 1:00 pm local time. Sadly, pets in Mexico are not given the reverence we foreigners show our pets. It is changing slowly but if you expect them to worry about your dog/cat sitting outside in a crate on a loading dock, with no water while they are having lunch or dealing with more urgent matters you are in for a rude awakening. You will also be waiting, A LOT standing outside for someone to open a tiny service window whenever they need a signature or your passport. No phones allowed. Bring water!!

      MAKE PHOTOCOPIES OF ALL YOU DOCUMENTS! The original health certificate, vaccination records and vet documents were taped in a clear envelope to the crates by Delta cargo in Atlanta. They were gone when the crates arrived at custom in Cancun Thankfully I had made 3 copies of all my docs just in case. It absolutely saved us. No docs, no entry.

      TAKE PICTURES I took pictures of all the labels, documents and tags that are on the crates which gave me proof that my original documents were indeed on the crates before they mysteriously “disappeared”. I also took selfies with my dogs inside their crates.

      Our dogs were very stressed and dehydrated when we finally got them out. We had booked what we thought was going to be a short, direct flight from Atlanta to Cancun. Took the earliest flight out to avoid the afternoon heat. Hired a pet shipper who was supposed to help with all that was required to enter Mexico. Nothing could have prepared us for what we went through. I will NEVER put my dogs through that again. And if you love and cherish your pets as much as we do, you should NOT CONSIDER cargo as an option for you fur kids.

      Isabelle

    168. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      March 23, 2017

      Isabelle, thank you for sharing your story!! We hope it helps to those who are planning to travel with their pets.

    169. Alicia
      April 1, 2017

      Hello,

      I am flying to Cancun airport this summer with my dog on a private charter, so he does not need a carrier for the flight. Will I need a carrier for him to get through immigration, or can I just keep him on a leash?

      Thanks in advance!
      Alicia

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