Saturday, December 02, 2006

Relocating pets to Panama

Before shipping a dog or cat to or from the Republic of Panama, contact local airline personnel, to determine shipping requirements, size and type of cage needed.
To import a dog or cat into Panama, you have to bring:
1) Health certificate authenticated by Panamanian Consul or with Apostille from the Department of State,
2) Vaccinations certificate authenticated by Panamanian Consul or with Apostille from the Department of State,
3) Pay US$130.00 for quarantine fees at any BANCONAL Banco Nacional de Panama with an appropiate form

4) If entering through Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen an attorney or acquaintance in Panama has to request an exemption from quarantine in writing before the health minister 2 weeks before the trip - indicating arrival and pet information. The request must be submitted hand-delivered at PETA-MINSA (Proteccion de Alimentos of Ministerio de Salud, at former Gorgas US Army Hospital, tel. 562-1671)
With these documents the pet will be allowed into the country. Without 4), the pet will be subject to 30-days quarantine and then released to you. Without any documents, the pet will be returned back to the country of origin.
Some Panama government officials are off-duty on weekends/holidays. PETS ARRIVING DURING OFF-DUTY HOURS WILL BE LEFT IN THE AIRPORT CARGO SECTION WITHOUT FOOD!!!

Panama requires CITES species control certificates from the country of origin and approvals from ANAM (Areas Protegidas at Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, Curundu, tel. 532-7223) and MIDA (Cuarentena Agropecuaria of Ministerio de Desarrollo Agropecuario, Curundu, tel. 232-5340).
For a list of Panamanian consulates providing more information, go to Embassyworld, or
This information is subject to changes, specially since government entities regularly change telephone numbers or locations without previous notice and 99.99% of the time do not provide information by email or fax. It is provided for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as advice. Travelers should rely instead on their own inquiries at the relevant entities at least 1 month before the date of travel.


Moderator said...

CATS & DOGS CARE CENTER. Ave. Ernesto T. Lefevre # 86. Panamá - Panamá, Panamá. Tel : (507)2219291. Fax : (507)2216865 provides pet boarding and assistance with quarantine procedures.

Anonymous said...

We are finding the requirements for bringing dogs 9pets) in and out of Panama. Please do not think we are flippant, we understand the reasons for very strict regulations are needed. We are preparing to live in Panama, and the only problem we envisage is travelling in and out of Panama with our Show Dogs, a hobby we desperately want to continue, it is our life. Now, we are British (Welsh actually), and Britain has been a Rabies ISLAND for hundreds of years. Initially this was controlled by severe Quarantine Laws. They were extreme laws but they worked. After years of research the British Authorities launched the Pet Passprt. Initially just enabling people to travel between Europe and the UK. This worked, so it was extended to the whole World. The document has very strict criteria, pets have to have, for example prescribed Rabies, Leptospirosis innoculations,and prescribed flea and tick treatment etc.,and anything else required by specific countries, annually, and srutinised by all required authorities. All of this is done just once a year. Once the pet has the Passport and providing it is kept up to date and confirmed by authorised Vets, all the pet owner has to do is show it at relevant points through out the entry and exit procedure. It has simplified the process so much it makes it so much more practical, whilst it still ensures the countries the pet is travelling into are not exposed to any risks of the pet carrying any dangerous diseases into that country. Every one is safe, the pets well being is not compromised which is paramount and neither is the safety and well being of the country and its animals.
How can we, single individuals, suggest the Panamanian Authorities consider using a similar procdure? can anyone suggest who we could get in touch with to put this suggestion to? I know of several people already, who would very much have liked to relocate to Panama, but, because they travel all over the world a few times a year, showing their top World winning dogs, they have been totally put off by these complicted procedures. Without wanting to be disrespectful to any country in the World, I have to emphasise that the UK System is probably the safest in the World. All the research footwork has been done. Other countries would be wise to look at this almost fool proof system, and copy it, adapting specifics to the particular neccessities of each individual country.

Rita & Jeff Lloyd

Moderator said...

After you start a relationship with a Panama vet, you could ask to explain in a Spanish written document the proposal to the Panama Vet Doctors Association. Change will come slowly and unfortunately not on time for your expatriation but it will benefit others coming after you.

Jackie B said...

It's now Sept. 2009 and nothing is simple about bringing your pet to Panama. I just transported my 2 cats, and I hired a liason in Panama to complete to advance quarantine paperwork (at a cost)but they helped out tremendously. Perhaps the hardest (and least explained) step is the fact that all the paperwork must be done within 10 days of entering Panama. For me that meant one day to visit my vet (cats got examined, all shots updated and paperwork filled out at a cost$$. Do not forget the Rabies Certificate!) The following day, I drove into Los Angeles (80 miles) to the U.S.D.A. so that the U.S.D.A. could officially stamp the appropriate paperwork at more $$$ (while in line, I found that 90% of the people brought the wrong paperwork on their first visit to the U.S.D.A. and there were a lot of people there) Then the following day I had to drive 100 miles to the Panamanian Consolute in San Diego (opposite direction of L.A.) So that they could put their special embossed stamp on my paperwork (for more $$) The "good" thing was that my various trips went smoothly and I had all the correct paperwork, because I had no room for error.

My 10 days included 4 days worth of weekends when all offices were closed. Then when we arrived at the airport, we were limited by which airline would transport our pets. Only Copa would transport pets, and not in cargo, only in cabin. There is a limited number allowed on the plane, and (of all the rotten luck) There was already a dog in the cabin when we arrived with our 2 cats. (the limit is 2 pets in economy) So after buying the specialized pet carriers, and doing all the running around, there was still that last minute difficulty at the airport. (The website said no reservations, 1st come, 1st served) We were there 3 hours early!! Fortunately my husband was able to appeal to a very courteous airline representative and explained that we were moving,that we had no choice. They managed to make an exception, but I doubt that will occur again. The articles all made it sound like it would be so easy, but ultimately, it cost us a small fortune and the stress involved was tremendous. I would not recommend the experience to anyone.

Moderator said...

Jackie B: Did you call before landing during a 4-day weekend? The blog clearly says: "Some Panama government officials are off-duty on weekends/holidays. ... This information is subject to changes .... Travelers should rely instead on their own inquiries at the relevant entities at least 1 month before the date of travel." Thanks for the update. For more about the 10-day rule, go to