Bringing your pet
Bringing a pet to Panama is straightforward if you follow the rules. It's just an extra degree of work at an already-busy time.
In many households, pets are full-fledged members of the family. Their owners wouldn't for one moment consider leaving them behind when they move.
Here's what's needed to bring your pet to Panama:
* A health certificate from a veterinarian issued not more than 10 days before departure. It should state your pet is in good health and, for animals, had a rabies shot in the past year. The vet will issue a standard three-part form.
* The form must be stamped by the agricultural department in your home country.
* It must then be taken or sent by courier to the nearest Panamanian consulate or embassy for processing.
There are fees for each of these services.
In Panama, your agent or relocation service must have a letter or email containing the following information:
* Type of animal
* Owner's full name and passport number
* Where the animal will live
These particulars will then be included in a letter to the Minister of Health, requesting permission for home quarantine. The same information will be used to ensure someone meets the plane, welcomes your pet to Panama, and takes custody of it overnight if you arrive outside normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Your agent can also arrange to pay a government inspector overtime to clear your pet outside these hours, saving a night in the lock-up for an animal that has already had an unusual day.
At the airport, you will need to go to the Banco Nacional branch there and pay $19.50 to Ministerio de Desarrollo Agropecuario and $40 to Ministerio de Salud, Control de Alimentos y Vigilancia Veterinaria. Don't bother trying to remember the names if you're not fluent in Spanish. Just have the money available!
Bringing a pet to Panama is simple enough. It just takes a little patience.