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Importation of Pets to Ecuador

Importation of Pets to Ecuador

Malcolm, who is moving to Ecuador, kindly shares the results of his extensive research with Expat Focus

by Malcolm Reding

According to Ecuadorian Customs website, you can import up to 2 animals, dog, cats or birds at one time. That is two per person, so a couple can import up to 4 animals. It does not say that on the Ecuadorian customs website but all customs regulations worldwide are per person because each person has a passport. Dogs and cats are not a problem, but birds are a problem because of all the diseases they can carry. Ecuador has a 2-page list of what is required to take your pet parrot along. Here is the link to the Ecuadorian Customs website: www.aduana.gov.ec/contenido/procviajeros.html.If you have the Chrome browser installed, it automatically translates the pages for you.

The USDA website for bird exports to Ecuador is: www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/downloads/ec_or.pdf.

For dogs and cats, it is: www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/downloads/ec_cn.pdf

1. First make your airline reservations for you and your critters, because you have only 10 days from the date of the USDA certificate to leave the country. Then take your animals to your Vet to make sure they are current with all medications. Your Vet will give you a health certificate that says that. If you have more than one animal, ask the Vet to put both on the same certificate. It will save you $37.00 The USDA website is: www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/. When the page opens, look on the right side of the page and click on the link "Find an Area Veterinarian-in-Charge". That will take you to the list of state Veterinary offices. NOTE: don’t use the Safari browser, the USDA website doesn't like it.

While having a microchip installed in your pet is an excellent idea, it is not required either by the airlines or by Ecuadorian Customs. I only checked American Airlines and LAN and neither require a chip.

2. FEDEX the documents overnight to the nearest USDA field office that processes paperwork for animal exports. Make sure you include an addressed overnight return FEDEX envelope along with a check for their services. They will take checks or credit cards. The cost is $37.00 per certificate, if your Vet will put all the animals on one certificate, $37.00 is the total cost. The USDA office is used to this process and will get the documents back to you in a few days.


There is some misunderstanding about the 10-day travel rule being an Ecuadorian customs regulation. That is not true; it is an airline regulation - so says American Airlines, LAN and the USDA. I don't know about other airlines. NOTE: American Airlines has the best service to Ecuador from Miami. They have many non-stop flights to Quito which is about 4.5 hours.

There is a rumor that you have to present the documents to the state department as well, this is not true.

There is a rumor that the documents have to be in Spanish, which is not true.

There is no quarantine period in Ecuador. It your pet has the required immunizations; you can take them right home with you. There are import taxes, but I understand it's about $50 US per animal.

Here is the link to the Ecuadorian Customs website: www.aduana.gov.ec/contenido/procviajeros.html. If you have the Chrome browser installed, it automatically translates the pages for you.

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