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Panama – Importing a Pet

Moving to Panama with your pet can be a wonderful experience, but it is crucial to understand the rules and regulations for importing pets into the country. This article provides information on importing pets to Panama, including restrictions, vaccination requirements, paperwork, quarantine, licensing, and relevant government websites.

Restrictions on importing pets to Panama

Panama allows the import of pets, but there are specific regulations and requirements to ensure the safety of the country’s unique flora and fauna. The type of pets that can be brought into Panama is limited, and some species are prohibited. The restricted and prohibited species are determined by the Ministry of Agricultural Development.

Dogs, cats, and small domestic birds such as canaries and parakeets are the only species allowed to be imported into Panama as pets. Other species such as rodents, reptiles, and primates are prohibited. For example, boa constrictors and other large snakes are not allowed to be imported.

Vaccination Requirements

All pets imported to Panama must have a valid health certificate, which includes vaccination requirements. Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus. The vaccination must be administered at least 30 days before the pet’s arrival in Panama and must not be older than one year.

Additionally, all pets must be microchipped and have a current rabies antibody test result. The test must be done at least 30 days and no more than one year before the pet’s arrival in Panama and must be performed by an approved laboratory.

Application procedure and paperwork

To import a pet to Panama, you must follow specific procedures and complete the required paperwork. The first step is to obtain an import permit from the Ministry of Agricultural Development. The import permit application must be completed online and includes information about the pet’s species, health status, and country of origin.


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Once you have obtained the import permit, you must ensure that your pet meets all the requirements, including vaccination, microchipping, and testing. You must also obtain a veterinary certificate from a government-approved veterinarian in the country of origin.

Furthermore, all pets must undergo a mandatory inspection by a government-approved inspector upon arrival in Panama. The inspector will verify the pet’s paperwork and may require additional documents or inspections, depending on the circumstances.

Quarantine Requirements

All pets imported to Panama are subject to quarantine requirements to ensure that they do not bring any diseases or pests into the country. The quarantine period varies depending on the pet’s species, health status, and country of origin.

Dogs and cats from certain countries, such as Australia, Canada, and the United States, may be eligible for a reduced quarantine period of 40 days. However, pets from other countries may face a quarantine period of up to 120 days. The quarantine must be performed at an approved quarantine facility in Panama, and the owner must bear the associated costs.

International travel schemes for pets

Panama is not part of any international travel scheme for pets, such as the PETS travel scheme in the EU. Therefore, all pets must comply with the specific regulations and requirements for importing pets into Panama.

If you are traveling from a country that has a similar animal health status to Panama, you may be eligible for a reduced quarantine period or exemption. You should check with the relevant authorities in your country of origin and the Ministry of Agricultural Development for the specific requirements and procedures.

Licensing Requirements

In Panama, there is no specific license requirement for owning a pet. However, if you own a dog, you must ensure that they are leashed and muzzled in public places. Additionally, certain dog breeds are subject to specific regulations and restrictions.

It is essential to check with the local authorities in your area for the specific regulations and requirements.


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