No animal may be imported (landed) into T&T except in accordance with a licence granted by the Chief Technical Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture. Pets arriving in Chaguaramas are not defined as imports as long as they remain on board the vessel for the duration of their stay. They must be declared to customs on entry. Chaguaramas is not an official quarantine station so compliance is entrusted to the integrity and goodwill of the pet owners. Please Note: Visiting pets requiring medical attention must only be treated on board the vessel and must not be taken to a Veterinarian Office. Boats calls for clinical services are provided by a number of private veterinarians (see Yellow Pages) who will provide “Boat Calls”. In Emergencies, it is suggested to call Jesse James (Members only Maxi Taxi Service) who specialises in pet transport and has been able to expedite a “fast response” authority in critical situations.
Travelling by Air
Pets are allowed on shore for travel between Chaguaramas and Piarco International Airport. An In-Transit Permit allows them to be temporary “diplomats”:
Chaguaramas to Piarco Airport
- Get a health certificate within one week of travel. The vet must come to the boat. Private or State veterinarians will do a physical exam, ensure vaccinations are current for your destination and issue a health certificate. State veterinarians are limited to regulatory work and government working hours. However they do not charge for the boat call and they issue the certificate on the spot without further processing. There is a fee for the examination and certificate. Private veterinarians offer a wider range of clinical services and hours. Expect to pay more since they must get the certificate stamped by the Ministry of Agriculture.
- Apply for an In Transit Permit from the Ministry of Agriculture (details below). Jesse James can provide this and many other services concerning pet transport.
- At least one working day before travel, call the Dog and Cat Quarantine Station to arrange for a quarantine guard to escort the pet from the boat to the plane in a secured carrier without any stops. The attendant must be picked up and returned to the quarantine station at the owner’s expense. A fee is payable to the attendant.
Piarco Airport to Chaguaramas
- Importation of cats and dogs from all countries requires an importation license which must be applied for 3 months prior to the travel date. For a copy of the Importation applications form and further information, visit www.agriculture.gov.
- Have your pet examined a week before travel and get a health certificate to be given to the State veterinarian who is on airport duty upon your arrival in Trinidad.
- Ensure you have a valid In Transit Permit. If this is a return trip, your outgoing permit may have provided for the return. If not, apply for a permit from the address below allowing enough time for mailing and two working days processing in Trinidad.
- Arrange for the quarantine guard as described above.
- Inform the office of the Veterinary Officer, St. George (which is the same telephone used for the guard) of your arrival details at least one working day in advance. The veterinarian will issue a landing permit. You will have to pay an inspection fee to Customs and an Inspectors Fee to the veterinarian.
- Transport your pet to the vessel, accompanied by the guard, and ensure the guard is returned to the quarantine station.
Chaguaramas to the vet clinic
It doesn’t work this way at the moment although plans are afoot by forward thinking animal lovers to try to facilitate animal adoptions, spaying and neutering, clinical services, and maybe some “Boat Calls” by setting up a small centre at one of the boat yards in Chaguaramas. In the meantime the vet must come to the vessel unless it is a local pet that has not travelled. In emergencies, the veterinarian can apply to the Chief Veterinary Officer for permission to have the animal treated at an appropriate facility.
If you import your pet in accordance with the license (Import Permit) from the Chief Technical Officer, your pet will be without limitations. However this will only last until the pet travels out of the country after which it must start the process all over again depending on where it has been. The quarantine depends on the country of origin.
Direct Entry without quarantine:
Countries of origin that qualify: Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Dominica, UK, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Singapore, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Sweden.
Entry with 30 day quarantine:
Countries of origin that qualify: Austria, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Falkland Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Macau, Peninsular Malaysia, Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, Portugal, Reunion, Sabah, Saipan, Sarawak, Seychelles, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay.
Entry with six months quarantine:
Animals from other countries which may be considered high-risk for rabies will be subject to at least six months quarantine.
Importing a pet bird
Permission to bring a pet bird into Trinidad must be granted by both the Veterinary Services Division and the Wildlife Section of the Forestry Division. Veterinary Services Division will coordinate the issuance of two documents; a) Import Permit for All Birds (poultry excluded) and b) Wildlife Section Approval to Import Wildlife into Trinidad and Tobago.
The above documents will be issued upon receipt of a copy of a CITES permit issue by the country of origin and a payment of US$3.50 (for US CITES permit information go to http://international.fws.gov). This process can take up to 120 days. With documents in hand, the pet owner is free to
bring his bird into Trinidad and Tobago providing the bird and documents are accompanied by a health certificate signed by an authorized Veterinarian, e.g. for USA, a USDA International Certificate of Health (APHIS form 7001). The bird must be examined and document signed within 7 days of travel. The Veterinary Services Division must be given at least 24 hours notice prior to arrival of the bird.
If these procedures are followed, there is no requirement for an escort to and from the airport. The bird will be received and cleared at the airport. If arriving by sea, all of the above applies except that the Quarantine Station should be called upon arrival and the bird quarantined on the boat until both bird and papers are examined.
PLEASE RESPECT AND OBEY THE QUARANTINE REGULATIONS
Chief Veterinary Officer
Veterinary Services Division
Ministry of Agriculture,
St. George, Dog & Cat Quarantine Station