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Regulations and Assessments

International Animal Export Regulations



If you have any questions or concerns regarding these regulations for exporting animals or animal products to a foreign country, you should contact the APHIS-VS Area Office in the State from which the animals or products will be exported.

Mexico - Summary of Requirements


The Exportation Of Live Animals To Mexico By Land Ports. (pdf 55kb)

Please Note:

All Health certificates for live animals and germplasm to Mexico must not contain any abbreviations.  This includes, but is not limited to:

Dates: "January" is accepted while "Jan" is not.  
States: Must be the entire word and not the two-letter abbreviation.
Ages: "Months" or "Year" is accepted while  "yrs" and "mos" are not.

In addition, all health certificates must be type written, or done in word processor or computer. The number of the health certificate must be also type written or in a word processor or computer. Hand written documents will be rejected.

The Texas Department of Agriculture has informed that the Livestock Export Facility located in Del Rio, Texas, will be closed as of August 31, 2011. Livestock will be exported through this facility until August 19, 2011.



“The Breeding Cattle Protocol for Mexico has been modified. The New Protocol will be effective on July 28, 2014.
From July 28 to August 14, the Old and the New Protocols will be accepted by Mexico.
From August 15 on, only the New Protocol will be accepted by Mexico.”


Please note the following information for the exportation of breeding cattle to Mexico:

1) Importers/exporters must make a reservation with the States of Arizona or New Mexico or the Texas Department of Agriculture for pen space at the port of inspection. Pens with inspection facilities are located at the following ports: Nogales and Douglas in Arizona; Santa Teresa in New Mexico; and El Paso, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo, and Brownsville in Texas.  Note that space availability at the border is very limited and must be secured prior to shipment.

2) The shipper/exporter is responsible for advising the VS port veterinarians of the expected date and time of arrival of the animals.  Thirty (30) days prior to exportation of the animals, the importer will make arrangements with the General Directorate of Animal and Plant Health Inspection (DGIF) of Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA) to have Mexican-approved veterinarians available at the ports of exportation.

Upon arrival of the animals at border, the VS port veterinarian or USDA authorized personnel, in the presence of the Mexican approved veterinarian will break the seal, and compare it with the numbers written on the IHC, VHC, and/or addendum for rest stops. Personnel previously authorized by USDA include the VS Port Veterinarians and animal health technicians, State employees, and accredited veterinarians.

During emergency situations, and for humane animal welfare considerations, when the Mexican approved veterinarian is absent for more then 60 minutes after the time of arrival written in the log book, VS port veterinarian or USDA authorized personnel will be permitted to break seals and unload the cattle. The official breaking the seals will file a report indicating the reason why the animals were unloaded. Officials performing this task will wear proper identification.

3) For certifications statements that only require one statement to be submitted, delete the statements that are not needed.  Make sure that you use PDF reader or request a Word version of the Health Certificate from the National Center for Import and Export (NCIE).  Mexico will not accept hand-made corrections, erasures, line outs, or cross outs. If you do not do not have a PDF reader, you may contact Dr. Osmundo Castilla at the NCIE animal export staff at 301 - 851-3300 to request a Word version of the documents.  For additional information, please feel free to contact NCIE Export staff at 301-851-3300.

4) We have been informed that at the port of Santa Teresa, New Mexico, Mexican customs officials do not process cattle on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).  This is not a SAGARPA decision, it is a customs ruling.  For this reason no shipments of cattle to Santa Teresa, New Mexico should be scheduled or weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).


Mexico does not require to identify permanent and temporary entry with microchip.
For horses (other than slaughter) exported to Mexico, the following methods of identification must be used: marks (silhouette) or tattoo or microchip.

Please fill out the health certificate correctly otherwise the horses will be rejected at the border.

Effective December 16, 2009, Mexico requires to identify all horses for slaughter with microchip

Even when it is not required in the protocol, slaughter horses to Mexico must be free of ticks. Horses with ticks will be rejected at the border.

Please Note:
For horses exported to Mexico, the health certificate must state the name of the laboratory and the date that the equine infectious anemia blood sample was obtained from the horse (within 60 days prior to exportation).

There are no additional restrictions on US horses to Mexico in relation to the Vesicular Stomatitis case in Texas.

Poultry and Other Avian Species

''Mexico has informed that the effective September 1, 2013, all shipments (by land or air transportation) for hatching eggs and three-day old chicks must be accompanied by a copy of the new health certificate on the web. In addition, labels describing the description of the shipment must be applied on all the boxes.'' All shippments with new health certificates presented at the board before September 1,2013 will be rejected.

Please Note:

To export day-old chicks for reproduction and hatching eggs, West Nile Virus certification statement is not required.
The following complementary information is needed for shipments of chicks to Mexico.

1. When stating the inspection date on box 13 of VS FORM 17 - 6, please clarify that this is the inspection date of the flock of origin and not the inspection date of the chicks.
2. Specify the date hatching or the age of the chicks.

Sheep and Goat



Aquatic Animals


Please Note: Mexico will reject VS Form 7001 health certificates if they are not signed and sealed by a Veterinary Services veterinarian. In addition, all health certificates must be type written, or done in word processor or computer. The number of the health certificate must be also type written or in a word processor or computer. Hand written documents will be rejected.

Other Animals

Please Note:
As of April 23, 2010 due to a report of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in the State of Minnesota, until further notice, Mexico will refuse entry of all rabbits (including pet rabbits) from the United States.

Zoological Animals

For the importation of muledeer Odocolleus hemionus crooki, SEMARNAT - Mexico has the following additional requirements:

"The animals to be imported do not originate in herds that had sanitary restrictions of any kind due to BSE.
  • The animals to be imported have not been fed with products or sub-products of animal origin (ruminant) during the years prior to the date of exportation.
  • The animals to be exported are registered in an official monitoring program for chronic wasting disease (CWD); the time the animals have been participating in this program must be stated in the certifications.
  • In the herd of origin there have not been suspects or cases of CWD during the last 5 years prior to the date of exportation.
  • Each one of the animals has a marking system; the system utilized by each animal must be specified.

For species not listed, the requirements are not known. However, exporters wanting to ship livestock or germplasm whose requirements are not listed above, should have the interested party (importer/buyer) in the country of destination apply for an Import Permit at the appropriate ministry. This Import Permit will most likely outline the specific requirements.

Sanitary Permit

A sanitary permit is issued by the Division of Animal Health, Ave Mexico No.190, Colonia Del Carmen Coyocan, CP 04700, Mexico DF. This permit must be obtained in advance of the importation by the importer. The permit shall be submitted to the official veterinarian of The Department of Port and Border Animal Health Inspection at the port of entry.

Please note:  The exporter must obtain a Sanitary Permit from Mexico for ruminants, swine, and horses.  The name of the person that is listed on the permit must match the name of the person listed on the Health Certificate.  The Health Certificate must contain the following statement for animals exported to Mexico:  "The animals must be transported in cleaned and disinfected vehicles, and not contact any other animals during their transport.  Los vehículos utilizados para el transport de los animales a la frontera fueron sometidos a limpieza y desinfección antes del embarque y no estar en contacto con otros animales durante el traslado."

Ports of Entry

Mexican/US Border Ports - ( list of sites and animals accepted at ports) (pdf 47kb)

A. Veterinary Services has been informed that border entry points have been authorized by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Livestock, for the importation of livestock from the United States. An official veterinarian of Mexico has been assigned permanently to each of these ports by the Bureau of Animal Health, Department of Port and Border Animal Health Inspection. Inspection of livestock will be performed by the official Mexican port veterinarian at facilities in the United States approved by the Bureau of Animal Health. (See Mexican Border Port Facilities.)

B. Importations by air or by sea may be made under sanitary permit when facilities for inspection are available at the port of entry in Mexico.

Mexico Land Port Offices (pdf 52kb)

Note: The sister city on the U.S. side is listed in parentheses

Other Information Continued

Other Information Continued

Last Modified: July 30, 2014