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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Bring Horses into the U.S. from Mexico

? Day
Quarantine
African Horse Sickness Unknown
Screwworm Unknown
Contagious Equine Metritus Unknown
Foot and Mouth Disease Unknown

General Information

Horses imported into the United States from Mexico by land or transiting Mexico require a 7 day quarantine. The animals must be accompanied by an official health certificate issued within 30 days of physical examination and endorsed by a salaried veterinarian of the Mexican government. Horses inspected at the Del Rio, TX quarantine facility will require an USDA APHIS-issued import permit before entering the United States. Imported horses must test negative for dourine, glanders, equine infectious anemia, and piroplasmosis. The official entry tests for equine piroplasmosis are the complement fixation test (CFT) and cELISA (enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay). Quarantine and pre-entry testing take a minimum of 7 days. There is no differentiation between temporary and permanent status of horses importing from Mexico.

Health Certificate

The health certificate should state that the horse has:

  • Been in Mexico for 60 days preceding importation. Horses imported from Mexico that have been in Mexico less than 60 days must be accompanied by an original or copy of the export certificate from each country in which the horse has resided during the 60 days prior to import into the United States.
  • Been inspected and found free of contagious diseases or exposure to any diseases immediately preceding exportation.
  • Not been vaccinated during the 14 days prior to exportation.
  • Not been on premises where African horse sickness, dourine, glanders, surra, epizootic lymphangitis, ulcerative lymphantis, equine piroplasmosis, equine infectious anemia, contagious equine metritis, vesicular stomatitis, or Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis has occurred during the last 60 days immediately preceding exportation. The certificate must also state that these diseases have not occurred on any adjoining premises during the previous 60 days.
  • Not been in a country where contagious equine metritis (CEM) is known to exist, nor have had any contact, breeding or otherwise, with horses from any such country, for the last 12 months preceding exportation.
  • Had a negative examination for ectoparasites, including ticks.

Available Ports

Warning!

Due to the dynamic nature of security requirements and inspection personnel, you *MUST* contact the port at least *3 business days prior to crossing*. Each port has may have it's own additional requirements - contact them for the latest information.

Check with the border port to determine if they require the importer to use an authorized customs broker.

With the exception of Del Rio, APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) port veterinarians will inspect horses on the Mexican side of each port. Make a reservation for quarantine space at least 3 days in advance of arrival at the border port.

Contact for Appointment

1 Pan American Ave, Bldg 611, Rm 1132
Douglas, AZ 85607
Vs.douglas.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (520) 364-5681

Contact for Appointment

Arizona Highway 195
Commercial Port of Entry
San Luis, AZ 85349
VS.San.Luis.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (623) 393-9270

Contact for Appointment

200 North Mariposa Road
Room B617
Nogales, AZ 85621
Vs.nogales.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (520) 287-4172
Office phone: (520) 287-4173

Contact for Appointment

8980 South West Plata Ave.
Columbus, N.M. 88029
Office Phone: (505) 761-3160
Vs.columbus.poe@usda.gov 

Contact for Appointment

100 Frontera Blvd.
Santa Teresa, N.M. 88008
Vs.santa.teresa.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (575) 589-6150

Contact for Appointment

120 San Francisco St. (8510 Mines Road) 
Laredo, TX 78040 
VS.Laredo.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (956) 726-2330
Livestock Inspection: M-F 8am-4:30pm

VS animal import inspections are currently suspended at this port of entry.

Contact for Appointment

1600 West Bridge Road
Presidio, TX 79845
Vs.presidio.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (512) 202-7939

Del Rio inspects on the US side. Horses crossing at this border port will require a permit from NIES.

Contact for Appointment

1582 Clenegas Road
Del Rio, TX 78840
Vs.del.rio.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (830) 775-2940
Livestock Inspection: M-F 8am-4:30pm

Contact for Appointment

9901 S. Cage Blvd, Suite A
Pharr, TX 78577
Vs.Pharr.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (956) 782-0998
Livestock Inspection: M-F 8am-4:30pm 

Contact for Appointment

9351 FM 1021
Eagle Pass, TX 78852
Vs.eagle.pass.poe@usda.gov
Office phone: (830) 752-1785
Livestock Inspection: M-F 8am-4:30pm 

Quarantine Information

Horses coming from this country are considered to be free from screwworm and African horse sickness. This means that they require an observation period in quarantine (minimum 7 days) plus blood testing for dourine, glanders, equine piroplasmosis, and equine infectious anemia. If originating from a country APHIS considers to be free of contagious equine metritis, they will be released after completing the initial quarantine without any further testing.

Fees

Costs are commensurate with services provided for importing horses at land border ports. The daily rate includes all administrative costs conducted during normal business hours: examination on arrival, routine veterinary care, lodging costs for feed and bedding, obtaining test samples and processing them for shipping to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, checking health certificates and permits, and ensuring compliance with import regulations.

Warning!

Animal semen, embryos and cloning tissue may not be imported into the United States from a region other than where it was collected.

Any semen and embryo shipments should be routed directly to the United States with no stops other than those designated on the import permit.

General Information

Contact specific port to discuss options. The Port Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) or Animal Health Technician (AHT) or Program Assistant (PA) will be able to answer all their questions and ensure they have everything they need for a smooth import.

General Information

Generally, horse owners will enlist the services of a broker/shipping agent to bring a horse into the United States. While APHIS does not require use of a broker/shipping agent for importing horses, experienced brokers can coordinate the efforts of airlines, customs brokers, APHIS and other partner government agencies to ensure the safety of the animals, facilitate clearance of the shipment, and schedule a timely arrival. These agents are familiar with the documents and processing associated with import and export regulations. Learn more about using a broker/shipping agent.

Health Certificate

An official hard copy valid health certificate, written in English, is required for entry. The official health certificate must be issued by an authorized veterinarian in the exporting country and endorsed by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency responsible for animal health of the national government of the exporting country of origin. 

Certification and testing is described in the following Health Certificates

*Please Note: The original health certificate MUST accompany the shipment upon arrival.

Certification and testing is described in the attached Horse Import 7-Day Sample Health Certificate.

Available Ports

Ports that APHIS maintains oversight for physical inspections, cleaning and disinfection of containers.

Transit Only

Private Quarantine

Chicago Import Quarantine
Arlington Park Racetrack
2200 Euclid Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60006
info@ciqord.com
phone: (847) 385-7609
fax: (847) 385-7606

Contacts
Matt Haug (630) 715-0326
Jim Bladed (708) 610-5542

Private Quarantine

Jet Pets, Inc.
9111 Falmouth Avenue
Playa del Rey, CA 90293
jpequine@jetpets.com
phone: (310) 823-8901
fax: (310) 305-8297

Federal Quarantine

Miami Animal Import Center (MAIC)
6300 NW 36th St
Miami, FL 33122
phone: (305) 876-2200
fax: (305) 876-2201

Private Quarantine

Animal Import Centers, LLC
Jose Alessandrini
5400 N.W. 75th Avenue
Miami, FL 33166
tony@thebasfarm.com
Thebas Farm
12401 S.W. 51 ST.
Miami, FL 33175
phone: (786) 412-0217

Animal Import Centers II, LLC
Jose Alessandrini
12401 SW 51 St.
Miami FL 33175
786-412-0217

Blue Sky Farms of South Florida
Soraya Cardenas
11940 SW 45th St
Miami FL 33175
786-301-0464

Federal Quarantine

New York Animal Import Center (NYAIC)
474 International Blvd
Rock Tavern, NY 12575
phone: (845) 838-5500
fax: (845) 838-5516

Private Quarantine

ARK Import Export Center, LLC/ The ARK at JFK
JFK International Airport
78A North Boundary Road
Jamaica, NY 11430
operations@arkjfk.com
phone: 212-532-0084, Ext. 202
Contact: Michael Falacara, Chief Operating Officer

Private Quarantine

Hacienda Siesta Alegre
Road 186, KM 23.9, El Verde
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 00745
siestaalegre@gmail.com
phone: (787) 397-8118
fax: (352) 425-2872

Contacts
Greg Jackson
greg@horseair.com

Transit Only

 

Quarantine Information

Horses coming from this country are at higher risk of harboring and spreading Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis (VEE) and require a minimum of 7 days in quarantine before entering the U.S.  Countries affected by VEE include all countries in the Western hemisphere, except Canada, the United States, Mexico, Bermuda, and the British Virgin Islands.

Import requirements include a minimum 7 day observation period in an APHIS-approved permanent quarantine facility and blood tests for dourine, glanders, equine piroplasmosis, and equine infectious anemia.  Horses must test negative for all these diseases, and must show no signs of illness in order to be released from quarantine. If originating from a country APHIS considers to be free of contagious equine metritis, they will be released after completing the initial quarantine without any further testing.

To officially enter the United States, horses from this country will require:

  • An official health certificate, issued by the exporting country
  • An import permit, issued by the National Import Export Services
  • A reservation at an animal import center and at an approved CEM quarantine facility, if applicable.

Fees & Permitting

The processes and fees involved with importing horses and other equine, as well as equine germplasm (semen, embryos and cloning tissue) depend on the conditions of entry.

APHIS charges a fee for the application of an import permit, and for amending and renewing a permit if applicable.

Permit Application VS 17-129

Applications for import permits may be submitted by mail to the National Import and Export Services at the following address:

Live Animal Import Permits
USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services
National Import Export Services
4700 River Rd. Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737

Applications may be submitted to the National Import and Export Services via the dedicated email address VS.Live.Animals.Import.Permits@aphis.usda.gov

Online Submission Process for Live Animal Import Permits:  Importers with an existing Level 2 eAuthentication can now access ePermits to create and submit a completed application (VS Form 17-129) for an import or transit permit for APHIS-regulated live animals and their germplasm (genetic resources). Learn how to obtain a Level 2 eAuthentication authorization and register to use ePermits.

Costs are associated with providing services for importing and transiting horses at airports, ocean ports, rail ports, land border ports, and southern border port and animal import center quarantines.

The fees billed are per individual horse. Charges for combined shipments may be split between brokers.

Overtime rates apply for after duty hours, weekends and holidays for inspection services. 9CFR 130.30

There is a comprehensive fee for horses staying at a federal quarantine center with a decreasing scale: days 1 to 3, days 4 to 7 and 8 through subsequent days. The daily rate includes all administrative costs conducted during normal business hours: examination on arrival, routine veterinary care, lodging costs for feed and bedding, obtaining test samples and processing them for shipping to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, supervision of cleaning and disinfection of trailers and stalls, receiving and releasing horse shipments,  identification of each horse on arrival and release, reviewing health certificates and issuing import permits to ensure compliance with import regulations, monitoring horses while they are in quarantine, release of paperwork in Veterinary Services Processing Streamlining (VSPS), and oversight of horses shipping under APHIS seal to state CEM quarantine facilities. 9CFR 130.2

Private quarantine facilities will bill user fees directly to importers on a quarter hour to hourly rate. APHIS factors costs in these instances by the time spent for each service which includes travel time to ports and airports for veterinary inspections.

Hourly rates also cover the costs of monitoring in-bond or transiting horses passing through the United States and exporting to other countries.

Warning!

Animal semen, embryos and cloning tissue may not be imported into the United States from a region other than where it was collected.

Any semen and embryo shipments should be routed directly to the United States with no stops other than those designated on the import permit.

General Information

Requirements for Importation of Equine Semen and Embryos into the United States.

An import permit is necessary for import of equine semen, embryos and cloning tissue into the United States. Animal semen, embryos and cloning tissue may not be imported into the United States from a region other than where it was collected.

An official health certificate, written in English, is required for the importation of semen, embryos and cloning tissue. Collection should follow the regulations of the respective country’s approved artificial collection centers for export of equine semen to the United States. The official health certification must be endorsed by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency responsible for animal health of the national government of the exporting country of origin.

The donor stallion must test negative for dourine (Australia exempt from testing) using a complement fixation test.

The donor stallion must also be free from any quarantine or movement restriction for not less than 60 days prior to semen collection.

Generally, importers will use a broker/shipping agent to bring equine semen and embryos into the United States. Learn more about using a broker/shipping agent.

Importing Semen, Embryos from Non CEM-affected Countries

Animal semen, embryos and cloning tissue may not be imported into the United States from a region other than where it was collected. The certified semen must be collected in a country free of African horse sickness. It should be routed directly to the United States with no stops other than those designated on the import permit.

Collection should follow the regulations of the respective country’s approved artificial collection centers for export of equine semen to the United States.

An import permit will accompany the shipment. The USDA APHIS Riverdale, MD office issues the permits. Submit applications for the import permits by ePermits, or by filling out the application form electronically and downloading it. Then fax, mail, or scan and email the form to the office directly.

An official health certificate, written in English, is required for entry. The official health certificate must be issued by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency responsible for animal health of the national government of the exporting country of origin.

Sample Health Certificate for Equine Semen

Certification and testing is described in the attached health certificate. A phantom teaser is preferred over a live teaser mare. All animals must be tested with negative results for dourine within 30 days of the date they enter into the semen collection unit. Subsequent testing must be conducted at 180 day intervals if the stallions and mares remain in the semen collection unit. Stallions must not be used for natural breeding for a period of time starting 15 days prior to the initial tests for dourine, while the stallion is in the collection unit and while semen is being collected for export to the United States.

All equipment used for collection, processing and shipping semen must be new equipment or sanitized prior to use. Collected semen must be processed with a semen extender with milk from a country free of foot and mouth disease at the time of collection; or with egg originating from a country recognized by USDA to be free of Newcastle disease or reportable avian influenza.

 

Available Ports

Ports listed have APHIS oversight for physical inspections and cleaning and disinfection of containers.

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
  • Memphis, TN
  • Miami, FL
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York: JFK
  • San Francisco, CA

 

Fees & Permitting

The processes and fees involved with importing horses and other equids, as well as equid germplasm (semen, embryos and cloning tissue) depend on the conditions of entry.

APHIS charges a fee for the application of an import permit, and for amending and renewing a permit if applicable.

Permit Application VS 17-129

Applications for import permits may be submitted by mail to the National Import and Export Services at the following address:

Live Animal Import Permits
USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services
National Import Export Services
4700 River Rd. Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737

Applications may be submitted to the National Import and Export Services via the dedicated email address VS.Live.Animals.Import.Permits@aphis.usda.gov

Online Submission Process for Live Animal Import Permits: Importers with an existing Level 2 eAuthentication can now access ePermits to create and submit a completed application (VS Form 17-129) for an import or transit permit for APHIS-regulated live animals and their germplasm (genetic resources). For instructions on how to obtain a Level 2 eAuthentication authorization, and for additional information about electronic submissions, click here.

Costs are associated with providing services for importing and transiting horses at airports, ocean ports, rail ports, land border ports, and southern border port and animal import center quarantines.

The fees billed are per individual horse. Charges for combined shipments may be split between brokers.

Overtime rates apply for after duty hours, weekends and holidays for inspection services. 9CFR 130.30

There is a comprehensive fee for horses staying at a federal quarantine center with a decreasing scale: days 1 to 3, days 4 to 7 and 8 through subsequent days. The daily rate includes all administrative costs conducted during normal business hours: examination on arrival, routine veterinary care, lodging costs for feed and bedding, obtaining test samples and processing them for shipping to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, supervision of cleaning and disinfection of trailers and stalls, receiving and releasing horse shipments,  identification of each horse on arrival and release, reviewing health certificates and issuing import permits to ensure compliance with import regulations, monitoring horses while they are in quarantine, release of paperwork in Veterinary Services Processing Streamlining (VSPS), and oversight of horses shipping under APHIS seal to state CEM quarantine facilities. 9CFR 130.32

Private quarantine facilities will bill user fees directly to importers on a quarter hour to hourly rate. APHIS factors costs in these instances by the time spent for each service which includes travel time to ports and airports for veterinary inspections.

Hourly rates also cover the costs of monitoring in-bond or transiting horses passing through the United States and exporting to other countries.

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