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Pet travel from the U.S. to Barbados

This country allows USDA Accredited Veterinarians to use USDA’s online Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS) to complete health certificates.

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USDA Accredited Veterinarian Signature Electronic Signature Accepted
USDA APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer Signature Digital Endorsement NOT Acccepted
The health certificate bears the original ink signature and embossed seal
Before going to VEHCS: Scroll below this banner to view animal-specific requirements.

To process some health certificates, VEHCS may need the USDA Accredited Veterinarian to upload the completed fillable PDF version found below. Either save a copy of the PDF below, or return to this page for the health certificate, if prompted by VEHCS.
USDA Accredited Veterinarians, log in here if you wish to use VEHCS.
USDA Accredited Veterinarians, help with using VEHCS is available on the VEHCS Help Page. To walk yourself through issuing a health certificate in VEHCS, click here.
NOTE:The printed paper endorsed health certificate must accompany each shipment. You can arrange to have your endorsed health certificate returned via pick-up or by mail (a pre-paid, pre-addressed return label must be provided during certificate submission).

Barbados divides countries into one of two categories based on their rabies risk.

  • Category 1: Countries and territories that are rabies free or those that present a low risk with respect to rabies- this includes the United States
  • Category 2: All other countries and territories. Animals travelling by sea (e.g. on yachts, cruise ships and cargo vessels) also fall into this category

NOTICE:  Failure to satisfy all of the health conditions laid out in the health requirements will result in your pet being refused entry into Barbados

All dogs and cats entering Barbados must be permanently identified with a microchip (ISO Standard 11784 or Annex A to standard 11785) and must be vaccinated against rabies after microchip implantation. Only ISO standard microchips should be used.

The identification number stated in the certificate should be identical to that which can be found on the animal. All supporting certificates (rabies vaccination, laboratory test results) should bear the microchip number. The certifying veterinarian must be able to verify the microchip number before signing the certificate.

An Import Permit must first be obtained from the Veterinary Services Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Barbados. Permits are valid for six (6) months from the date of issue. Application forms are available from the Veterinary Services office or can be downloaded from the Ministry of Agriculture’s website.

The animal must be implanted with a microchip before or at the time of vaccination against rabies. Only inactivated virus vaccines manufactured in compliance with the recommendations of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Manual should be used. The validity of the vaccine is according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The vaccination should have been carried out when the animal was at least three (3) months old. In the case of a booster vaccination, the booster must have been administered on or before the date of expiry of the previous vaccine.

There is a wait of thirty-five (35) days from the date of administration of a primary rabies vaccination or revaccination of an expired or missed rabies booster vaccination before your dog or cat is eligible to enter Barbados. If the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet requires more than one vaccination to complete the primary course of vaccinations, the 35 day wait applies from the date of the final vaccination of that course. The day of vaccination counts as day 0.

Heartworm Disease Test: Dog over 6 months old must be tested for heartworm disease within the 30 days prior to leaving the U.S. (Cats do not require a heartworm test): 

  • ELISA antigen tests such as the IDEXX® SNAP® test kit may be used. If the ELISA test is positive or if the animal was previously treated for heartworm, then the modified Knott’s test may be carried out to demonstrate the absence of microfilaraemia.

Parasite Treatment: Dogs must be treated for ticks and tapeworms within the 7 days prior to leaving the U.S. The tapeworm treatment must contain praziquantel.  Cats do not require parasite treatment.

Rabies Antibody Titer Test: Animals that have been in a Category 2 country in the 3 months prior to travel from the U.S. to Barbados as well as pets arriving by sea must be tested for rabies antibodies using a FAVN test done at an approved laboratory. The test must be done at least 30 days after rabies vaccination with results ≥ 0.5 IU/ml. In the case of a failed test result (less than 0.5 IU/ml), the animal must be revaccinated and retested before travel is be allowed. 

All dogs and cats entering Barbados must be accompanied by an Official Export Health Certificate endorsed (signed and stamped) by the Official Veterinary Services of the country of origin. Within seven (7) days of travel, the pets must undergo a veterinary examination and be issued with an Official Veterinary Export Health Certificate. 

The Official Health Certificate must be endorsed (signed and stamped) by an Official Government/Federal Veterinarian. This may not be the same veterinarian who carries out the procedures and/or fills out the health certificate. The Official Veterinarian should see the import permit before issuing the Export Health Certificate. 

The export health certificate is valid for a period of 10 days from the date of endorsement by the Official Veterinarian. In the case of animals travelling by sea, validity can be extended for the period of the voyage 

Residency: Cats and dogs from Category 1 countries must demonstrate that they have spent at least three (3) months continuously either in the country of export or in other Category 1 countries immediately prior to entry. This three (3) month period may be partly in the country of export and partly in another Category 1 country. If the latter is the case, the certifying veterinarian must be able to verify this prior to signing the certificate. All animals that do not fall into Category 1, including pets that have not been in a Category 1 country for more than 3 months and animals arriving by sea must satisfy the conditions for Category 2 

International Health Certificate

You must give at least three (3) working days’ notice of the expected date and time of arrival of the animal. Failure to do so will result in significant delays in receiving your pet once it arrives.

Contact Veterinary Services at (246) 427-5492; (246)427-5073; Fax: (246) 429-2143; email: vetservices@caribsurf.com.

Please provide the following information:

  • Name, address (in Barbados) and contact information of the owner/agent;
  • Name and contact information of the Customs broker;
  • Date and time of arrival;
  • Airline and Flight number or vessel name
  1. All pets must clear customs and veterinary checks upon arrival. You will need to employ the services of a customs broker to facilitate customs clearance.
  2. The Airlines must issue a “Pre-Alert” notifying the relevant parties in Barbados of the pets on board the aircraft. [Animal (Diseases and Importation Control) Regulations CAP. 253, Section 5].
  3. Upon arrival, the animals are taken from the aircraft directly to the Animal Reception Centre for veterinary checks and customs clearance. Pets accompanying passengers in the aircraft cabin must be handed over to the aircraft handling agents upon disembarkation.
  4. Once approval has been given for the pet to enter the country, a Customs Officer will apply the relevant duties (as all live animals entering Barbados are recognised as cargo) and the pets can be collected by their owner..

Fees:  In addition to custom duties, Barbados legislation allows for the collection of various fees on the importation of dogs and cats.  Animals landed in Barbados outside of Government working hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Monday to Friday.  Weekends and Bank Holidays are subject to overtime inspection fees.

For pet travel requirements not listed, APHIS has not been officially informed by the foreign country about the requirements for your pet’s travel. We recommended that you contact a government official of the country you are traveling to for more information.

Country of destination contact information:  


Considerations for airline travel:

Airlines may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any. 

Additional information for pet owners, airlines, and others about APHIS endorsement of international health certificates.

View requirements for returning to the US with your pet


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