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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Pet travel from the U.S. to Cayman Islands

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 Accepted
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).

The health certificate must be issued by a licensed veterinarian. USDA endorsement is NOT required. Please take a copy of the import conditions to the veterinarian who will be preparing your pet.

Please read the following information carefully. Failure to meet these requirements exactly as outlined below will result in your dog or cat being refused entry into the Cayman Islands. Your local USDA Accredited Veterinarian will be able to help you with adhering to the requirements. Please take a copy of the import conditions to the veterinarian who will be preparing your pet.

Please View Conditions Governing the Importation of Dogs and Cats into the Cayman Island for detailed information.

All dogs and cats entering the Cayman Islands must be accompanied by an Import Permit issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture.

Completed application forms, all supporting documents and the non-refundable application fee must be submitted to the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture. Upon successful completion of the import requirements, an import permit will be issued. All correspondence and copies of the documents for consideration beforehand (up to six months with payment) may be sent to:

Veterinary Services
Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 459 
Grand Cayman KY1-1106 
Cayman Islands

Physical address:
181 Lottery Road, Lower 
Valley Bodden Town, Grand 
Cayman 

Tel: (345) 947-3090 
Fax: (345) 947-6501 
Email: 
CI.Agriculturevs@gov.ky 


Types of Import permits:

Single Entry Import Permit: this permit is valid for 14 days from the date of the Official Health Certificate. This permit is appropriate for dogs and cats moving to the Cayman Islands on a permanent or long-term basis and for all dogs and cats entering the Cayman Islands for the first time.

Multiple Entry Import Permit /Cayman Islands Animal Passport: valid for a period of one year. This permit is appropriate for dogs and cats travelling to and from the Cayman Islands more than three (3) times a year. With this permit, there is no need to apply for an import permit with each entry; however a new Official Veterinary Health Certificate must be obtained with each entry. Your dog or cat must be resident in the Cayman Islands at the time of application for an Animal Passport.

Passports cannot be issued to dogs and cats entering the Cayman Islands for the first time. Application forms are available at the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture. The passport is only for travel into the Cayman Islands and is NOT accepted by any other country as an import permit.

Cayman Island Import Permit information

  • In accordance with the Animals Law (2015 Revision), no animal of any description may be imported into the Cayman Islands from any country in Asia, Africa or Central and South America. Other territories from which dogs and cats are prohibited are Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • Certain breeds of dogs or crosses of such breeds are not allowed to be imported into the Cayman Islands. Genetic material such as semen and embryos from these breeds is also not eligible for entry into the Cayman Islands. All applications for the importation of dogs into the Cayman Islands must be accompanied by a written declaration from the owner/agent of owner attesting that the dog to be imported does not belong to or is not crossed with one or more of the following breeds or type of dogs. (This declaration is included in the import permit application information in Step 1) In addition, the applicant must provide a color photograph(s) of the dog at the time of application that shows the true likeness of the dog.

These breeds include:

  • Pit Bull Terrier and its breed types;
  • Dogo Argentino and its breed types;
  • Fila Brazileiro and its breed types;
  • Japanese Tosa and its breed types; and
  • Any breed of dog or crossbreed of dog whose breeding lineage was for the primary purpose of dog fighting. 

In order to bring your dog or cat into the Cayman Islands, the following procedures must be carried out in the order shown below:

1) Your dog or cat must first be permanently identified with a microchip transponder and a microchip implant certificate issued. Proof of the date of implant is required.

As of March 1st, 2019, all animals receiving new microchips should have International Standards Organisation (ISO)-compliant (15-digit, numerical) microchips implanted. Animals with microchips implanted prior to March 1st 2019 will be accepted with an ISO-compatible (10 or more alphanumerical characters) microchip. Please contact us at ci.agriculturevs@gov.ky for guidance on animals which have multiple microchips. The microchip number must be recorded on all documentation required for the importation of your dog or cat. Once implanted, the microchip must be scanned prior to completing each step of the importation process (e.g. prior to rabies vaccination, prior to rabies titre testing, at the time of health certificate examination prior to tick and tapeworm administration).


2) 
Rabies vaccination

After identification, a licensed veterinarian using an approved inactivated or recombinant vaccine must then vaccinate your dog or cat against rabies and issue a rabies vaccination certificate. Note that 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year vaccinations are recognised. If your veterinary clinic does not have a (rabies) vaccination certificate template, then the template provided in Appendix V should be used. Your dog or cat must be at least twelve (12) weeks old before the primary (first) rabies vaccine is given. Subsequent booster vaccinations must be administered one year later in accordance with the guidelines outlined in Appendix VI. Only after that second vaccination can the interval for revaccination be extended legally to 2 or 3 years with a product that has 2-year or 3-year duration of immunity label. Any lapse with revaccination may result in your dog or cat being delayed to enter the Cayman Islands.

The microchip number must be recorded on the rabies vaccination certificate. Vaccination certificates without a microchip number will not be accepted. The rabies vaccination certificate must also contain the make, serial number, validity of the vaccination, and expiry date of the vaccine product used. If your dog or cat was vaccinated before being fitted with a microchip, it must be vaccinated again.

3) Rabies titre testing and eligibility to enter

A blood test must be taken after vaccination to confirm the presence of protective antibodies against rabies. The blood test, a Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralising Test (FAVN), must be carried out by a laboratory approved by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture for carrying out such a test at a minimum of 30 days after the most recent rabies vaccination. The test result must show a serum antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml and must bear the animal’s microchip number. Test results bearing the wrong microchip number will not be accepted and a new test will have to be carried out.

A list of major approved laboratories can be found in Appendix III. Please contact us at ci.agriculturevs@gov.ky for information on other potential laboratories.

Your dog or cat will be eligible for entry into the Cayman Islands not less than two (2) months and not more than twelve (12) months after the date the blood sample that gave a successful test result was drawn. To continue to be eligible to enter the Cayman Islands without delay, the titre test must be repeated on/before the 12 month expiration date.

4) Tick and tapeworm treatment

Within 14 days of the scheduled date of travel to the Cayman Islands your dog or cat must be treated for tapeworms and ticks. The treatment must be recorded on the Official Veterinary Health Certificate.

  • For tapeworms: a preparation containing praziquantel at a dose rate of 5mg/kg body weight.
  • For ticks: a ‘systemic’ preparation known to have residual action. Approved product ingredients include fipronil, amitraz, pyrethrins, permethrins, and isoxazolines. 

NOTE: The following products are NOT acceptable: Shampoos, collars, preparations that are licensed for control of fleas only (e.g. Program® Advantage®, Revolution® or Sentinel®).

5)  Health Certificate

Also within 14 days of the scheduled date of travel, your dog or cat must be examined and issued with a Veterinary Health Certificate . The health certificate must be completed and signed by a licensed accredited veterinarian of the exporting country. The Cayman Islands does not require endorsement of the dog and cat health certificates by an official government veterinarian and will accept health certificates completed by a licensed accredited veterinarian.

International health certificate

6)  The following must be submitted to the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture for processing:

  • completed Application Form
  • copy of the Microchip Implant Certificate
  • completed Breed Declaration Form (Dogs Only)
  • copy /copies of rabies vaccination certificates for rabies vaccinations administered after microchip implant
  • copy of the Official Veterinary Health Certificate
  • copy of the Rabies Titre Laboratory report; and
  • a non-refundable application fee payable to Cayman Islands Government must be submitted to the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture for processing.

(Accepted forms of local payments are Cayman Islands and United States cash and checks drawn on a Cayman Islands bank – no credit or debit cards are accepted. Accepted forms of international payments are United States Bank Draft and United States International Money orders – no personal checks, credit or debit cards are accepted).

Once complete documentation is received and the application fee is paid the application will be processed and a reply given to you within three (3) working days.


7) If accepted, an Import Permit will be issued. Unless otherwise specified, the import permit is valid for 14 days from the date the pet was examined and the tick and tapeworm treatments administered.

The permit can be sent to you by fax or e-mail.  Attach a faxed/printed copy of the permit, along with the original documents presented to support your application to the carrier in which your dog or cat will be transported.

8) You must give at least 48 hours notice of expected date and time of arrival, along with details of the vessel or airline if such information was not provided on the application form or the travel arrangements have changed (e.g. Date, Airline and flight number). (See part G: Transportation Instructions.)

These conditions apply to specified countries or territories in which rabies is absent or well controlled. These are as follows:

a) Countries and Territories recognized as being rabies free by the Cayman Islands Government:

Antigua, Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Great Britain, Hawaii, Ireland (Rep), Jamaica, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, St Vincent.

 b) Countries and Territories recognized where rabies is well controlled:

Anguilla, Aruba, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Curacao, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Monaco, Montserrat, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Martin, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands, USA, Vatican.

Notwithstanding prohibitions on Section D (1), territories not listed on Section E may make representation to the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture for inclusion in the above lists.

  1. All animals travelling to the Cayman Islands must do so by the most direct route possible.
  2. Animals travelling by air must be carried in an approved container, which meets standards set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  3. All documents accompanying the animal must be affixed to the container.
  4. If travelling other than by direct route from the country of origin, through a territory not on the approved list, the door of the container must be sealed with a government approved seal in the country of origin before the animal is loaded onto the aircraft or vessel with the number on the seal entered onto the health certificate by an airline or government official (e.g., agriculture, customs).

Possession of a valid Import Permit does not guarantee entry. All animals and documents are subject to examination at the port of entry by an Agricultural Health Inspector. Should the animal fail to meet entry requirements, the Chief Agricultural and Veterinary Officer (CAVO) or his designate may at his discretion and at the expense of the importer, order that the animal be refused entry and returned immediately or be destroyed. Detention or quarantine is NOT an option in the Cayman Islands.


PENALTIES:

Failure to comply with the above import conditions is an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine and to imprisonment for six months. The animal(s) under Law may be ordered to be destroyed or otherwise dealt with at the discretion of the Chief Agricultural and Veterinary Officer (CAVO) or his designate.

 All dogs staying in the Cayman Islands more than 30 days must be licensed with the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture.

Visit Cayman Islands Customs website to learn more.

All Pet Rabbits, Hamsters, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs and Chinchillas entering the Cayman Islands must be accompanied by a health certificate issued within 14 days of arrival in the Cayman Islands by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed by USDA APHIS. The requirements for traveling with your pet are described in the health certificate.

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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