Pet Travel From the United States to Costa Rica

Last Modified: June 12, 2024

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For Accredited Veterinarians: Electronic signature ACCEPTED

For APHIS VMO: Digital endorsement ACCEPTED

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Save Time and Money With VEHCS!

USDA-accredited veterinarians can submit health certificates for electronic signature through VEHCS (Veterinary Export Health Certification System).

Travel Requirements Based on Pet Type

Carefully read ALL of the requirements related to your pet on this page.

  • This page provides the most recent entry requirements and can change without notice.
  • It is the responsibility of the veterinarian to make sure the pet has met all health requirements of the destination country before issuing a health certificate.
  • Failure to meet the requirements may result in problems gaining certificate endorsement or difficulties upon arrival in the destination country.
  • Health certificates must be legible, accurate, and complete.

An import permit issued by Costa Rica is required for unaccompanied pets.

Requirements for traveling with your pet are described in the health certificate. APHIS endorsement of the health certificate is required after it has been issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian.

Note: If you prefer not to use the health certificate model provided here, APHIS has confirmed Costa Rica will accept an APHIS 7001 form which meets the same requirements as the posted model certificate.

International Health Certificate (293.62 KB)

Note: The linked certificate for the export of pet guinea pigs to Costa Rica is to be used for no more than five (5) guinea pigs in a shipment.

Guinea Pigs Health Certificate (207.66 KB)

Costa Rica does not allow for the importation of pet birds.

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 recommend that you contact a government official of the country you are traveling to for more information.

Country of Destination Contact Information

World Organisation for Animal Health: Members

U.S. Department of State: Foreign Embassies and Consulates

Important Travel Considerations

Considerations for airline travel and cruises:

Airlines and shipping lines have their own policies and requirements for transporting pets. Check with your airline or shipping representative to determine what requirements they may have.

Learn how you can improve the safety of dogs and cats during air travel.

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

If pets or support animals accompany you on a cruise, you must comply with entry rules for every country or port where your pet or support animal exits the ship.

Will you be returning to the United States with your pet?

View the Requirements

ALERT: Read the CDC Notice of Temporary Suspension of Dogs Entering the United States From Countries Classified as High Risk for Dog Rabies.

If you are transiting (passing through) the European Union:

If your pet is traveling through (transiting) a country in the European Union (EU) on the way to a third, non-EU country, you will also need a transit health certificate for your pet for the EU. The transit health certificate will be the same as if your pet’s final destination was the EU country. Use the information and steps above under “Travel Requirements Based on Pet Type” to determine which health certificate should be used. View a list of EU countries.

Need Help?

Still Have Questions?

USDA-Accredited Veterinarians

Contact a USDA-accredited veterinarian for questions about your destination country's entry requirements for pets (including any needed vaccinations, tests, or treatments) and for issuance of health certificates.

Find a USDA-Accredited Veterinarian

USDA Endorsement Offices

Contact your nearest APHIS Veterinary Export Trade Services Endorsement Office for questions about endorsing a health certificate for pets. 

Looking for Another Country?

Find your destination country requirements by using the dropdown menu below. If your country is not listed in the menu, visit Pet Travel: Unknown Requirements.