Updated post our Arrival and Successful Importation of our Pups.
We made it, 24 days. Our appointment with the Vet was set for March 26, 2023. We were able to complete the process and the Vet paid us a great complement by saying we executed the process perfectly and he almost never issues the importation certificate as of the day of arrival, but we got ours. Everything contained in here is accurate but we did learn a couples things during our conversation.
1. The chip expectation was not really clear to me in the documentation but after our chat it is now. The chip is like the dogs offical birth certificate, their offical identitiy. Nothing below can happen till the proper chip is installed and it must be threre for at least 1 month. Nothing you do before that will count. As a result you must have the proper chip AND the certificate of authenticiity. They did bring a wand and scanned each dogs for the chip to verify the actually chip versus the docuemntation. Many people are starting the testing, titre and such, without the proper chip in place. The be clear the order is Chip, wait 1 month, Rabbies vaccination, wait another month at least for the titre.
2. Everything you do with your animal should be documented on a record that has the chip info on it. This seemed like a libility issue. In our case, the vet the adminstired the last Rabbies vaccine did not include the lot sticker for the medicine he used. We had to get a letter for the vet stating this information and that he did in fact inject our dogs. Seemed like a like a liability issue. Be very vigilent in docuementing.
3. Do not wait till the last mintue to starte this. We started in August of 2022 for an arrival of March 2023. Many people arrive with an acceptable result for the rabbies titire but they arrival before 3 months of the test. They will not issue the importation certificate. The titre test can be done between 3 and 12 months of your arrival. The vet told me he has seen case of rabbies up to 6 months after the vaccination. Better to get this done early.
You've decided to sail the majestic waters of the South Pacific, but what about your fur babies? A quick Facebook or google search will yield tons of information. Did you find what you need? Can they come? It was an emotional roller coaster; we even went so far as to cancel our dream of the South Pacific - changed our entire plan. It was heart breaking. But...with a little effort and some local input we found that it is possible, so we will try and help, especially for those shoving off from Mexico.
Please remember you are in Mexico and your destination is on island time, so plan accordingly!
The first thing you should do is contact the local Bio Security authority and obtain all the information you can. There is a Bio Security agent on Nuka Hiva, Yann TEIKITEETINI . Yann's contact information is; email - firstname.lastname@example.org telephone - +689 87 7444 156. The offical veternarian on Tahiti is Thibaut Langlois. His contact information is email@example.com telephone +689 40 54 01 13.
When we contacted Yann he sent us this OFFICAL IMPORT FORM. This form also includes the list of requirements to import your animal in French Polynesia. For simplicity, let's apply this list to Mexico, as this is our and many others departure location.
- Official Document stating the date your pet left country. This is accomplished with your International Zarpe. This document will be issues to you by the Mexican government when you check out of the country.
- The official date of entry in French Polynesia. This will be your arrival date. Although you should send, electronically, all of your documentation before you leave, this will be filled in upon arrival.
- ISO 11784 microchip or has an official tattoo.
Our dogs have an ISO 11784 microchip, some refer to it as an international microchip. Be aware there are different chips, particularly in the US. We had our dogs chipped in La Paz. The clinic is located HERE. The chip cost about $50 USD and comes with all the official registration and medical card. Moving forward, we recommend, all medications being administered be documented on the medical card,
including standard over the counter items like flea and tick meds. We did not choose the tattoo route so we should not comment on that option.
Chip Medical Card Parasite Medication
- Veterinary certificate of the first internal and external antiparasitic treatment carried out in the 4 days before departure from the last country visited, and a proof of administration of the 2nd antiparasitic treatment in the month preceding the day of disembarkation of the animal. We started this process earlier by having the local vet administer the over-the-counter pill and fill out the dog's medical card. As of the writing we have not come to our 4-day requirement, however we did purchase enough parasite medication for the rest of the process - 4 days before we leave and when we arrive. UPDATE - The official vet has confirmed the requirement for vet administered treatment 4 days before departure.
- Copy of the identification card of the animal. As indicated above we received all this documentation as part of the installation of the chip, while in La Paz.
- Copy of the vaccination record book or european passport. As mentioned above, in 3, we received this medical card as part of the chip process. We also asked the vet to transcribe the original vaccinations on to the new card.
- Leishmaniasis test within 30 days of departure. The approved lab for Mexico, CENASA, doesn't provide this test. Many vets will carry a rapid test kit. Through research and communication with a local contact it seems this test will be repeated upon arrival when you have your visit with the authorized vet. In my opinion, the test 30 days before departure is only for your own peace of mind. UPDATED - The official veterinarian in Tahiti has confirmed that a serology Leishmaniasis test must be completed within 30 days of departure. The method used for the test must be ELISA or indirect immunofluorescence method. We were able to find a lab facility in Puerto Vallarta via Dr Dunia, more on Dr. Dunia shortly.
- Certificate of registration in a studbook recognized by the International Cynological Federation (FCI) for a dog from the following list: Rottweiler, American Staffordshire terrier, Argentine Mastiff, Fila Brasileiro, Broholmer, German Mastiff, Mallorcan Mastiff, Mastiff Bordeaux, English Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Mastiff, Neapolitan Morning, Italian Cane Corso, Tosa. Our dogs are both rescue dogs of mixed breeds, so we are not required to produce the certification.
- The animal is > 9 months and 21days. The date of birth should be included on the CHIP medical card when you have the chip installed.
- The animals have been vaccinated against rabies for more than 6 months and 21 days in the event of primary vaccination. In the event of a recall, the injection must have been carried out within the time limits recommended by the manufacturer. Vaccination is carried out on animals at least 3 months old. The chip medical card should show a history of rabies vaccinations. It is very important each vaccination is fully documented on the chip medical card, and the vet initials the entry.
- Titration of more than 3
months and less than a year before the disembarkation date. There is only one approved lab in Mexico, CENASA.
Approved Mexican Lab
The test in spanish is called, "Titulación de anticuerpos de rabia." This is not a trivial task. There are very strict requirements for submitting blood to the lab for test. The result will take 10 business, days and cost roughly $3600 pesos not including the vet via for drawing the blood, preparing the serum and shipping to the lab facility in Pachuca, Mexico. You will be required to go to the bank to provide payment to the lab, this is normal. The vet has to include the original copy of the receipt with the blood serum. I will include photos of the documentation that is required. Our vet in Chiapas did all this paperwork and was very meticulous to insure all the requirements. His name is Rony Aguilar What's App +52 1 962 135 9719. UPDATE - If you are in Puerto Vallarta contact Dr Dunia, Whats App +52 1 322 103 0233. She can complete the requirements for the Titer Test at CENASA. She also has the contacts for the correct lab to perform the Leishmaniasis test. Additionally, she can administer the final parasite dose and provide you with the health certificate for departing Mexico. Do yourself a favor and go to the person that knows how to guide you through the requirements.
Both Rony and Dr Dunia are not good English speakers, a translator app if required. Rony's wife speaks very good English and can help translate if she is available. They provide a really good service, came to our boat to draw the blood, drive me to the office for the paperwork, then to the bank and back to the marina. If you are coming through Chiapas, I highly recommend contacting him if you are in Chiapas. Rony is very busy, so I recommend reach out early to get started. Remember that the test has to be run more than 3 months and less than 1 year before the animal will step on French Polynesian soil.
Bank Receipt Deposit form for the Lab Lab Required Data Sheet