Leaving Panama With a Dog

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We arrived in Panama at the end of our year-long road trip with Barley. We’ve crossed 9 international borders with him (US to Canada to US to Mexico to Belize to Guatemala to Honduras to Nicaragua to Costa Rica to Panama).

We just sold our car and I’m flying back to the US with Barley on Friday night so that I can start my new job at Working Dogs for Conservation.

Getting all of our paperwork in order to fly with Barley was a huge hassle. Leaving Panama with a dog isn’t easy!

Here’s what we had to do (as of May 2019):

  1. Go to the vet to get a “certificado de salud” (health certificate). This was super easy – we went to Assu Nele and saw Dr. Moises Vega. We just showed him Barley’s vaccination records, paid $20, and were sent on our way. I’ve heard other vets charge a lot more. Dr. Vega was great.
  2. Fill out an export permit application. It’s available at this link. Dr. Vega helped us fill this out, but it’s not super difficult. The only “tricky” things, in my opinion, were that the dog is being exported, not re-exported. The “pais de origen” is Panama, even if the dog is originally from elsewhere. Otherwise, it’s basically just your personal info and a bit of info about the dog.
  3. Go to the Banco Nacional to pay $5. It’s located in Plaza Edison. You pass a security guard, then go talk to the first woman at the desk and ask her for a deposit slip to pay to export a dog. She’ll give you a white and pink slip. Fill that out, then go deposit it with the cashier.
    • You’ll need the following important info: the “nombre de la cuenta” is Mida Cuarentena Agropecuaria. The “numero de cuenta” is 1000053620 (that’s 5 zeroes).
  4. Walk a few doors down Plaza Edison to go to the Ministerio de… I forgot. I’m so sorry. But if you head down Av. El Paical away from the roundabout (away from the Bank), it’s the last door before the elevator/stairs. Gated, doesn’t look open or like it even exists. If you go into the wrong government office and tell them you’re trying to export a dog, they’ll point you in the right direction.
    • You’ll hand this person your receipt from the bank and show them the health certificate from the vet. They’ll give you another piece of paper.

I haven’t flown yet with Barley, but my understanding is that I should have several copies of all of the papers that I got today.

Honestly, in general, it’s best to just have 3+ copies of every paper, no mater how mundane it might seem, when traveling internationally with a dog.

We’ll post an update after our flight if anything else turns up at the airport. We’ll also post some info about flying with dogs!

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