PAWS AHOY! When traveling by private boat with your pet into Caribbean ports, your pet must meet each island’s documentation requirements. Depending on your destination, you may be required to have an import permit issued in advance. Your pet should be microchipped and make sure to have your pet’s records with you and vaccinations current. Many islands remain rabies free and are vigilant in keeping them that way. It is important to note that each island has designated ports in which you can arrive. Some of the procedures for importation and exportation of a pet may vary depending whether you arrive by air or sea.
Clearance Procedures when entering the Islands by private boat:
Grenada/ Carriacou / Petite Martinique Clearance Procedures:
All vessels and crew seeking clearance into Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique must do so at the following official Ports of Entry (Grenada Yacht Club, St. George’s, Prickly Bay Marina, Prickly Bay, Hillsborough, Carriacou) Vessels should Anchor with yourQ Flag and the courtesy flag of Grenada from the starboard spreader of your main mast while clearance formalities are carried out. Grenada uses the Red Right Returning Rule, which means red buoys mark the starboard side when approaching.
A user-friendly, one-page form outlining the required information for Immigration and Customs officials, and the Grenada Ports Authority facilitates clearance procedures. Five copies on legal sized paper are required for Customs and Immigration.
Download Clearance Form.
When you are ready to leave Grenada, vessels can exit at the following locations:
- Spice Island Marina, Prickly Bay
- Hillsborough, Carriacou
- Grenada Marina, St. David’s
- Le Phare Bleu, Petit Calivigny Bay,
- Grenville Sea Port, Grenville, St. Andrew
Overview of Sailing into Some of the Islands by Boat:
Vacationers looking to sail themselves into a Bahamian port should be aware of several requirements. Sailors must clear Customs and Immigration in a Port of Entry. The two major ports are, of course, Freeport and Nassau. When entering the port, fly a yellow quarantine flag and notify Customs. Only the captain may leave the boat until Customs has been cleared. There are entry fees into the Bahamas. Boats up to 35 feet long will be charged a $150(USD) entry fee, while boats over 35 feet will pay $300(USD). These fees include a cruising permit, fishing permit, and departure tax for up to four people with no overtime charges for Customs or Immigration. An additional departure tax is charged for more than four passengers. Once you have been cleared, lower the quarantine flag and raise your cruising pennant.
You will also need to fulfill all of the pet requirements and your pet will NOT be allowed to enter the island until approved and paperwork is processed. You must obtain a permit and pay the fee in advance.
Everyone onboard must fill out an immigration card and will need the following documents: Passport or birth certificate (U.S. citizens) and official photo I.D. such as driver’s license or voter registration card; and Proof of citizenship.
Business hours for Bahamas Customs and Immigration Officers are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no overtime charge, and officers are on call during holidays and weekends. For additional travel information, check with the Port Authority Department in Nassau at 242-322-1596 or 242-326-7354.
Simple procedure to visit the USVI with your dog. There is a check box on the Customs form and the officer might ask a few questions. Be sure to bring your dog’s paperwork, just in case the officer needs to see the vaccination records. You should have a Rabies Certificate that is less than three years old.
British Virgin Islands
Contact: Ms. M. Tyson
Phone: (284) 495-2110 (ext 124), 468-9693, 468-9243 or 495-2532
Fax: (284) 495-1936 or 495-1269
Requirements: Microchip, Government Health Certificate, Rabies Certificate (<1 year), DHCCP Certificate, Titer Certificate.
Procedure: Fill out application obtained via e-mail or fax with tentative date and time of arrival. Fax application, Government Health Certificate (for example, in USVI, obtained from vet in St. Thomas — in walking distance from Charlotte Amalie — and endorsed by Department of Agriculture in Dorthea via cab ride), Rabies Certificate, DHCCP Certificate, Titer Certificate. Ideally all the documents state the dog’s microchip. Dog must be checked in at West End or Road Town in Tortola. The morning you depart port for Tortola, call (284) 468-9693 or 468-9243 to let them know more specific date and time of arrival. Bring yourself and pet to Customs. Officer will meet you there, inspect the animal, read the microchip, look through the documents, collect the fee and issue the import permit.
Fee: US$10 per dog.
When visiting the French Islands, St. Martin, St. Barth’s, Guadeloupe, Martinique, pets don’t have to be declared.
Contact: William K. Vanterpool
Phone: (264) 497-2615
Fax: (264) 497-0040
Requirements: Health Certificate, Rabies Certificate (<1 year)
Procedure: Apply for an import permit for your dog by phone. The permit is filled out over the phone, signed by the vet and faxed to you. Once in Anguilla, take permit and health certificate to the port of entry. The permit must then be paid for at the Agriculture Department in The Valley (on the road to Crocus Bay).
Fee: US$16 (EC$40)
Saba, Statia, St. Maarten
Contact: Glenn Holm
Recommended: Current Health Certificate, Rabies Certificate, dog’s paperwork
Procedure: Pets do not have to be declared on the Customs form.
St. Kitts & Nevis
Contact: Dr. Challenger, Dr. Lesroy Henri
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Phone: (869) 465-2110
Fax: (869) 465-2928
Requirements: Rabies Certificate, Titer Certificate, Health Certificate
Procedure: E-mail or fax the dog’s documents with an idea of the date and time of the ship’s arrival. In the port of entry, a vet will inspect the animal and issue an import permit.
Fee: US$40 (EC$100) weekdays from 8:00AM to 4:00PM
US$50 (EC$125) after 4:00PM and on weekends
Contact: Dr. Selvin Maloney
Phone: (664) 491-2076 or 491-2546
Fax: (664) 491-9275
Website: in progress
Requirements: Rabies Certificate, Titer Certificate, DHCCP Certificate, list of all ports visited within the last six weeks prior to arrival in Montserrat, treatment for internal and external parasites (between three and seven days before arrival), Health Certificate from previously visited country.
Procedure: E-mail or fax the required health documents with the list of visited ports. Inform the veterinary officer of the date and approximate time of arrival at least 48 hours prior to anchoring. Upon checking in, inform the Customs officer about the dog aboard and a government vet will inspect the animal and make decision entry.
Antigua & Barbuda
Contact: Helena Jeffery Brown, Dr. Oona Edwards (the new Chief Vet Officer)
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (268) 462-6104 or 764-1263
Fax: (268) 460-1759
Requirements: Microchip, Rabies Certificate (<1 year), Titer Certificate, Lyme Disease test (<6 months), medical and vaccination history, Government Health Certificate (<7 days), treatment for internal and external parasites (<7 days before arrival).
Procedure: Fax or e-mail the information required to start the import license process. After the documents have been reviewed, an import license can be issued upon arrival. Inform the Veterinary Division of the date and time of arrival at least 48 hours ahead of time and contact them (let them know you need a Lyme Disease test if needed) upon check-in. A government vet will come to inspect the animal and the documents. If you don’t have a Lyme Disease Certificate, the test can be done upon arrival for the equivalent of US$41 (EC$110). You must be tied up on the quarantine dock in Jolly Harbour.
Fee: US$50 (EC$130) for the inspection.
Contact: Dr. St. Aimee
E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (767) 266-3824 or 266-3827
Fax: (767) 448-8632
Requirements: Health Certificate, DHCCP Certificate, Rabies Certificate (<1 year), Titer Certificate, treatment for parasites
Procedure: Fax or e-mail the dog’s paperwork and health certificate. If all is in order, an import permit will be faxed/e-mailed back to you after the documents have been reviewed. Show this import permit when you check in.
Do you have experience sailing with your pet in the Caribbean? Please email us and share your Sea Tail with us! We will post your experience on our site to help out other sailors navigate the pet procedure.