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Shipping and Pet Relocation for Americans & Canadians Moving to Panama

Many expats moving to Panama will want to bring furry friends and personal effects with them. There are ways to accomplish both.

Shipping and Pet Relocation to Panama


Shipping Possessions from the U.S. & Canada to Panama

If shipping personal goods to Panama, you will need to provide a complete inventory of all possessions you'll be moving into the country. Costs for sea freight will range from ~$2.20 to $3.00 per lb while air freight will be more expensive at approximately $4-5 per lb. Some companies charge a flat rate for a 20 ft. or 40 ft. container. 


The pensionado visa allows duty-free importation of personal goods into Panama up to $10,000 in value. If your imported goods do not fall under a duty-free importation limit you can expect to pay duties of 20% on newly purchased items and 30% on cars (depending upon the car's value and age).


Pet Relocation from the U.S. to Panama

Relocating cats and dogs from the US to Panama requires a health certificate signed by a USDA accredited veterinarian and endorsed by USDA APHIS. You will then need to get that certificate stamped and signed by a Panamanian diplomatic office before travel. Note that Panama usually requires an official apostille of the certificate as well, but it has been temporarily waived due to COVID. Your cat or dog will also need updated vaccinations and you will need to fill out a "home quarantine request form" and submit it to Panamanian authorities 3-5 days before travel. Relocating other animals requires an import permit from the National Environmental Authority of Panama (ANAM).


Be sure to check with your vet for requirements not only to move your pet to Panama, but also to move your pet back to the USA. The CDC has been changing guidelines significantly over the past two years, and has made it more difficult to bring pets back into the country.

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