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Import Permits for Animals and Poultry


Individuals and businesses (wholesale importers) wishing to import live animals and animal products are required to apply for an import permit from the Ministry of Food Production prior to the import's entry into Trinidad and Tobago.


What steps should I follow?

To import live animals or animal products into Trinidad and Tobago, the following steps should be completed:

  • Apply for an import permit from the relevant department listed below.
  • Apply for a health certificate from the country of origin.
  • Contact the Veterinary Office to provide flight/landing information 28 to 48 hours in advance.

The Veterinary Officer
Havelock Street
Curepe
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 662-5986 or (868) 642-0063/4
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays

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How do I apply for an import permit?

The application process for an import permit varies according to the type of animal you wish to import.
 
Aquarium Fish
 
Apply in writing to:
 
Fisheries Division
35 Cipriani Boulevard
Newtown
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 623-8525/6028
E-mail: mfau2fd@tstt.net.tt
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays
 

Companion Animals (cats and dogs) where quarantine is not required 
 
Dogs and cats from the following countries are allowed direct entry into Trinidad and Tobago without having to go into quarantine or to have rabies vaccination or serum antibody testing:  Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Dominica, Great Britain, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Singapore, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Sweden.
 
An application form should be completed by the owner of the animal or an authorised representative and submitted by phone or in person to:
 
The Chief Veterinary Officer
Animal Production and Health Division

Ministry of Food Production

80 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-5997/1473
Fax. (868) 625-5993
E-mail:  aphmalmr@gmail.com
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays
 
The application is processed within one working day and an import permit will be issued. This permit must be collected from the office above prior to landing.

Application forms can be obtained online at the Ministry website, or from the Animal Production and Health Division.


Companion Animals (cats and dogs) where quarantine is required
 
Dogs and cats originating from countries not listed in the section above require either a 30 day or six month quarantine.
 
The following countries now have an option for the reduced quarantine of 30 days:  Austria, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Falkland Islands, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Macau, Peninsular Malaysia, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, Portugal, Reunion, Saba, Sarawak, Seychelles, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Untied Arab Emirates, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay.


If you wish to take advantage of the reduced quarantine regulations you must:

  • Apply for quarantine space at least three months before planned travel. One form of valid identification (passport, ID card, driver's permit) should be provided upon application.
  • Ensure that you have an import permit and health certificate before entering Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Have your animal micro-chipped with a universal microchip prior to entry.
  • Have the animal vaccinated against rabies at least six months but not more than 1 year before planned travel.
  • Have a rabies blood test done at least one month after vaccination (i.e., five months before travel).  Acceptable tests include:
    • Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralisation (FAVN).
    • Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibition Test (RFFIT).
  • Ensure that you have all the necessary documents, as indicated on the import permit, before travelling.
  • Notify the Veterinary Officer of the scheduled time of arrival at least 24 hours prior to landing.  You can contact the Veterinary Officer at telephone number (868) 662-5986.

 

Dogs and cats from all other countries (not listed above) must be quarantined for six months in the government's dog and cat quarantine station at Havelock Street, Curepe.
For both the six month and reduced quarantine, an application form must be completed and submitted at least three months in advance to:

The Chief Veterinary Officer
Animal Production and Health Division
Ministry of Food Production.
80 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-5997/1473
Fax. (868) 625-5993
E-mail:  aphmalmr@gmail.com  
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays

Application forms can be obtained from the Animal Production and Health Division. The application form should be completed by the owner of the animal or an authorised representative. One form of valid identification is to be presented (passport, ID card or driver's permit) upon application along with the letter of authorisation (if applicable).


Horses
 
All horses require quarantine upon entry into Trinidad and Tobago. An application form should be completed by the owner of the animal or an authorised representative and sent to:
 
The Chief Veterinary Officer
Animal Production and Health Division

Ministry of Food Production

80 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-5997/1473
Fax. (868) 625-5993
E-mail: aphmalmr@gmail.com
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays
 
or
 
Senior Veterinary Officer
Caroni North Bank Road
Centeno
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 642-0063/4
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays
 
Application forms can be obtained online, using the link at the end of this section, or from locations noted above.
 

Food Producing Animals

Import permits for food producing animals such as cattle, pigs, goats, sheep and rabbits can be obtained by applying in writing, by phone, in person or via email to:
 
The Chief Veterinary Officer
Animal Production and Health Division

Ministry of Food Production

80 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-5997/1473
Fax. (868) 625-5993
E-mail: aphmalmr@gmail.com
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays
 
Live Day-Old Poultry
 
You must obtain approval to import prior to applying for an import permit for live day-old poultry, such as chicks, poults, ducklings and goslings.  This can be done by applying in writing to:
 
The Agricultural Planning Division

Ministry of Food Production

St. Clair Circle, St. Clair
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 622-1221-5 ext. 2059/2061
Fax.  (868) 628-1289
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays
 
No fee is charged for approval.  If duty-free concessions are required, the application should be sent to the Chief Technical Officer for approval.

Once approval is obtained, it should be attached to a written request for the import permit and sent to:

The Chief Veterinary Officer
Animal Production and Health Division
Ministry of Food Production.

80 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-5997/1473
Fax. (868) 625-5993
E-mail: aphmalmr@gmail.com
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays

Flight information should be provided in person or by telephone 48 hours in advance to:

The Poultry Surveillance Unit (PSU) or National Animal Disease Centre (NADC)
Caroni North Bank Road
Centeno
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 642-0063-5
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays

A landing permit, costing TT$10.00 is issued by customs at the port of entry after inspection of the birds. Inspection fees cost TT$10.00 per shipment of birds and are paid to the veterinary officer.


Wild Animals and Non-Domesticated Birds
 
A Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) certificate should be obtained in order to import wild animals and non-domesticated birds. This can be done by submitting a request in writing to:

The Wild Life Section
Forestry Division
29 Farm Road
St. Joseph
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 662-5114       
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays
 
The certificate is usually issued within one to two days of receiving a request.  After the Cites Certificate is obtained, an import permit should be applied for from the Chief Veterinary Officer, Animal Production and Health. A fee of TT$10.00 is charged for the permit.


Poultry Carcasses

The following steps should be followed for the import of commercial quantities of poultry such as comminuted chicken, chicken parts, whole turkey, duck, etc..

Present the original export certificate of wholesomeness from the exporting country for approval to the office below.  This certificate, issued by the authorised certifying agency of the Ministry of Agriculture from the exporting country, will be approved by the Agricultural Planning Division and will be returned to the applicant. There is no fee for approval.
 
The Agricultural Planning Division

Ministry of Food Production

St. Clair Circle, St. Clair
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 622-1221-5 ext. 2059/2061
Fax.  (868) 628-1289
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays
 
To obtain the import permit, submit the original export certificate of wholesomeness, with the approval from the Agricultural Planning Division to the office below.  First time applicants are required to submit a company letter requesting an import permit for poultry carcasses.
 
The Chief Veterinary Officer
Animal Production and Health Division

Ministry of Food Production

80 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-5997/1473
Fax. (868) 625-5993
E-mail:  aphmalmr@gmail.com
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

 

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How long does it take to get a permit?

Permits for animals not requiring quarantine are processed within one working day.  For animals requiring quarantine, import permits are issued when quarantine space becomes available.

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What happens once my animal or poultry arrives in Trinidad and Tobago?

Upon landing, the animal will be examined by a veterinary officer.  If the animal is found to be unhealthy, it will be refused entry in Trinidad and Tobago and returned to the country of origin.  If the animal is deemed to be healthy, a landing permit is issued . This permit costs TT$10.00 and must be paid to Customs at the port of entry.

The inspection fees charged for the examination are listed below and must be paid to the veterinary officer conducting the inspection:

  • Horses - TT$20.00 each.
  • Donkeys, cattle, mules - TT$10.00 each.
  • Sheep, goats, pigs - from a minimum of TT$ 5.00 to a maximum of TT$50.00 each.
  • Dogs and cats - TT$10.00 each.

 

If quarantine is not required, the animal is released. If quarantine is required, a fee of TT$75.00 is paid to the quarantine attendant who transports the animal to the quarantine facilities. The owner of the animal is charged a quarantine fee of TT$15.00 per day as well as the cost of any diagnostic services to be performs. The diagnostic tests conducted, are based on the animal's country of origin.

Overtime fees are payable to the veterinary inspector and are as follows:

  • Monday to Friday, 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm: TT$50.00 for one animal or consignment of birds, TT$20.00 for each additional animal, TT$50.00 for each additional horse. There is no charge for additional food producing animals.
  • Monday to Friday, 10:00 pm to 6:00 am, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: TT$75.00 for one animal or consignment of birds, TT$20.00 for each additional animal, TT$50.00 for each additional horse. There is no charge for additional food producing animals.

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What fees do I need to pay?

All import permits cost TT$10.00 per shipment and are payable to:

 

The Chief Veterinary Officer
Animal Production and Health Division

Ministry of Food Production

80 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-5997/1473
Fax. (868) 625-5993
E-mail:  aphmalmr@gmail.com
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays

 

Inspection fees for live animals must be paid to the veterinary office conducting the inspection at the port of entry. If the animal is found to be healthy, a landing permit is issued by Customs at the port of entry at a cost of TT$10.00.

 

The fee for each cat or dog requiring quarantine is TT$20.00 per day for a 30-day quarantine or TT$10.00 per day for six-month quarantine.  The fee each horse requiring quarantine is TT$30.00 per day.  All fees for any medication or vaccination required during the quarantine period will be borne by the owner of the animal.

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Where can I find more information?

 

For further information, you can visit the website of the Ministry of Food Production by following the link below. You may also contact the office of the Chief Veterinary Officer by telephone at (868) 625-5997/1473 or via e-mail at aphmalmr@gmail.com.


Ministry of Food Production Website

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