Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bringing A Pet to Ecuador

Hello folks, the purpose of this post is to provide those who might be interested with an update to the saga of arranging the import of our dog Java into Ecuador.

I continue to learn a great deal but the lack of policy and procedural clarity continues to be a major frustration.

Here is a synopsis of where we are now ( less than two months from flight time):

·    We have booked our flights to Ecuador and our International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) consultant - Frank Wright has booked Java to travel on the same aircraft as us.  Java must travel as cargo because his weight with the crate included is greater than 45kg or 100lbs.  Most airlines have made their restrictions clear in this regard but some of the Latin American airlines leave it somewhat vague.  When we called various Latin American airlines we were told alternatively that the 45kg limit was the dog alone or the dog with crate.  We got different answers depending what time of day you called the airlines in question.  Java is 41kg on his own and the crate weighs at least 10kg.  We could not take the chance and so we have booked him as cargo on our flights. 
·    We are using Continental because of their Petsafe program.  They have worked out some of the details for keeping pets safe and comfortable.  This includes the availability of kenneling in Houston overnight to allow for a single flight booking.  Houston is Continental’s big hub and so they use this as a key point in this program.  There are many direct flights to Houston and there is a direct flight to Quito from Houston.  This is not to say that other airlines may not be able to serve your needs, but I hear from multiple sources about Continental and have therefore taken that route.  Both our IPATA consultant and our Ecuadorian broker have recommended Continental.  From Toronto the cost is almost $800 Cdn.  That would be about $840 US.
·    We have now made contact with an experienced Broker in Quito / Guayaquil who handles the importation of pets amongst other things.  Her name is SANDRA BAQUERO, her e-mail address is  I got her name from Gary Scott’s Ecuador Living website from the report he did on importing dogs.  We have received some initial information from Sandy and she seems very familiar with the process.  She has quoted four separate costs:
  •  Tax  in Ecuadorian Ministry for pets                     USD        24.00
  •  Fee for getting Ecuadorian import permit           USD      150.00
  •  Approx payment of duties for dog and cats        USD      400.00
  •  Fee for clearanceing pets                                     USD      350.00 
  • TOTAL APPROX PAYMENTS                            USD      924.00
·     My understanding from Sandy is that her fee for brokering is $350 while the others are all related to Ecuadorian permits and fees.
·    Now, I will try and articulate the documentation issue.  This has been the most frustrating and least clear.  I have been in touch with Ecuadorian consulates in Ottawa and Toronto.  The story about what is required is mostly the same:
o   An International Certificate of Health for Dogs and Cats must be completed by your veterinarian. This form must be legalized by the national authority for animal health.  In Canada, that authority is the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  The vaccination requirements for importation are on the Ecuadorian consulate web site and must be completed within 60 days of travel.  The pet must be free of parasites, externally and internally.  This must be verified within 30 days of travel.  Please note:  these timelines may differ within the US but they are consistent with what Sandra has identified. 
o   In Canada, the form must go to CFIA for certification, must then be apostollized by the federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.  Finally, it must be legalized by an Ecuadorian consulate.  The broker in Quito needs this form in order to apply for the import permit and she advises to scan and send this to her so that she can move it forward ASAP.
o   Here is the rub.  There is an additional requirement for a final inspection of the dogs health at the time of shipping.  I asked the Ecuadorian consulate in Ottawa how we are to do this and still get all the stamps on it.  He replied that we cannot, we need to move the other parts forward and then do this bit at the last minute.  To the best of my knowledge there is no form for this piece and so my intention with our veterinarian is to have this done the day before travel in a letter that I will have translated into Spanish.  My intent is to have both of these documents available at the time of export.
o   The veterinary fees are significant because the vaccinations, de-worming, stool samples, blood samples etc definitely add up.  My best guess is that they will cost me $600 in total.
·    In all I am assuming a total cost of over $2500 all in by the time we get Java to Ecuador and out of the warehouse.  This is certainly more than I had counted on and is why I put some emphasis on it here.
o   Transportation via Continental - $840
o   Brokerage and fees in Ecuador - $924
o   Veterinary and documentation costs - $600
o   Pet Shipping Support - Unknown to date
·    My hope is that this information is helpful to you.  If I find out anything else as we go through the process I will let you know. 

All the best everyone, Linda and Dave

P.S.  Connie Pombo has committed to having their dog Mocha play with Java when he arrives.  If anyone is up for a little Mocha Java we are definitely buying.


  1. Great work on the blog. It's nice to finally meet Java via photos. I know Continental will take good care of Java! Blessings!

  2. Has anybody said anything about temperature restrictions in Houston? It could be hot there in two months, and we found that we couldn't bring our dogs through Atlanta in May (2009) because of Delta's temperature limitations.

  3. Thanks so much for this information! I have contacted Sandy about bringing our parrot Nigel. Hopefully he is not on the "no fly" list. Give Linda a hug for me. If you guys are in Ecuador between June 13-27, look Guy and my Dad up and say "hi"! They will be staying with Alberto.

  4. Thank you for your post on pet travel to Ecuador. This information was very helpful. My wife and I are also from just outside of Kingston, Ontario located in Harrowsmith 15 minutes north. (small world) and are planning the move to Cuenca with our dog Winston. Our blog is

  5. Any info on dog food in ecuador? my dog eats "Taste of the Wild", Prairie Blend and i have no idea if i can transport it or if i can buy it there, or something equivalent, we are booked for 5 mos, but have not bought property yet so as tourists we are only allowed 3 mos so we may have to leave and go back (we have a credit with TACA Int. airline we can use). any info would help, we are planning to buy around Salinas.

  6. Gracias por la informacion, es una laatima que se tenga que pagar un valor muy alto, ahora mi esposa y yo tenemos el interes de envir a nuesytro gato a Ecuador pero que tan costoso ha sido. si alguien conoce alguna manera mas economica de enviarlo favor mi email

  7. So this information was before you left for Ecuador. So, how did it work out? I was told by United Airlines that I must have a Health Certificate dated no greater than 10 days before departure as well as an Import Permit. In your case, did Continental ask you to present an Import Permit or just the Health Certificate?