Import a dog or cat

All animals arriving in Bermuda must be accompanied by an Import Permit and an original overseas veterinary health document.

You must provide evidence that your animal complies with all import requirements before an Import Permit will be issued.

Learning about importing animals to Bermuda to find out the general rules and applicable fees.

Requirements and Conditions

Review these conditions of entry to ensure that your animal qualifies to enter Bermuda. Also review the lists of dog breeds below to learn whether your dog is included. Properties housing prohibited or restricted breed dogs must be able to securely house the animal by the presence of inescapable fencing or an enclosure. The fencing or enclosure must comply with rules & processes of the Department of Planning, and the premise inspected by an Animal Warden before an import permit is issued.

The following conditions of entry apply to the importation of all dogs and cats. You must provide true and accurate documentation of the following:

  1. The animal has been implanted with a microchip read by a standard microchip reader, i.e. ISO, FECAVA, European/International or AVID-USA chip.
  2. A veterinary health certificate issued within 10 days before your arrival in Bermuda, stating that the animal is not infected with any communicable disease and is free of external parasites. The health certificate must be signed by a licensed veterinarian and contain the following information:
  • Name, date of birth, breed, description and microchip identification of pet;
  • Owner at present;
  • Owner in Bermuda and address
  1. A veterinary statement giving the name of the acaricidal preparation applied during the examination, which is known to have residual activity against ticks, e.g. Bravecto®, Simparica®, NexGard®, FrontLine Top Spot®, Ovitrol®, Sectrol®, K9 Advantix®, Vectra 3D®, Proticall®, Kiltix®, Defend Ex-Spot®, Promeris® for Dogs. – NOTE: Advantage®, Sentinel®, Revolution®, Selamectin, Capstar®, Bio-Spot®, Promeris® for Cats, , Comfortis®, shampoos and collars do not qualify.
  2. A veterinary statement that, as best as can be ascertained by your knowledge and through questioning, the animal has not been exposed to rabies nor been present in an officially quarantined rabies area within the last 6 months.
  3. This requirement is not applicable to dogs or cats originating and arriving directly from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or Jamaica.
    Rabies vaccination history, showing the two most recent rabies vaccinations, and that both rabies vaccinations were given by a licensed veterinarian, and were in accord with all of these requirements:
  • The animal received the first of the two rabies vaccinations at / after the age of three months; and
  • The animal received the second rabies vaccination 6-12 months following the first rabies vaccination; and
  • There have been no significant lapses in vaccinations; and
  • The most recent vaccination was given at least 30 days, and not more than 12 months prior to arrival.

Dogs and cats under age 10 months, and dogs and cats of any age that have received only a single rabies vaccination, do not qualify for entry into Bermuda.

Veterinarians may only attest to vaccinations given by him/herself, given under his/her direct supervision, and prior vaccinations that are accompanied with original vaccination certificates. Veterinarians cannot attest to vaccines given by non-veterinarians, including owners or breeders.

  1. This requirement is not applicable to dogs or cats originating and arriving directly from the Continental USA or Canada. The animal has not been kept within 30 miles of Foot and Mouth disease during the last 30 days.
  2. When requested, you will be required to give information regarding the purpose of imported animal, and the location of facility where the animal(s) will be housed. You need not provide this information when you apply.
  3. Resident dogs must be licensed at the main office of the Department of Environment & Natural Resources, (Botanical Gardens, Paget) immediately after arrival.

Service animals(including emotional support animals)

Service animals are required to meet the same conditions of entry as non-service animals. Once on Island, no special concessions may be demanded for a service animal, although service providers are often willing to make a concession to accommodate a person with a disability.

Show dogs and trial animals

The club organizing the show will obtain and distribute an import permit for each participating animal. Contact the club hosting the show for all details; you usually don’t need to contact this Department directly.

Regulations for dogs post-arrival

Guidelines pertaining to the control of dogs on Island are available here.

Restrictions on the importation of certain breeds of dog

There are restrictions on the importation of dogs of certain breeds. The list below will be amended as necessary. You may fill out an Application to Keep Restricted Breeds of Dogs.pdf if you demonstrate exceptional circumstances to justify the importation.

Prohibited Breeds

Restricted Breeds

Argentine mastiff (Dogo Argentino)

Akita

Boerboel (South African Mastiff)

Australian Cattle Dog

Brazilian Mastiff (Fila)

American Bulldog

Cane Corso

American Pit Bull Terrier

Neapolitan Mastiff

American Staffordshire Terrier

Presa Canario

Belgian Malinois

Tosa Inu

Bouvier des Flandres

Wolf

Bull Terrier

Wolf Hybrid

Bullmastiff

Any Cross of the above

Cão de Fila de São Miguel (Azorean Cattle Dog)

 

Chow Chow

 

Doberman Pinscher

 

Dogue de Bordeaux

 

Shepherd (all breeds thereof)

  Mastiff – English
  Rhodesian Ridgeback
  Rottweiler
  Olde English Bulldogge (Old English Bulldog)
  Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  Any Cross of the above

 

Any rare, exotic or uncommon breed may also be refused permission to enter Bermuda or to be used in breeding despite its absence from the lists above.

Prohibited dogs may not be imported, bred or used for breeding.

Restricted dogs may be imported/kept once the conditions for keeping these dogs have been fulfilled by the importer/new keeper. Dogs of these breeds may be bred only following receipt of a Breeder’s permit. New acquisitions of these dogs require pre-approval.

Any rare, exotic or uncommon breed may also be refused permission to enter Bermuda or to be used in breeding despite its absence from the list above.

Regulations for dogs

The acquisition, keeping, breeding, brokering and some uses (guard/security work) of a dog are regulated by legislation.

You can take your dog to most beaches, except public beaches in protected areas between 1 April and 31 October each year.

Licence tags

Dogs must be licensed annually. Your dog must wear its numbered licence tag, which was issued at the time of its initial licensing. Any dog tag can serve as a replacement tag as long as it bears the correct licence number.  Find out how to get a dog licence.

Acquiring a dog

When acquiring a dog by any means, the seller, breeder or giver should provide you with a valid licence — don’t accept the dog otherwise. The local Society for the Protection against Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) will not release a dog for adoption without a licence.

Breeding a dog

The breeding of dogs requires a specific breeding licence. Anyone can become a licensed breeder as long as they and their premises meet theConditions for Breeding Dogs.pdf Download an application to keep restricted breeds of dogs.

Keeping multiple dogs

Law requires a special permit for keeping more than two dogs on a single premise. This special permit is needed by any person (land owner, landlord or tenant) who owns, resides or controls a premise where the total premise is home to more than two dogs, whether or not the premise contains multiple households.  Application to Keep Multiple Dogs.pdf.

How to apply to import a dog or cat

Download the complete the application.

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