Pet Customs Duty
When you pass through Customs with your pet, a Customs officer will conduct a visual examination of your pet. If your pet has a highly contagious disease that puts in threat the fauna of Costa Rica, your pet will not be allowed in the country, and you will be required to take your pet out of Costa Rica. If you do not take your pet out of the country, your pet will be destroyed.
If your pet has a disease that is not highly contagious, your pet will be treated by a veterinarian and must be hosted for 40 days or until the disease is terminated at the Custom Animal Shelter of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Control.
You or the customs broker that you hired will be required to present the pet's health certificate. If your pet does not have this certificate, your pet will not be allowed into the country, and you will have to send it back home.
Then, you will be required to file for a pet's quarantine permit at the the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Control (Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia). Once you get this permit, you can take your pet anywhere within Costa Rica without restrictions.
Customs will not release your pet unless you have the pet's quarantine permit. Your pet will remain at Customs or will be transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Control Customs Animal Shelter in San Jose until you get the permit. The shelter is not in the greatest condition, thus, you might want to bring additional pet accessories to ensure your pet's comfort.
Paying Customs Duty
Once Customs accepts your pet's health certificate, you must pay Customs duty based on your pet's market value. If your pet's market value is below $100.00 and you have not brought pets into the country for the last two years (Customs will check their records to verify), your pet will be considered an import of non-commercial nature and no Customs duty will be required.
If you come with your pet in the same plane/bus/ship, and you declare it as part of your luggage, or you are traveling with your pet and you will be staying for no more than 30 days, your pet will only need the pet's health certificate and the quarantine permit. No Customs duties will be required.
Recent invoices are the ideal proof of your pet's market value. However, if you do not have an invoice available, a letter stating your current pet's market value would be enough. Your pet's market value shown in your letter is subject to change at Customs own discretion.
Pets are generally dutiable at a 24.30% of Customs Appraised Value.