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Old 27-04-2010, 05:56   #1
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Bringing a Dog into Bahamas

I will be sailing thru the Bahamas on my way to the BVI. I just got my permit from their Dept. of Agriculture. It states that my dog must be seen by a Vet. within forty-eight hours of arrival in the Bahamas. I am about 5 to 7 days from the Bahamas. How do YOU deal with that?

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Old 27-04-2010, 06:00   #2
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Our vet certificate was 11 days old when we arrived. The customs folks did not have a problem with it.

Others have said their vets left the date blank... the vet we used was not willing to entertain such an idea but said that the 48 hour rule is not enforced. They were right, at least for us.

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Old 27-04-2010, 07:07   #3
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I have heard both ways. Thought it would be good to get firsthand feedback. Thanks.
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Old 27-04-2010, 08:27   #4
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The last time I took dogs to the Bahamas, I never received a permit although I had applied for one and sent the money in months in advance. I kept copies of my canceled checks just in case but Bahamian Customs could have cared less. I had a veterinary certificate but it was dated a week prior also. I guarantee your dogs health papers or even their very existence won't ever be brought up. RELAX! IT'S THE BAHAMAS, MON.
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Old 27-04-2010, 08:59   #5
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We're in the Bahamas now with nour dog and our arrival was three weeks after the vet signed the form,- no problem.
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Old 27-04-2010, 16:20   #6

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I actually think the form is worded differently than most people interpret. We went around about this too. I don't think the Bahamas are asking that you have a health certificate issued 48 hours before arriving in the Bahamas to check in. That's just too impractical. I think what the form is requesting is that you present the form to a vet in the Bahamas within 48 hours of arriving. To be honest, that's pretty impractical too since there are so few vets.
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Old 27-04-2010, 16:33   #7
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I agree with Jeffrey Siegel on the 48 hour interpretation - and Noonsite even states the health certificate must be presented within 48 hours of arrival.

From another thread here at Cruisers Forum comes one of the best posts I've read on this subject:
Originally Posted by Agur's Wish View Post
We have been transporting our dog in and out of the Bahamas for 5 years and every time it is different. This year we were actually complying with the 48 hour rule but when the exam with our same old vet was done, he handed us a strange new form which required that we get a Dept. of Agriculture stamp. We have never ever had to do that. But it wasn't a big problem because we were heading to Denver where the office is to catch our flight later that afternoon. So we called the Dept of Ag and they asked if we had an appointment. We said, "Uh, no. All we need you to do is stamp this form." "When are you traveling", they inquired. "Today," we replied. "You sure waited until the last minute," they snarkily replied. Go figure!

Any way....In the Bahamas

You must have the pet permit to bring the pet in to country. There have been times though that the government has failed to send us the permit back and I have had to sit at the airport while Jeff runs to customs at the port in Marsh Harbour to get the permit. Also there have been times, officials have not asked for any pet papers at all.

They have never been that picky with us about the 48 hour thing but we usually try to get it within a week to 10 days.

***The pet permit is good for one year but if you leave the country with your pet within that year you must have a brand new permit and vet certificate to get the pet back in. We almost missed a flight out of Miami one time because I didn't realize this. We'd only been out of the Bahamas a month so I thought we were good...not. The agent at check in wouldn't let us board without a new vet certificate. We called the two vets we use here in the states and neither one of them would fax us one. We finally called our vet in Marsh Harbour and he faxed one. The customs officials in Marsh Harbour didn't seem to think there was anything funny about a form that stated a vet in Marsh harbour had seen our pet the day before we flew in.
I just love that last part - it's well-worth keeping in mind as you're stressing over this. The thread is here:

"Your vision becomes clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakens."
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
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Old 27-04-2010, 16:49   #8
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Last year my son got the proper vet form signed and entered at West End. The customs guys saw the dog on deck but never asked any questions, or for the form. They cruised for a couple of months with no problems.
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Old 27-04-2010, 17:00   #9

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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
...The customs guys saw the dog on deck but never asked any questions, or for the form...
That's a good point too. The first time I checked into the Bahamas, I had all of my forms and documents all neatly arranged, sorted, indexed. I showered, dressed nicely, and made my appearance...

The officers could care less about 95% of the documents. They were very interested in the $300 though and it was the first thing they asked about.
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Old 21-09-2011, 11:04   #10
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Re: Bringing Dog into Bahamas

Last year we entered the Bahamas via West End. We had our small Yorkie-Chi and all of the papers in order including some vaccinations that were extremely difficult to get. (Apparently Caronavirus is hardly ever heard of in dogs). Anyway, the Customs/Immigration officer was EXTREMELY friendly ad was a real credit to the Bahamian people and he stamped all of the multiple forms quickly and without a lot of scrutiny. I was holding our dog in my arms when we cleared in but he really didn't even care. I asked him "What about the dog?" and handed him the import permit, etc. He said jokingly "Mon, we never have any trouble with dogs. It's their owners that we have to worry about. And besides if I don't let the dog in, you will probably leave also...and we don't want you to leave." Stamp...stamp...stamp ad the dog was cleared in.
I have never had any trouble in the Bahamas but I think it is wise to have all of the required documents in order. That makes their job easy and when you make it easy for them they make it easy for you

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