Mexico: Useful Website to Research the Import Requirements for Different Types of Animals

Note: After mentioning that I accessed this site in a previous post, I received so many questions about it that I decided to create a separate post just about the site itself. 

Conducting research about Mexico online can be challenging because there are several government web pages with outdated or paraphrased information that can be misleading as written. That’s why it’s important to get as close to the source material as possible, and when it comes to finding the latest requirements to import an animal into Mexico, that means turning to SENASICA’s online database.

SENASICA is short for el Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad, Calidad Agroalimentaria, and they’re the folks who oversee and regulate the importation of animals into Mexico.

SENASICA’s online database makes it easy to find the specific requirements based on the type of animal and the country of origin. The site is called el módulo de consulta de requisitos para la importación de mercancías zoosanitarias. Here’s a direct link:

The good news is that the site instantly returns very detailed information that you can print and take along with you. The bad news — at least for some of you– is that the information is only available in Spanish and most browsers won’t automatically translate the page because of its format (jsf).

To get around this, you can manually copy and paste the text into this website: Google Translate.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Foreigners often complain that the rules and procedures in Mexico seem to be in a constant state of flux and are not uniformly followed by government employees. One of the primary reasons appears to be a lack of training at the line-level.

That’s why anytime I do anything that involves interacting with government employees, I always bring along any and all applicable laws, rules, guidelines and procedures to support what I’m doing. It may sound like overkill but this strategy has worked surprisingly well for me over the years.

If you plan on spending much time in Mexico, you might think about adopting this practice yourself because —“I thought I read somewhere…” — is rarely enough to convince most people down here that you’re right.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

22 Comments on "Mexico: Useful Website to Research the Import Requirements for Different Types of Animals"

  1. I really love your posts they are so informative please don’t stop.
    Yours Truly,
    Sally Moon
    Siete Columnas
    Alamos, Sonora Mexico

  2. Paul, in yesterday’s post on this subject, you wrote “The pet must arrive in a clean kennel or carrier, free of any bedding or other accessories. If there is anything else in the kennel or container, it will be removed and destroyed (this does not apply to collars and leashes). The container will then be sprayed with a sanitizer.” I puzzled over that, because it implies pets must arrive in an empty crate, without bedding.

    Today, I used your link to get the detailed requirements for importing dogs, and it says “4.- Cuando la transportadora se presente sucia y/o con cama desechable (pañal, periódico, aserrín, trapos) juguetes o comestibles, se aplicará una desinfección, retirando todo lo que se encuentre dentro, para su debida destrucción.”. (much better than Google) translates that as “4.- When the transporter presents a dirty and/or disposable bed (diaper, newspaper, sawdust, rags), toys or edibles, a disinfection will be applied, removing everything that is inside, for due destruction.”

    To me, that means you can include a nice, soft bed, and as long as the animal doesn’t soil it, it won’t be seized and destroyed. That’s a little different than your original statement.


    • The article was based on the written requirements as well as the interviews with them, that’s why there was a discrepancy between the two texts. Just to make things clearer, I decided to tweak it to better reflect the written requirements in Spanish. That’s seems to be the safest route to go. 🙂

      Inevitably, it will be the decision of the inspector if the bedding or toys needs to be destroyed. I would imagine that if it’s clean and good shape, it shouldn’t be a problem.


  3. Am I doing something wrong? When I go into the link, it really doesn’t get me any where?

  4. Meg Manderson | November 3, 2019 at 8:07 pm |

    As always, good advice, particularly the ” not always followed uniformly by government employees” part. We sailed across the border last week with two dogs and two cats. No interest in then whatsoever. Everybody was lovely and helpful. Until the last stop for the TIP for the car! We are in the midst of applying for temporale status, have our visas and had all the paperwork for exiting mid process, properly and approvingly signed and stamped by immigration. But this woman, perhaps annoyed at having to work Sunday morning, decided we could only bring our car in as tourist or with an actual green card. With the help of everyone else, immigration, guard, fellow border crossers, we got through with Alex as a tourist but were terrified he’d have to start over on the temporale. Not to worry, immigration in Chapala fixed it. Absolutely lovely people. The point being flexibility is key and nothing is written in stone. Go with the flow! And have or make Mexican friends!

  5. Paul,
    Thanks for the follow-on post about how to pro-actively deal with the (sometimes) variable nature of the gobierno.

    ¡Hasta pronto!

  6. Ginger Gale Vanstaveren | November 3, 2019 at 9:43 pm |

    Fyi. The “inspector” for the import of animals in the Mexico city airport has never even looked at Spritzer nor the kennel in which he travels, only rubber stamps the paperwork.

  7. As always, thank-you Paul for all the research you do.

  8. Lori Thompson | November 4, 2019 at 8:19 am |

    This is a question regarding the new pet restrictions. We will be in Baja Mexico do we still need health certificate?

  9. So sorry to ask but can you do an article about getting pulled over by police and then they negotiate about doing business with them? Yesterday we were driving back from Costco in CANCUN to our rental home in Playa when we were pulled over by police on a motorcycle saying that we were speeding. We were not, we were going 73 but the police said he believed we were going 80 or 85 but offered no proof. He told us the ticket had to be paid in CANCUN tomorrow morning to get 50% off and it would be $1500, and he was keeping my husbands drivers license until we did. We are retired seniors but the police said we could do business with him. My husband had some U.S. cash and the cop took the money and gave my husbands drivers licence back. Is there nothing we can do without making situation worse? Some say get his name and details but I fear making a bad situation worse and he only wanted money but I don’t want to be scared every time I go out now.

    • Hi Denise,

      We do have an article about dealing with police corruption our Patron page but not in the main blog:

      The motorcycle cops in Cancun on 307 stay very busy and I’ve been stopped going through there twice. Once for supposedly talking on the cellphone — that I didn’t have with me — and another time for supposedly speeding. The cellphone one was easy to prove on my part, the speeding one I told him to give me the ticket and stood my ground. He ended up letting me go with a verbal warning.

      As for your incident, apart from the disagreement on whether or not you were speeding — which is a common one between police and motorists in the U.S. as well — it sounds like the officer was acting in accordance with the law. There is a 50% discount for paying the ticket early (usually within 5 days) and it is written in their traffic code (Artículo 178) that they can hold the license, registration or license plates to ensure payment if you’re not from the municipality of Benito Juarez (Cancun) to guarantee payment.

      Everything was perfectly legal UNTIL the money went out of the window with the license. That situation could have gotten a lot worse if the officer decided to take the high road and arrest your husband for offering him a bribe.

      You shouldn’t be afraid to go out because of this incident, but you should learn from it. I’m sure you’ll handle it better if it happens again.


  10. Great article. I will be reading the last one next… I’m curious if Fido has to travel underneath with cargo / luggage or how that works. I assume you give them a benadryl or something stronger to keep them calm.. THAT, traveling by himself with luggage, is the part my wife worries about.

    • Most of the expats in your new home had their pets declared “emotional support animals” and kept them in the passenger area.

  11. Good news for all us people traveling across the border with our pets, thank you. So I went to the website put in the details to print it to take and noticed at the top it gives you an opportunity to switch to English. (Although I will print the Spanish fir the border officials in case we have a problem).

  12. Hi Paul and Linda! Can you do a dated post on the facts around marijuana legalization in Mexico? I’m seeing all kind of contradicting and inconsistent information.

    • There is a lot of contradicting information on that topic. I know that they are way behind in developing formal rules to comply with the legal changes made quite awhile ago legalizing medical marijuana. That and some recent court rulings in Mexico regarding personal consumption of marijuana have left things kind of up in the air.

      And as I often say, “In the absence of facts, people naturally rely on rumors and conjecture to fill in the gaps.”

  13. Edgar Middlebrook | November 4, 2019 at 10:54 pm |

    We bought our dog across in our car a month ago…no fuss, the guy waved us through without a glance at the dog. So much for paperwork.

    • That’s because the requiremetnts say you’re supposed to then bring the dog to la Oficina de Inspección de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OISA) where your pet will be visually examined by an employee of SENASICA. This system does seem to rely heavily on voluntary compliance when entering by land, and a result, appears to be an ineffective way to enforce their guidelines.

  14. Walli Kay Osborn | November 17, 2019 at 12:17 am |

    When I clicked on the link I got instructions for health products for pets.

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