Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 44

Thread: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

  1. #1
    nyc is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Feb 2016 Posts: 7

    St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Hi there,

    I am getting many conflicting reports from friends and the internet about the requirements needed to bring my Bing (yorkie) to St. Barth.

    My friends have told me they fly there with a simple health certificate but i have found a website saying they changed the rules and that if you transfer though St. martin you have to apply for an import permit!!!!

    Please I hope anyone with any info will please post. I never go anywhere without Bing. But the requirements seem more of a deterrent.

    hugs to all

  2. #2
    didier is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2005 flamands Posts: 4,617
    you do actually have to have a pet permit, that can be downloaded on sxm site pertaining to animals. you have to have your dog micro chipped. you need a rabies certificate. a health journal for you dog. and make sure your dog has had a check up with the vet five days before traveling.

  3. #3
    krand1 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2011 NY, NY Posts: 92
    Hello NYC,
    We have been bringing our 6 lb Coton de Tulear, Lily, to St. Barths for the past 9 years. However, when we booked our flight last year, 2015, on St, Barths Commuter (with dog) they informed us of this new regulation (required import permit) that SXM is now imposing. I e-mailed the powers that be in SXM to confirm that even if I was only transiting THROUGH SXM on my way to SBH would I still need to jump through these hoops that require Vaccination information to be signed off on by an agent in SXM BEFORE you even get on the plane to SXM. The answer was yes, indeed I did. For the first time in many years, we decided that this was just too much stress to bring Lily along. God forbid that we land in SXM having failed to complete one of the many steps required...what a kill joy. We will bring her the next time we decide to splurge and fly Tradewind Aviation thru SJU to SBH both ways. Otherwise, it really just seems too onerous to have to not only get the proper "Official International Health Certificate" and "endorsed by the Official Government Federal Veterinarian" but to have to e-mail it to SXM, hold your breath that it will be sent back with the proper sign off in time for your flight, all to merely transit thru SXM! You can obtain an application for import of animals/birds form from the Inspection Department TEZVT - LVV at lvv@sintmaartengov.org. Sorry, not sure how to link this, hope this works. They will send the steps required and the specifics as to vaccinations required, International micro-chip info, timing, etc...I am sure you will agree that it is a little much for a simple transit. However, you might have more patience than I do.
    Good luck. I would love to hear how it goes if you decide to deal with this or learn any new information.

  4. #4
    islander is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2005 Posts: 1,496
    http://www.sxmpaws.com/local-vet-info/

    Traveling with Pets


    St. Maarten requires new “visa” entry for bringing your pets to the island.
    For those of you planning to bring your doggies to Sint Maarten, here’s a checklist on how to get your pets here.
    Disclaimer: These steps are for animals leaving the USA. Please verify all information and requirements with your airline, state/country veterinary services, and your local vet.

    The documentation for airline travel to Sint Maarten:

    1. Obtain an International Health Certificate – your vet does a physical exam, fills this form out, then signs it. You have TEN DAYS from the day your vet signs this document to travel by airline.
    2. Once signed by your vet, you must overnight the International Health Certificate and a copy of the Rabies Certificate to your state’s USDA office and they will sign it. Include a prepaid overnight envelope so they can send it back to you in a timely manner.
    3. Once the certificate is signed by the USDA and returned to you, immediately email this and an “Application to Import” to Mervyn Butcher at Mervyn.Butcher@sintmaartengov.org.
    4. Upon approval, Mr. Butcher will send you an Import Permit via email within 2-3 business days.
    5. At the airline present the following documentation: International Health Certificate, Import Permit, Rabies Certificate, and Statement of Weather Acclimation (needed if temperatures are below 45 F or above 85 F at any origin and/or destination on the day of travel. You can get this document from your vet).

    You’ll notice that there is a lot to do in a very short period of time, so adequate planning is paramount. There is very little room for error in this process.

  5. #5
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,666
    #tradewind #sjusbh
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  6. #6
    islander is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2005 Posts: 1,496
    You can also try to contact ANIMAL CARE CENTER in SXM:

    Dr Virginie de Ceuster
    +1 (721) 544-5500
    animalcarecentersxm@gmail.com

    I met Virginie not so long ago, she is very helpful. I am quite sure she can assist and provide guidelines.

  7. #7
    nyc is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Feb 2016 Posts: 7

    Thumbs up Better ways to spend my time.

    Hello Krand1. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your info on the matter. That is just what I was looking for. I have a friend that was trying to return with a dog from France to st. barth and the st. martin vet office never answered her requests for permit validations. She was left in the lurch and had to beg Air France to board. She did board, but she had many "choice words" for the government officials of st. martin.

    I find it shocking that St. barths doesn't work with St. Martin to distinguish the difference between "transit passengers" vs "destination passengers" concerning the dog requirements! Almost everyone I know travels with their dog.

    But life is too short for this extra stress. I have an upcoming upcoming trip to europe that I will extend instead instead of my yearly trip st. barth.
    I hope this clears up soon and we can travel to st. barts more freely again.

    Hugs to Lily and thanks again for your info!



  8. #8
    islander is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2005 Posts: 1,496
    You're welcome!

  9. #9
    jcmc is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 79
    AMEN, ONE MORE REASON NOT TO GO THROUGH ST MARTIN THE " FRIENDLY ISLAND!!
    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    #tradewind #sjusbh

  10. #10
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 24,129
    Travel to SBH with pets? In my opinion our pets get better care on the mainland than our Vets. SXM is picking on animal friendly pet smart travelers-how silly of them. Why not make it easier for guests in transit? I don't get what part of tourism they don't get.

    IMHO.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  11. #11
    krand1 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2011 NY, NY Posts: 92
    NYC you are very welcome! I just hate to be the one to pass on the bad news. We are going to St. Barths this winter, once again without our little friend, but I swear, next year we are going through SJU both ways on Tradewind Aviation and Lily will come along. Frankly, for what we have to pay the pet sitter to stay in the States with Lily for a week, flying Tradewind would only cost just a little more. And an excellent excuse for avoiding SXM. Worth every penny based on my estimation and several previous bad experiences there.
    Have a great trip to Europe!

  12. #12
    thomasj is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2009 Toronto Posts: 264

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Quote Originally Posted by nyc View Post
    Hi there,

    I am getting many conflicting reports from friends and the internet about the requirements needed to bring my Bing (yorkie) to St. Barth.

    My friends have told me they fly there with a simple health certificate but i have found a website saying they changed the rules and that if you transfer though St. martin you have to apply for an import permit!!!!

    Please I hope anyone with any info will please post. I never go anywhere without Bing. But the requirements seem more of a deterrent.

    hugs to all

    Hello All!
    I was going to bring my little well-travelled and well-behaved guy with me again and am sad to see this new tourist unfriendly policy in place. Seems really silly to impose this on animals that don't even leave the terminal at SXM. In any case, has anyone here travelled with a dog via SXM since this new rule came into effect? thanks
    LAST VISIT: July 2018
    NEXT VISIT: December 2018
    St. Barth Je t'aime (except all the smoking...)

  13. #13
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 6,845

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    We see your moniker is NYC. As already suggested, forget St. Maarten and take Tradewinds from Puerto Rico to SBH. SBH requires only a vaccination for rabies and no microchip. Bing will love the island and being with you there.

  14. #14
    krand1 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2011 NY, NY Posts: 92

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Hello ThomasJ,
    Since 2004 we regularly brought our little 6lb baby to St Barths, transferring thru SXM from NYC. Around 2015 we were informed by St Barths Commuter that SXM now required a pre-approved form (such as you have referenced) when even going thru the airport. We sadly decided to leave baby at home that year because the steps seemed a little onerous. On that trip, I asked a St. Barths Commuter employee if those requirements still existed and he said no, they were NOT. So I booked our trip for this March 2017 and am including little baby. When we booked our charter on St Barths Commuter, they did not mention the forms (as they did the last time). However, I noticed this post and decided to ask them directly. They emailed me back saying YES, the forms are still required. I have already booked our flights thru SXM so am kind of stuck, otherwise would go thru SJU on Tradewind Aviation. So now I either leave baby at home (costly pet sitting for a week!) or deal with these ridiculous forms. Today, I emailed the appropriate person at SXM (had the email address from 2015) and asked if these were necessary for transferring with an in cabin, carry on pet. As soon as I get a definitive answer, I will post back. Sorry for the long winded message but wanted you to know my experience with this thus far. I will keep you posted.

  15. #15
    thomasj is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2009 Toronto Posts: 264

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Hello krand1
    thanks for the reply!
    I've been hearing a few conflicting reports as well. Airlines into SXM are mixed - some know about the rule and some don't. SBH Commuter told me about it only because I asked, it is not on their website.
    I have emailed both email addresses I have in SXM and have not heard a reply. Personally I don't trust the SXM Authorities at all, this is a new rule and the fact you have to run around completing these steps and then just email it off to some random email (The fact that you cannot do this electronically sets off huge flags) means this is a mess and I don't want to be rolling those dice.
    I'm in the same boat as you - I booked SBH Commuter (but you can cancel with a 20% fee) however I haven't booked the flight into SXM yet, however those are changeable as far as I know.
    The Tradewinds SJU SBH is pretty expensive however when you take the fact that airfares into SJU are around $190 r/t from JFK or $300 from YYZ, add in dog boarding for 17 days (in my case) and the Tradewind option tops out at $1300-1400 - which I think is not crazy and acceptable to take a small dog to SBH in peace. At least Puerto Rico rules are clear cut and the connection will be super easy. Not that SXM transit is especially difficult in normal cases, however I don't go on vacation to stress and the extra money to fly Tradewind is well spent.
    Good luck - hope it works out for you and your baby! TJ
    LAST VISIT: July 2018
    NEXT VISIT: December 2018
    St. Barth Je t'aime (except all the smoking...)

  16. #16
    melia is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2016 Posts: 104

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    This is how we solved the problem.



  17. #17
    krand1 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2011 NY, NY Posts: 92

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Yup, know all about the Tradewind option. However, we are a family of four and it does start to add up. We always fly Tradewind on the homeward bound to minimize contact with SXM, while also eliminating immigation/customs at JFK. So round trip on Tradewind is pricey. Hopefully someone will reply to my email. And I will pass on the info that I get. Good luck!

  18. #18
    krand1 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2011 NY, NY Posts: 92

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Hello Thomasj,
    I got a reply back from the official at SXM. His email address is: Mervyn.Butcher@sintmaartengov.org. Sorry, not good at attaching "Links" but that is the correct address. If you contact him, he will send you the appropriate forms as well as specifics as far as the exact vaccines needed, international micro chip, etc...He has been v
    ery responsive to my questions and requests for forms so I am encouraged that the process should go smoothly. But the fact is, is even if you are merely transferring thru SXM and even if you are traveling with an "in-cabin" pet, you must still fill out the "application for permission to import animals" and send that as well as the health forms and vaccine certificates to be approved prior to travel. These must be submitted to a customs official upon landing in SXM. This is the part that is strange...If you are transferring immediately to SBH, where does the customs official fit in, if you do not actually go through immigration and customs? Anyway, we are going to jump through these hoops this time but never again. Tradewind aviation will be getting even more of our business than they already do! Good luck to you and have a great trip!

  19. #19
    thomasj is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2009 Toronto Posts: 264

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    I hear you Krand1 - I feel you - with 4 people it does get crazy pricey! I actually emailed Mr. Butcher last week (found his email) and unlike you I did not receive a response. In any case, with 2 of us - even with Tradewind the roundtrip air to SBH ended up being $1200 per person, which is not "crazy" for piece of mind travelling via SJU and arriving in SBH in real style seriously I've heard great things about Tradewind (it will be my first time via SJU) so I'm looking forward to it. The SXM regulations should be waived for animals that don't exit the "transit" area - its silly really and will only make sure that the "monied" set and their private planes will skip SXM in favour of SJU. Not sure when you are travelling to SBH but wish you luck and let me know how it goes. I'll be travelling in January (can't come too soon)...
    LAST VISIT: July 2018
    NEXT VISIT: December 2018
    St. Barth Je t'aime (except all the smoking...)

  20. #20
    jdr is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2003 Boston Posts: 471

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    We traveled in April and were spooked by this new requirement. But it really was not a big deal. I just looked in my email as a refresher:

    • I emailed and asked if we really had to do it in transit.
    • She replied "yes" in 23 minutes and attached the application.
    • We sent the simple application, the one-page USDA stamped health certificate and the vaccination record from our vet.
    • They emailed the import permit back in a day. It was really easy.


    And for the 10th consecutive time, I don't think anyone ever checked the paperwork at SXM or SBH, but at least we had it.

  21. #21
    smartmoose is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2016 St. Bart/Nantucket Posts: 82

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Awesome.

    Can you tell me how you were able to coordinate the trip to your local vet....the fedex to the nearest USDA office (and back), in the 10 days you are allotted? That is where my concerns are. Throw a weekend or a holiday into the mix, and it seems pretty tight.

  22. #22

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    We just traveled to St. Bart with our 70 pound German Shepherd . For the reasons mentioned above, we elected to fly Tradewinds from San Juan. So much easier than SXM and no problem with bring the dog. All you need is up to date rabies immunizations. Also, remember tick borne diseases on the island are a big threat to dogs in the Carribbean as well as mosquito transmitted heartworm disease. Talk to your vet regarding preventative products. (ps... I'm a vet)

  23. #23
    krand1 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2011 NY, NY Posts: 92

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Thomasj: You are going to love Tradewind Aviation and will never want to travel to SBH any other way! We have done it many times, both directions and it is a breeze. We are going back to NYC on Tradewind on our trip, which is in March.
    jdr: Your account of your experience is encouraging. We are planning on going through the process. I do suspect that the forms will never actually be looked at since we only go through the transit desk and our only contact will be with St Barth Commuter. But we will be ready nevertheless!
    smartmoose: I know what you are referring to (I have seen them online)...however, those instructions (sending to USDA office and having to get them back) are not on the instructions that the official in SXM sent me. You only have to fill out the "application to import animals" form that they will send you as well as an international health certificate and vaccine certificate (they do require specific vaccines, which are stated on instruction sheet) as well as an international micro chip registration number. You then email those to the official, he then emails them back with approval stamps. jdr, please correct me if any of this is wrong.

  24. #24
    JFK is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: May 2017 Posts: 5

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Krand1 you are so right. The process of dealing with the St. Martin office is like sending a message in a bottle via the ocean and hoping that the right person finds it (within a tight time limit). First they send you forms for your vet to fill out, then you send it back, then you NEVER hear from them again. I have tried at least twice, and resent numerous copies through Fedex to no avail. When I spoke to people in st. barth, they say this is typical. I know a few people who know a few people, in st. martin and they say the island and the airport are losing a ton of money over this debacle. Everyone in the US is transiting via Puerto Rico and in France, they are transiting via Guadeloupe. This is so much easier and quicker. Lol, those St. Martin people just don't want to make money.

  25. #25
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,819

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    As for traveling to St. Barth via St. Martin or San Juan, I think the vast majority of visitors still travel through SXM. I expect that some of our members have statistics that would enlighten us on the issue.
    The best moderation is the least moderation.

  26. #26
    krand1 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2011 NY, NY Posts: 92

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    JFK and all who might be interested in the info...we did indeed bring our small dog to St Barths this past March via St. Maarten airport on the trip in. We jumped through all the hoops that SXM now requires. Filled out their form, got Vet vaccination/health certificate (with all the vaccinations that SXM required, with even one of those that our vet rolled his eyes over) fedexed it (overnight) to New York agriculture department (in Albany) to sign off (this packet included a return overnight fedex label). Got the forms back 48 hours later from NY agriculture. I then emailed the forms to SXM who then sent them back signed and officiated that day. And guess what, NO ONE in SXM checked these papers that I spent a whole lot of time, anxiety and money on. We simply deplaned, went through transit desk and on to SBH. Next March, sans kids so will make it a little more financially palatable, we are flying through San Juan on Tradewind Aviation both ways. Although anyone else planning on taking their pet through Puerto Rico should note that the Rabies vaccination needs to be within 6 months of travel. Good luck with all those wanting to bring their little spoiled furry ones (like ours). And we had a great week with Lily in St Barths.

  27. #27
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 24,129

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    The last sentence seals it. Well done.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  28. #28
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 4,578

    Re: Better ways to spend my time.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyc View Post
    I find it shocking that St. barths doesn't work with St. Martin to distinguish the difference between "transit passengers" vs "destination passengers" concerning the dog requirements!
    I wonder if you have some information to confirm that St. Barths has not sought to work with "St. Martin" concerning the dog requirements? I suspect that such efforts have been made, but the local St. Maarten airport authority would appear to have firmly entrenched policies that probably are not easily amended.

  29. #29
    krand1 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2011 NY, NY Posts: 92

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    When we enter St Barths, the custom official does not so much as notice the dog. I doubt that there has been much effort. Live and and let live? I would say it in french if I knew how. :) Maybe St Barths figures that the process limits the number of pets brought to the island with SXM having to be the bad cop! Who knows. It is a silly process for transit travelers.

  30. #30
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 6,845

    Re: St. Martin import permit to bring a dog to st. barths

    Even if sometimes SXM officials turn a blind eye, the worries that someone may hassle you and your pet on the way to SBH would deter us to pay the extra for the SJU Tradewinds route for peace of mind.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •