Crossing The Border With Horses - Whoa or Go
There are only two types of border crossings-successful or unsuccessful, as anyone who has ever argued with a customs official well knows. The rules are simple and proper preparations are essential. If your documents are in order and correct procedure is followed, you will have no problems at either border.
Every horse crossing the US/ Canada border must have a current Coggins and Health Certificate. Plan ahead - these documents take time to complete.
1) Coggins Test
2) Health Certificate
Border crossings with livestock fall into two basic categories depending on the length of stay outside the country of origin.
Less than 30 days:
2) Procedure (Canada to US)
More than 30 days:
The horse must be presented to the US veterinarian for inspection when entering the US and the Canadian veterinarian when entering Canada.
2) Procedure (Canada to US Crossing)
When returning to Canada after an absence of more than thirty days a new health certificate issued by an American veterinarian is required.
The procedure for US to Canada crossings is the same as above except that you should start at the Canada Customs Office on the agricultural side.
Canadian Veterinarian (for US to Canada crossings or for signing of health papers)
US veterinarian (for Canada to US crossings)
Hours of operation for both the Canadian and American Border veterinarians are subject to change and it is therefore advisable to call ahead to confirm these times. Some border crossings will also examine horses by appointment outside of office hours or on weekends, however, there is a fee for this service.
US Veterinary Inspection Station:
Both Canada and the United States now have a users fee for crossing the border with horses. Agriculture Canada charges for the service of signing health papers. This is billed directly to the issuing veterinarian and is included in the cost of your health certificate.
The US Veterinary Inspection Station collects this fee at the border.
Hang on to your Coggins Certificate! It is the only valid copy of the document that is acceptable at all border crossings.
Happy traveling and remember - you will rarely win an argument with a customs official. It is much easier to be properly prepared
Kleider Veterinary Services
8036 - 232 Street RR#6 Langley, British Columbia V1M 3R8
Office (604) 888-7565 Fax: (604) 888-4033 firstname.lastname@example.org