Feb.27, 2013 Update: This article is being checked in relation to the International Health Certificate exact validity (see page 5).
If you are traveling to Brazil with you pet, this step-by-step will help you find out what documents you need and offer you some other planning tips.
These tips are particularly pertinent to cats and dogs. Other pets are subject to an additional requirement: a pre-import authorization issued by a local chapter of Brazil's Serviço de Sanidade Agropecuária - SEDESA for each state you intend to visit. Some animals may also need an authorization from IBAMA.
This step-by-step also incorporates the change in the process brought about Presidential Decree 6946 of August 21, 2009, which eliminated the need to have your pet's international health certificate legalized by a Brazil consulate, with a few exceptions, mentioned in this step.
Animal health departments mentioned in this article apply to the United States. If you're a resident of another country, you will need to check which department can validate the health certificate issued by your pet's veterinarian. Other restrictions and requirements may apply.
Before you get started, set aside a folder for you pet's travel documents, checklists and notes. Decide ahead of time how you will keep your pet's travel documents in your carry-on luggage. It's very important to be organized in your planning, especially during the 10 days before departure, when you will go through a bureaucratic tour de force.
Ideally, pet travel planning starts when you are choosing your airline. Analyze carefully each airline company's requirements and fares.
Be especially inquisitive about:
Pet carrier, or crate, requirements - Ask about size, kind, material, tags, plastic locks, size of openings and attachments, such as water dispensers.
Procedures prior to check-in - How much earlier should you arrive? Where do you take your pet?
Where you will retrieve your pet - This is extremely important. Your pet will not necessarily be placed on the luggage shuttle at your final destination. Depending on the airline, maybe your pet will be taken directly to another building at the destination airport and you will need to take a cab to get there. Inquire both about the arrival in Brazil and the arrival back home.
Where your pet will be if he arrives before you do - If your pet gets transferred to the correct connection and you stay behind for some reason, where will he be taken upon arrival at the destination airport?
Once you decide which airline you will travel on, write a detailed checklist with all their pet guidelines and save it in your pet's travel folder.