Customs and import to Bogotá


Everyone arriving to Colombia must pass through border control before entering the country and must fill in a customs form handed on the plane.

When passing through customs, you must decide whether you have goods to declare or not, and go to the corresponding desk. If you are not carrying any items that are restricted or prohibited, you may go to the "Nothing to declare" desk.

Keep in mind that customs authorities perform random checks on all passengers to detect any irregularities. If you are caught with undeclared restricted or prohibited goods, penalties are high.

Permitted items

  1. Objects of personal use in reasonable quantities.
  2. Merchandise of up to USD 5,000, the first USD 2,000 of which are exempt of any import duties and the remainder are charged with a 15% tax.
  3. Currency amounting to USD 10,000 or less.

Any items exceeding the above limits must be declared.

Note that for any goods shipped 30 days before or 90 days after your arrival are charged with a 15% import tax.

Restricted items

Some items may only carried in limited quantities, otherwise they must be declared:

  • 200 cigarrettes and 50 g of tobacco
  • 2 liters of alcoholic drinks
  • Perfume that is not for personal use

Prohibited items

  • Plants, vegetables or any vegetable item
  • Meat or meat-derived items
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Unlicensed drugs

Importing Pets to Colombia

Cats and dogs can be brought into Colombia, but this requires planning and preparation.

The documents to be presented are:

  • A health certificate issued by an official authority from your country not more than 10 days before your arrival. The certificate must include the pet's name, identity (microchip, tattoo, etc), age, color and other data.
  • A vaccination certificatespecifying all the vaccines received by your pet, with their respective dates and expiry. The pet must have its vaccination plan completed, and the rabies vaccine must have been administered no later than 30 days prior to arrival.

If the documents are originally not in Spanish, an official translation must be provided. 

Once the documents are verified by the officials, a veterinarian from the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA) will examine your pet and issue a Sanitary Inspection Certificate (Certificado de Inspección Sanitaria), which you will need to pay with a credit card.

Note that because they are considered dangerous animals, the following categories of pets are not allowed in Colombia:

  • dogs that have previously had violent behavior in relation to people or other dogs
  • dogs trained for attack and defense
  • dogs belonging to the following races: American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier.


Some airlines allow pets to travel in an airplane's cabin, provided their cage is small enough to fit under your seat. Make sure you check the conditions of your airline when purchasing the ticket.

If your pet's cage does not fit under your seat, you will have to ship it as checked baggage. Since the outside air temperature also affects the temperature in the cargo bay, airlines may restrict the transportation of pets during certain times of the year. Airlines have special requirements for containers in the cabin and cargo bay. Make sure you get detailed information from your preferred airlines before purchasing a cage or kennel.

Before leaving, make sure your animal is familiarized with the kennel or container. Add an item of your clothing or a familiar toy to relieve the stress placed upon your pet by the transport conditions. It is not advised to sedate your pet during the flight, and should be used as a last resort.

There are also pet relocation companies that assist you in all the stages of the move. Their services are usually expensive, but take away the stress of doing it on your own.


A quarantine period is necessary if your pet does not meet the health criteria for entering the country. During the quarantine, ICA staff will visit and examine your pet twice before issuing the final clearance.

Custom's Resources

U.S. Citizens: The free pamphlet "Know Before You Go" at is very helpful. (Click on "Travel" and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure").
You can also contact:
U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
1300 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20229
Tel. 877/287-8667
Canadian Citizens: "I Declare", issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500 ) is helpful.
Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure is available from Australian consulates or Customs offices called "Know Before You Go". Call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to

Update 20/08/2018


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