It is the responsibility of the person(s) travelling with the horses(s) to ensure proper documentation is provided to border officials when transporting horses across the border and to verify which current import conditions apply prior to crossing the border. We highly recommend you stay informed about regions of equine infectious disease outbreak by visiting our Health Alerts section.
IMPORT of Horses from the United States to Canada
For information on the import of horses from the United States to Canada, please visit the CFIA. More information on the importation of horses and other commodities regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is available in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) – “The purpose of the AIRS is to provide accurate and timely information on import requirements. The application uses a question and answer approach to guide the user through a series of questions about the Harmonized System (HS) Codes, origin, destination, end use and miscellaneous qualifiers of the product they wish to import. To determine the import requirements for each horse, specific parameters that refer to each horse’s circumstances will need to be entered and customized import requirements will be provided.
Please note that import conditions may vary with the State of origin of the horse and its "end-use" (e.g. if a horse is coming for permanent stay in Canada or if it is a Canadian horse returning from the United States). We advise that you familiarize yourself with the Information Kit for Customs Brokers. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of agents representing third parties importing CFIA regulated commodities.
EXPORT of Horses from Canada to the United States
For information on the export of horses from Canada to the United States, also please visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Samples of Required Documentation for Export of Horses to the United States (PDF files):
Additional Information ON IMPORTING HORSES
Prior to importing a horse from the United States, it is advisable to contact one of the CFIA Animal Health Offices to determine specific import requirements – the offices are listed below for your convenience. Canadians seeking timely information regarding import requirements are advised to use the CFIA Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).
IMPORT of horses from the European Union Member States to Canada
Temporary Import of Horses From European Union Member States to Canada
Horses to be imported for a temporary stay in Canada include those imported for an event or competition, racing, training and stallions in non-competitive environments. The importation of these horses into Canada requires an import permit detailing import requirements to be met as well as an official export certificate from the EU member state visited confirming them free of disease. The horse(s) must have been continually resident in the European Union (EU), either for a minimum of 60 days immediately preceding export to Canada (any required pre-export quarantine period is in addition to the 60 days of residency) or since birth, if the horse is less than 60 days of age.
The horse must be identified by microchip and by another recognized means of identification that clearly and uniquely identifies the animal (e.g. breed registry passport or identification, FEI passport, Equine Canada passport, etc.). The microchip number and additional identification number, if applicable, must be recorded on the export health certificate.
Horses must undergo pre-export isolation prior to entry into Canada. Full details on current pre-export isolation requirements for various categories of temporary stays can be found on the CFIA website.
Upon arrival in Canada, horses must be presented to the CFIA with appropriate supporting documentation: the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) will provide the latest requirements for each horse’s individual situation. Horses must be imported through a minimum level quarantine facility and must be quarantined for the time necessary to complete tests required to meet import conditions. The facility must be approved by the CFIA, specific post-import requirements for various categories of temporary imports can also be found on its website.
Horses imported to Canada via the United States and originating from the EU must be presented for inspection by the CFIA at a United States (USA) port of entry with a USDA export certificate, a copy of release from quarantine in the USA with negative test results and a copy of the export certificate from the country of origin. Detailed requirements can be found in AIRS.
For additional information on the temporary import of horses from European Union (EU) member states into Canada, please visit the CFIA website.
Permanent Import of Horses From the EU to Canada
Additional requirements may apply to horses seeking permanent residency in Canada. The most up-to-date information can be found on CFIA’s website.
Canadian horses returning from the European Union to Canada
Specific import requirements apply for Canadian horses returning from the EU to Canada within 90 days of export. These can be found on the CFIA’s website.
EXPORT of horses to European Union Member States From Canada
Examples of veterinary certificates specific to each member country are available through the CFIA.
We encourage you to visit the CFIA web site to ensure you have the most up-to-date contact information.