New Rules Announced for Permanently Importing Used Cars into Mexico

September 17, 2014:
The Mexican Federal Government recently put on a push to stop illegal imports of American used cars into Mexico.   This new effort has taken several forms:
~ As of Sept. 1, 2014,   SAT has issued new rules for permanently importing used cars from the United States.   The biggest change is that the individual importing the used NAFTA car into Mexico must first prove that the car has been formally EXPORTED from the USA following US CBP laws.

This means that the US title on every used car permanently imported into Mexico must be first stamped “EXPORTED” by US CBP.     US Customs and Border Patrol have had this requirement on the books for over 20 years, but the rule has not been followed by most Americans who bring their cars into Mexico.   If you used a licensed Customs Broker to permanently import your car into Mexico, with a CBP check at the US-Mexico border, then they likely did the formal export.   We at Yucalandia have another article waiting for publication on how the process works with CBP, but need some final confirmatory details from CBP before publishing.

We here at Yucalandia have waited to post these Mexico’s new rules, until there was confirmation in public media:

The second prong of the Mexican Federal Government’s actions to stop the illegal importation of used American cars into Mexico involved charging 17 Customs Brokers at the US-Mexico border, along with some Mexican Judges, Magistrates,  Mexican Aduana border office managers, Aduana officers, et al.

As a result,   all permanent imports at the border have been suspended this past week, and there is no formal word yet on when they will begin again – this time following both US and Mexican laws.

Since the new laws for importing US cars into Mexico require having the  US title formally stamped “EXPORTED“,   and since the only way to get your US title stamped this way REQUIRE taking the car to a US CBP border station,   we really cannot see how “paper-only” imports can continue under these new laws.

We’ll report more details as they become available.
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For details on driving in Mexico, see our main article on importing cars at: Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico .

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Are you up to living in Mexico?

August 30, 2013:

Our daughter, Vero, sent me this short email late yesterday:
Steve, Did that work? I just tried calling the magic jack number.

8:45 PM (11 hours ago)
To: Vero
We have been exploring ever deeper levels of tech-hell the last 2 days.

Yesterday: a super-close FLASHBANG lightning strike took out the wired/ethernet-cabled-half of our Cablemas router, and also ruined the HDMI output on our ROKU-TV box. Still, the wireless side of our Cablemas router still worked…

Mexican Lightning







Think your $10 powerstrip “surge protector” is enough?   We had all our electronics circuit breakers on a $1,000 peso power conditioner – with 5 year guarantee of full protection for electronics.    This close strike got past the conditioner, plus it ruined neighbor Don Francisco’s Telmex phone service ~ (which is still out, and may be out for days.)

Fully hopeful of getting full internet back,  today,  I pedaled over to the Cablemas office (cycling in our steamy-summer tropical Yucatán jungle heat is better than it sounds, because pedaling makes its own breeze, so you feel OK,  until you stop, when heat from your core explodes out through your pores …   ooops, back to the Cablemas office … )   – sat in the chairs Sitting in Chairs – made apologies for my poor-Spanish by offering that we could speak either “su Ingles o mi Español malo” … “Su Español malo, por favor, Jeffe.“-  had a computer-terminal tech look at our damaged router – all to hear him say “the soonest we can get you a router is next Miercoles (Wednesday)…”   5 days out – but at least the wireless part of the Cablemas router works to beam weak signals around through our massively thick stone walls – and … they let me keep the damaged-limping router.

next level of tech-hell?   The Cablemas router was connected to the Cablemas cable in our home-office – making the wireless signal go through 2 or 3 thick mamposteria walls – knocking down the signal – making Skype and laptops and Slingbox work poorly.

next level of tech-hell?  I decided, “Oh well heck, I’ll just give up and move my computer and TV stuff into the office PC computer – next to the router… ” It turns out the lightning strike smoked the network card on our office PC…   burned circuit board

next ever-lower level of tech-hell?   To get better wireless signals:  Move the Cablemas router from the office over into the living room – which means moving/installing cables  into the living room – to allow Maria Alba to use Skype and watch internet streamed movies, and for me to watch some TV.

Out into the rooftop’s  still-blazing sun,  I disconnected our old satellite dish,  moved those cables over to the Cablemas entry-point  ~  cut cables ~ and installed a connector on the old cables, and descend hopefully back into the cool house.  …  My first crude rooftop re-cabling combined with re-purposing the old satellite TV cabling – got decent internet signals (now 3:00 pm) moved into the living room through the old satellite cable – but the signals were a little dirty, plus streaming cut-out and froze briefly under heavy demand.

next lower level of tech-hell?   Went back up onto the roof, replaced a 3-month-old weak splitter with a new union/butt-connector, and installed yet one final new cable connector end, and treated the connections with special NASA corrosion-healing lube.    Returned downstairs …   internet now working 10% better than it ever has … looked promising, until I tried to connect to Slingbox to watch some news about the breaking situation in Ukraine.

next lower level of tech-hell? pixilated Slingbox TV  Slingbox went from crappy early in the day to…

… total shutdown at that point.    rotten TV signal

As I screwed around with cleaning programs on my computer to get rid of junk files and free-up memory and eliminate registry errors, etc, I watched beautifully streaming French TV from a French website to get a little news.

next lower level of tech-hell?

French News PresenterAs I connected, disconnected, and re-connected cables on my laptop computer, the ethernet cable port on my relatively new laptop computer now doesn’t snap in the cables tight anymore…. making ethernet connections flaky…

next lower level of tech-hell?

As I got the laptop connections to work, … the Cablemas router completely lost its connection to the internet – (but it did work for 30 minutes of sweet sweet French news) causing me to suspect either my new roof-top connections (wind, .???) …  or … that yet a fresh new component part of the Cablemas router mother-board had failed.   =>   computer probes  the Cablemas router’s diagnostic software – and finds both of our laptop computers were connecting to the Cablemas router just fine, but there were absolutely no signals coming into the Cablemas router from Cablemas – and no outgoing connections… NOTHING – both sets of 10 values (in and out) had “~ O dB ~ ” … began furiously resetting the router,  multiple times … nada ….   I have never seen that before in 8 years here – as there are usually at least some tiny voltages dribbling in…

next lower level of tech-hell?   Up to the still-hot roof the check things  (yes, it’s still hot at 4:00 pm) …. it all looks good…

next lower level of tech-hell?    Compulsively check the router and laptop every 10 minutes to see if any internet signals were coming from the limping Cablemas router… nada

Gave up – got a cool drink – and took a luxurious cat-nap.

next level of tech hell?    Clients at the apartment building call to say: “Our internet is out...”

I packed-up my laptop, cables,  and router over to the apt. building and found that at least all three routers in the apartments were fine, … but no Cablemas internet nor TV…

Gave up, explained to the tenants that “everybody’s Cablemas is out in our neighborhood” – that we have an appointment scheduled in 5 days for Cablemas techs to come out –  and resigned myself to no TV nor internet until next Wednesday’s Cablemas appointment – on to grilling hamburgers.

next lower level of tech-hell?   The edges of 2 burgers burned-black due to a newly rusted-out hole in the gas grill’s burner.    burnt burger

rest of the burgers tasted great…

Talked with neighbor Don Francisco about their Cablemas service – to find out that all of their telephone, internet and TV (from different providers) were all out…

What book to read for the next days…

Decided to re-connect our Cablemas router back to the new-livingroom-cable-connection ~ to try it one last time. ~ … lights… ~  more lights … ~ ALL the lights flashing merrily…. IT ALL WORKS…. with the strongest best signals ever to our computers and TV…

Read email:   Vero wrote to say that the power at their house had been fluctuating all day – screwing up their DirecTV and my Slingbox. …. Checked Slingbox: WORKS GREAT….

Decided to try to get Magic Jack working for Maria Alba and Vero to talk….

“back to the previous programming” :   Our brand spanking new Magic Jack gives a display on Maria Alba’s laptop…   but won’t connect to the Magic Jack server… at all.      Is our new Magic Jack partly cooked? (the previous new-style Magic Jack died after just 3 months)  or is Magic Jack’s server down….

Realize that we are in the middle of a true tropical heat wave…  and heat is building inside the house.

My solution?

ice cold beerIce cold beer & Advil…

kick-back, and enjoy the PBS newshour from PBS-Colorado  to  103W satellite over Ecuador – back to Colradp by Nate & Vero’s DirecTV via Slingbox  via  Century Link   via   Slingbox’s far-off server   via   Cablemas’s server   via   our limping-router via   wireless signals to my laptop…


me,  stubborn?   nah….

p.s. Vero, You can now call your mom using Skype.

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Update on “Paper-Only” Permanent Car Imports into Mexico: Import from the comfort of your couch.

August 18, 2013:
Here’s an update on how the latest amparos (similar to a Temporary Restraining Order) are working at the Mexico-USA border to allow us foreigners to legally and permanently import our foreign-plated cars without taking the car to the border, (called “paper-only imports”) .  An open letter on this from Oscar Angulo was posted on Mexconnect.   As with other Yucalandia contributors, Oscar has years of a fine reputation for consistently giving good assistance to Americans and Canadians here in Mexico:

”  By all means I will give you an explanation, as to what are the basics to realize this new manner in which to nationalize cars without taking them to the border.

As you know there are only limited “windows of time.”
In Article 101 of the customs law one can find the stipulation for making a pedimento “A3.”
And in regulation 2.5.1 is found the procedure of how to realize this nationalization, there it tells you that you have to present the auto at the border or port of entry.
And is against which we entered an “Amparo” (temporary restraining order entered by a judge) against this regulation, in place of the regulation we can realize the pedimento without the necessity of presenting the vehicle.
The procedure is very simple. One must send photos of the auto in a Pemex or in front of an Oxxo, in order to demonstrate precisely that the auto is in México and is not detained or in a foreign country.
One must send the title of ownership.
-copy of identification
-copy of a comprobante of domicile (electric bill in name of owner, eg.)
-put down a code or application number that is assigned.
-and as is logical, send a deposit of the total of the cost.
The process takes three work days and the original document are sent by a messanger service.
So, it is per another “Amparo,” which presents the present “window of time.” Apparently, most gringos think the nationalization of cars is a simple, stable, and direct process. However, the whole process is sort of “held together with Scotch tape and ping pong balls.” Remember when I announced that nationalization was suspended, and people hee-hawed me. It was suspended because several “Amparos” had expired. At that time, fortunately, the agents were able to get those “Amparos” re-instated, but there was no guarantee…..AND THERE NEVER IS… the whole process is sort of fragile. Of course, if the Mexican automobile industry had its preference, Residentes Permanentes would be obligated to buy Mexican cars……I know NAFTA, but, and this is hard to accept, “SO What!”
So, at the present time one can take care of the “window of opportunity” created by the Amparo (temporary restraining order) against having to present the car at the border. Who knows how long this will last….maybe a long time, or maybe the “window of time” will suddenly slam shut!
Tom C. Whitmore

Original from Óscar:
Hola mi querido amigo Tom.
Claro que si, te doy una definicion, en que se estan fundamentando para
la realizacion de esta nueva modalidad de hacer carros sin traer a la frontera.
Como sabras solo son “ventanas de tiempo” .
En el articulo 101 de la ley aduanera podran encontrar lo estipulada para hacer un pedimento “A3″.
Y en la regla 2.5.1 Viene el procediemiento, de como realizar esta nacionalizacion,
ahi te menciona que tienes que presentar el auto en la frontera o puerto de entrada.
Y es en donde entramos nosotros con un “Amparo” a esta regla. en vez de traerlo
podemos realizar el pedimento sin necesidad de presentar el vehiculo.
EL procedieminto es muy simple. HaY que mandarme fotos del auto en un pemex o en un oxxo, para demostrar que efectivamente el auto esta en Mexico y no se encuentra detenido o en el extranjero.
Mandar copia del titulo de propiedad.
-copia de identificacion.
-copia de comprobante de domicilio.
-poner un codigo que se asigna.
– y logico hacer el deposito en su totalidad del costo.
El tramite tarda 3 dias habiles y se envian documentos originales por paqueteria.
Esperando te encuentres en perfecto estado de salud y quedo a tus apreciables ordenes.. Un fuerte Abrazo.

LIC. Oscar Fco. Angulo. *PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGEAnCo Comercializadora.
Tel 631-31-52571
Nex. 62*259663*2
Cel Mex 045 6311201015.
Cel Usa 520 988 5060 “;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant as legal advice. It is for educational and informational purposes only.  See a qualified professional for advice on important issues.

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Update on SAT’s On-line Mexican Income Tax Filing Website System

August 13, 2013:
Here’s another Public Service Announcement for people who pay their own Mexican income taxes (not withheld by an employer) or submit IVA taxes to SAT.   Lic. Spencer McMullen offers the following updates:

“Pay your taxes now to SAT or lose big”

People (inc. small business owners, independent professionals, and the self-employed) under the REPECO scheme used to file and pay their taxes bimonthly with their State Tax Collectors offices.    Now, with the Jan. 2014 tax reforms, people need to file bimonthly tax returns with SAT using the SAT web site.   The SAT website is now working, 1 filing deadline has passed, and 1 deadline is looming.  … Continue reading at Update on SAT’s On-line Mexican Income Tax & IVA Tax Filing
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Full details and translations can be found at: Update on SAT’s On-line Mexican Income Tax & IVA Tax Filing

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Please Continue to Make Comments and Replies to Help Keep This Information Current!
Disclaimer: This information is not meant as legal advice. It is for educational and informational purposes only.  See a qualified professional for advice on important issues.

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Real Estate Appraisals in Mexico: Catastral, Taxes, Capital Gains & Notarios

August 12, 2014:
Mexican Lawyer Lic. Spencer McMullen has been busy again, offering yet more good insights into how real estate law, property law, and tax laws work in Mexico. Here is his latest report on key issues that affect most of us foreigners living and visiting Mexico:

Real Estate Appraisals in Mexico.
Here in Mexico we have three types of real estate appraisals:   Tax (Catastral),  Bank (Bancaria) and  Commercial (Comercial).   When choosing an appraiser, remember that all appraisers must be licensed.    Most are engineers or architects who have postgraduate courses and state licenses and are also “peritos” or experts in real estate.

The Tax / Catastral appraisal is used to calculate transfer real estate taxes and fees, as well as notary fees. In years past Notarios used this value as the sales price listed on the deed, instead of the real sales price that the buyer paid to the seller.

This approach had certain consequences when the listed value was low, allowing the buyer to pay smaller closing costs and less in ongoing property taxes.   After the Feb. 2010 ISR tax law changes, . . .
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Full details and translations can be found in the Main Article (see Header):
Real Estate Property Appraisals in Mexico: Catastral, Taxes, Capital Gains & Notarios

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Capital Gains Taxes on Selling Mexican Real Estate 2014 Update

August 1, 2014 Update:
The original version of this article was written in 2010 to describe the huge changes in Mexican tax law (aka ISR). There have been yet more substantive changes to the ISR (Mexican tax code/law) since then that are worth noting. The good attorney Lic. Spencer McMullen has publicly posted his latest understandings of the taxes owed on selling a property in Mexico. As always, we offer the clear disclaimer that we are not tax authorities, nor legal authorities, nor accounting authorities, so the information we offer is quoted from other sources we have found to be reliable. As always, the insights offered here on Yucalandia are based upon actual experiences of the experts and their specific local legal workings. Since the laws and rules change, and there are also local variations in how the rules are applied: Final decisions on real estate sale tax matters are up to YOUR individual Notario. Find a good Notario and consult with them. Having said all this, here are Lic. McMullen’s current July 2014 insights:

Sellers can currently exempt gains up to the amount of “700,000 UDIs” which is roughly $3,500,000 pesos**, as long as the seller is a citizen or has a residente temporal or residente permanente. The building and property must also be your primary home (see the legal definitons and requirements below on how to qualify a property as being your primary home – principle center of fiscal activities). Further, you can only use the exemption once every 5 years, and your land area must not exceed more than 3 times your building footprint, (“among other things”).

That leaves a question: Are you also required to pay the 16% IVA on the agent’s commission? …. Lic. McMullen replies:

“Yes you pay the IVA 16% sales tax on services, not just goods. This is something foreigners don´t understand, as they are used to paying sales tax on the sale of goods only and not professional services. You pay the sales tax of 16% and they (later) pay income tax on their earnings. This is like purchasing a car in the USA, you pay sales tax and the dealer still pays income tax on their profit. “

Makes sense?

**Curious readers who want to calculate the current official UDI-Peso value can go to:

Original Article: Mexico’s tax code on property taxes just changed dramatically in February 2010, nullifying most internet advice given before February. This article addresses some of the current tax requirements and rules, and also addresses the some of the possible tax differences between FMT/FMM & FM3 or FM2…

There is a lot of outdated information on the internet about how to save on a future Capital Gains taxes when you sell your property. This advice may have worked before Feb. 2010, but the rules have changed:   … dramatically raising the bar . . .
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Full details and translations can be found in the Main Article (see Header):
Capital Gains Taxes on Mexican Properties
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© Steven M. Fry

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Consulate Requirements for Residente Permanente or Temporal Card Lost Abroad

July 30, 2014

This article lists the official INM requirements for applying for a temporary entrance visa at a Mexican Consulate (to return to Mexico legally), in case of a lost, stolen, or destroyed Residente Permanente card or Residente Temporal card while traveling outside Mexico.

If you lose your INM residency card whlie traveling abroad, do NOT try to enter Mexico under a “tourist”/Visitante/FMM – because INM can cancel your current temporary or permanent and charge you with visa fraud (trying to have 2 permits at the same time). Instead, go to a Mexican Consulate first, and give them: a copy of a police report (reporting the stolen card/wallet), ID photos & passport. Also plan to pay of a small fee.

We are presenting this as the original Spanish language Nov. 8, 2012 INM Lineamientos official DOF publication,  for people to print-out to give to the Mexican Consulates.  Original Chapter 4 of the Lineamientos can be found at:

Capítulo IV
Trámite 12
Expedición de visa por robo, extravío o destrucción de tarjeta que
acredita condición de estancia.
Caso en el que se presenta:
Aplicable a personas extranjeras que sufren en el exterior el robo,extravío o destrucción de la tarjeta de visitante o de residente queacredita su condición de estancia.
Fundamento jurídico:
Artículo 110 del Reglamento.
Formato de solicitud de visa ante la oficina consular.
Lugar donde se presenta:
Oficinas consulares de México.
Monto de los derechos:
El previsto en el artículo 22 de la Ley Federal de Derechos por laexpedición de la visa.
Las oficinas consulares cobrarán los derechos en la moneda extranjeraque autorice la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público.
Plazo máximo para resolverel trámite:
10 días hábiles.
Vigencia máxima de la visa:
30 días.
Entradas permitidas:
Excepciones al artículo 15-A
de la Ley Federal de
Los señalados en las fracciones I y III del apartado de requisitos.
I.     Pasaporte o documento de identidad y viaje válido y vigente, en original y copia.
II.     Una fotografía con el rostro visible y sin anteojos, a color, tamaño pasaporte, cuyas medidas deberánser como mínimo de 32.0 milímetros x 26 milímetros y como máximo de 39.0 milímetros x 31.0milímetros, con fondo blanco y de frente.
III.    Original y copia de acta levantada ante la autoridad competente del lugar en el que ocurrió el robo,extravío o destrucción de la tarjeta que acredita su condición de estancia. De manera excepcional ysólo en el caso de que no sea posible levantar el acta ante la policía porque el país en el que seencuentra no la otorgue, original de un escrito donde, bajo protesta de decir verdad, declare haberlaextraviado o que le fue robada o destruida.
IV.   Original de la tarjeta que acredita su condición de estancia, en caso de destrucción parcial.
V.    Pago de derechos por la expedición de visa de conformidad con lo establecido en la Ley Federal deDerechos.
Criterios de Expedición:
-      La oficina consular deberá consultar en un plazo máximo de 2 días hábiles al Instituto, a partir de quela persona extranjera presente la solicitud, sobre la procedencia y términos en los que se deberáexpedir la visa.
-      El Instituto deberá dar respuesta en un plazo máximo de 5 días hábiles. En caso de ser procedente,deberá contener la siguiente información:
a.     Nombre de Extranjero;
b.     Nacionalidad;
c.     Información del tipo de residencia en México, y
d.     Instrucción explicita en la que señale la condición de estancia, la vigencia de ésta y laautorización a la oficina consular para que se emita la visa.
-      La oficina consular emitirá la visa que corresponda, en un plazo no mayor a 3 días hábiles.
Información importante para el usuario:
-      En los lugares destinados al tránsito internacional de personas por tierra, mar y aire, la personaextranjera deberá presentar el pasaporte o documento de identidad y viaje con visa, y entregar a laautoridad migratoria la FMM debidamente llenada.
-      Las personas extranjeras están obligadas a proporcionar la información y los datos personales queles sean solicitados por la autoridad competente en el ámbito de sus atribuciones.
-      La visa podrá ser utilizada exclusivamente durante el periodo de vigencia, que inicia con la fecha desu expedición y por el número de entradas indicadas.
-      La persona extranjera deberá tramitar dentro de los siguientes 30 días naturales contados a partir desu ingreso al territorio nacional, la reposición de la tarjeta que acredite su condición de estancia y lepermita permanecer en territorio nacional.
-      Los derechos que genere la reposición de la tarjeta que acredite su condición de estancia, secubrirán directamente ante el Instituto.
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Disclaimer: Note that all of this information is for educational and entertainment purposes only, it is not meant as legal advice. Please see a competent professional for all important INM questions, or contact INM or your local Mexican Consulate  to find out their current policies.

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