As of Nov. 20, 2011, Aduana has instituted new emissions testing requirements for permanently importing vehicles from the US into Mexico. Contemporaneous testing must be done in the USA at certified stations before entering Mexico to get a Permanent Import permit: Emissions Testing Requirements for Permanent Vehicle Imports to Mexico
March 2012 Update: Note that expats from across Mexico are now saying that the Government of Mexico has SUSPENDED the requirement for vehicle emissions testing.
Customs broker Óscar Angulo reports that:
“…una regla que tenias que tenido el examen de emision, pero salio un amparo conta esa regla, y en estos momentos, no es necesario traer ese emision test. …“ (Mexconnect)
“… there was a rule that (auto importers) needed to have the cars pass an emissions test, but an “injunction” has been filed against this regulation. At this moment it is not necessary to have an emission test. …”
In case the Injunction on Testing is lifted:
The Mexican Government was requiring that permanently imported vehicles pass emission tests in the four US border states no more than 6 months before entering Mexico. Some border crossings had emissions testing stations nearby, while others do not. Vehicles that do not pass must be repaired and retested. This used to mean trips from the border crossing to the closest city: Nogales crossing: Tucson (because only certain AZ counties have smog testing requirements), Nuevo Laredo crossing: San Antonio, etc.
Since Florida, Louisana, et al are not one of the 4 US border states (CA, NM, AZ, TX), then cars coming in by ship are currently in LIMBO… “how low can you go…” The most recent cars imported by Linea Peninsular into Progreso are being held for Aduana/Customs for inspections for drugs/cash/contraband(?) and then released after approval from Mexico City(?), but it is not clear how the policy will play out in the future.
As the demand for these new services increases, small businesses in the US border towns are applying for licenses to do this testing close to the border, so, check your border crossing’s status before you come, because they may or may not have testing facilities. After an emissions repair, there are also reports that some cars computers require that the car be driven up to 1,000 miles before the car’s computer registers sufficient approved data, so maybe it would be best to get your car tested and repaired well before approaching the border, and driving enough miles to register the appropriate data in the car’s computer after initial test failures.
We plan updates of this information on this changing situation as more information becomes available.
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© Steven M. Fry
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