Dec. 7, 2013
Yucalandia offers the following update to Aduana’s policies on what is allowed for visitors to Mexico as a part of an ongoing series of articles on common issues. We welcome you to propose your own questions or issues for additional articles.
Please note that as of Dec. 5, 2013, SAT/Aduana has issued new Duty Free limits for people entering Mexico by air and by land. The new year round limits are $500 US dollars per person entering Mexico by air, and $300 US dollars per person by land. Note that these are the year round limits. There are also special holiday $500 USA per Mexican citizen Paisano program limits between Nov. 1, 2013 and Jan. 8, 2014.
Here’s a List of the Contents of this Article:
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What can I bring in duty free?
° The items allowed in your personal luggage, according to the length of the trip
° As of Dec. 5, 2013: Up to US$500 per person in permitted goods, or its equivalent in other currencies when flying into Mexico. Passengers arriving by land are allowed only $300 of goods per person. Passengers traveling with family members (spouse and children) may combine their personal exemptions only when arriving together. In order to claim this additional exemption passengers must have the corresponding commercial invoices or receipts available
° Beer, alcoholic beverages and manufactured tobacco may not be included in this additional exemption. New Duty Free Limits for Entering Mexico – Dec. 2013.
Desk-top computers are allowed, with 16% duties, as long as the total value of the computer is less than $4,000 USD. Alternately, bringing in more than $3,000 USD of goods, no longer requires using a Customs Broker – Menaje de Casa style lists are accepted and encouraged. ~ Are you planning on driving into Mexico with your household goods? ~ Menaje de Casa Rules (English) ~
Which items may be included in my personal luggage exempt from duty when flying?
° Suitcases, trunks, and the necessary bags to carry your belongings.
- Goods for personal use, such as clothing, footwear and personal toiletries and beauty products, as long as they are appropriate for the duration of the trip, including wedding party items. Baby travel accesories, such as strollers and baby-walkers.
- Two photographic cameras or video recorders, 12 rolls of film or videocassettes; photographic material; three portable cell phone or other wireless networks; global positioning equipment (GPS); a portatil typewriter; an electronic calendar; a portable computer (laptop), notebook, omnibook or similar items; a copier or portable printer; a portable projector, and their accessories.
- Two sports equipment, four rods, three speedboats with or without sails and their accessories, trophies or recognitions, provided that they can be transported normally and commonly by the passenger, one stair climber and bicycle
- A portable radio for the recording or reproduction of sound or mixed tapes; or a digital sound reproducer or portable reproducer of compact discs and a portable reproducer of DVD’s, such as a pair of portable speakers, and their accessories.
- Five laser disks, 10 DVD disks, 30 compact disks (CD) or magnetic tapes (audiocassettes), for the reproduction of sound, three software packages and five storage devices or memory cards for any electronic equipments.
- Books, magazines and printed documents.
- Five toys, —included those that are collectible— and a video game console and five videogames.
- One device that permits measurement of arterial pressure and one for glucose, as well as medications of personal use; in the case of psychotropics the medical prescription should be shown.
- One set of binoculars and a telescope.
- Valises, trunks and suitcases necessary for the movement of goods.
- Passengers over 18 years of age, may bring in a maximum of up to 20 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco and up to three liters of alcoholic beverages, and six liters of wine. Items in excess of the above cannot be imported without complying with applicable regulations and restrictions.
- Two musical instruments and its accessories.
- A camping tent and camping equipment, as well as their accessories.
- A set of tools including its case, it might have a hand drill, wire cutters, wrenches, dices, screwdrivers, current cables, among others.
- Up to two dogs or cats, maybe introduced as well as their accessories, provided that the corresponding zoo/sanitary import certificate issued by (SAGARPA) is presented to the customs officials.**
**SAT’s website (parent agency of Mexican Customs) Item #16 describes 3 pets allowed per person. ~ ~ “Equipaje personal“~~ plus descriptions of the veterinary certification you need to complete before traveling: el certificado zoosanitario para su importación, expedido por la Secretaría de Agricultura, “
~ Additional details (in English) on importing pets are listed at an SRE website: ” When traveling to Mexico with your pet. “ including explanations about the veterinary exam requirements.
° New or used goods for personal use, such as clothing, footwear and personal hygienic products, in reasonable quantities, according to the length of your trip and that they may not be subject to commercialization
° Medications for personal use. In the case of psychotropic substances you must present the corresponding medical prescription ***
In which cases should I pay taxes?
- Remember that you are entitled to bring in up to US$500 worth of goods in addition to the personal items included in your personal luggage, and that you are allowed to combine this amount with family members (except for alcohol and tobacco not allowed for minors).
- If you exceed this exemption, or if your family’s combined amount exceeds the combined exemption, you must pay duties and taxes. There is a flat 16% rate of duties and taxes, which is applied only to the amount exceeding the exemption (individual or combined). You must fill out a payment form, which is available at the Customs counter
- If the value of the goods surpasses one thousand dollars (per family member) after subtracting the US$500 exemption, or if any of the goods is subject to non-tariff regulations or restrictions, you must hire the services of a customs broker. Private brokerage services are always available at the airport
- If you bring a desktop computer, you may pay duties and taxes by filling out a payment form as long as the value of the computer and its peripherals and accessories do not exceed US$4,000. If the total value of the computer and its peripherals and accessories exceeds US$4,000 you no longer are required to hire the services of a customs broker.
Which other items must be declared?
- Animals, agricultural products and medications
- If you are carrying more than US$10,000, or its equivalent in other currencies, in cash, checks, money orders or any other monetary instrument, or a combination of them, you must declare the amount exceeding US$10,000. You will not have to pay duties or taxes, but you must declare it on the Customs Declaration form. Failing to declare it is a violation of Mexican Law and such violation is sanctioned with administrative and even criminal penalties.
Which goods are restricted?
• Firearms and ammunition. In order to import firearms and cartridges you must secure an import permit from the Ministry of Economy and from the Ministry of National Defense. For further information please visit the following websites: http://www.economia.gob.mx and http://www.sedena.gob.mx.
• Hams and Cheeses, well sealed in their original packages, with all labeling intact are allowed: SAGARPA: Ingreso de jamones y quesos ,Firehttp://senasica.gob.mx/?id=3694
***Aduana de Mexico offers a specific list of medications for which Mexican Custom’s has special rules. See: http://www.aduanas.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/pasajeros/139_11149.html Read Section 8.
~ Aduana de Progreso has confiscated incoming shipments of grease products, including small tubes of water-proof fishing reel grease. The person who ordered the grease was sent an official notice by Aduana asking him to come to the Administrative Offices at the Progreso Muelle. The Aduana supervisor told him that all grease products were forbidden for import by private individuals.
Which goods are prohibited?
- Narcotics, insecticides and live predator fish of any size. Stamps, stickers, drawings, illustrations or printed materials representing children in a denigrated or ridiculous way, or inciting violence. For further information please visit the Mexico Customs website http://www.aduanas.gob.mx
- The Ministry of Agriculture prohibits the following goods since they represent a great risk for the introduction of plagues and diseases: earth, straw, padded containers of hay, straw decorations without processing; homemade foods; flours of animal origin; fresh, dry, canned or frozen meat and meat products, such as smoky, salted and mature sausages that have been elaborated in countries under absolute quarantine (Europe, Africa, Asia and South America).
~ The Port of Progreso Aduana office also says that all grease products are not allowed, including fishing reel lubricants. ???
For additional information please visit the website http://www.sagarpa.gob.mx .
How much should I pay for those additional goods that are not part of my luggage or the $500 flight exemption or$ 300 driving exemption?
If you exceed the $500 flight exemption, or$ driving exemption (per person), you must pay duties and taxes. There is a flat 15% rate of duties and taxes and you must fill out the payment form intended for it, which is available at the Customs counter.
For travel in 2014, we are not required to use Customs Brokers.
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Are you planning on driving into Mexico with your household goods?
Here is our crude translation of Aduana’s current official rules for bringing in household goods using a “Menaje de Casa”.
The following used household items can be imported duty-free:
~ The furniture and utensils of a house, used exclusively for the use and proper and regular treatment of a family, clothes, books, booksellers.
~ Works of art or science, they do not constitute complete collections for installing exhibitions and art galleries.
~ Scientific instruments for professionals as well as workers and craftsmen tools, provided they are essential to the development of the profession, trade or occupation.
~ Scientific instruments and tools that enjoy the exemption may not be a complete set of equipment for the installation of laboratories, clinics or workshops.
Foreigners interested in importing household goods duty free, must certify that the household goods were acquired at least six months before the date you enter Mexico.
People who are allowed to imports household goods, without payment of taxes on foreign trade are:
- Mexican students or researchers
- Residents of the border zone or border region
- “Inmigrantes” (FM2) and national repatriated or deported persons
- “No immigrante” (FM3) (NOW CALLED RESIDENTE TEMPORAL), or associated ministers of religion or religious or correspondent, distinguished guests and visitors
No utensils are considered part of the following commodities:
~ Goods which the persons concerned have been abroad for commercial or industrial activities.
Legal basis: Article 61 Section VII and 142 of the Customs Act, Articles 90, 91 and 94 of the Customs Act Regulation, Rule 3.3.3. of the General Rules on Foreign Trade for 2012. Aduana: Menaje de Casa ~ (Spanish)
We suggest taking at least 3 copies of the list, because Aduana will keep one copy at the border, and then when you cross the 25 km Aduana checkpoint, they might keep a copy of the list. As you cross state borders and go through military or police checkpoints, they can ask to see the list. In the bustle of traveling, a single list might get lost – leaving you with no list (a.k.a. in the dog-house) for future inspections of the load.
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If you are entering by land or sea, you can check the following official map of Aduana offices, along with their contact information, hours of operation, and addresses: Map of Aduanas del Pais
Happy Trails !
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© Steven M. Fry
Read-on MacDuff . . .