Aduana Foreign Plated Car TIP and Pedimento Systems Updates

APRIL 30, 2013
From across Mexico, there have been reliable but curious reports this past week about Aduana offices telling expats who have foreign-plated cars that they should take the car out of Mexico… through the same Aduana port-of-entry where they entered.

This requirement seemed peculiar to us, unless there is a disconnect between Aduana’s various records keeping systems, like local vs. national systems.    Suspecting this, we drilled into the various Aduana systems, using a mole who made a quick turn-around trip out through Matamoros to Houston and then returned back into Mexico a day later through Matamoros.     This mole was particularly well suited to sleuthing out how the various Aduana systems work, because:
~ He originally entered Mexico before the new June 2010 computerized Aduana system was put into place,

~ He got his original TIP from Matamoros,

~ He recently officially cancelled his TIP at the Aduana de Progreso office,

~ He then recently permanently imported that vehicle at the Progreso Aduana office,

~ He also had the vehicle registered and plated with Yucatan license plates, and

~ He exited Mexico from Matamoros, and returned through the Matamoros Aduana & Immigration offices.

Why tell all of this?    At the 25 km point in Tamaulipas, he was stopped, and accused of having a “chocolate”, based on Aduana scanning in his VIN – even though he has Yucatan plates.     Lawyer Spencer McMullin of Chapala reports that there are many brokers are taking $$ from desperate gringos with expired/expiring TIPs and Residente Permanentes, issuing falsely-obtained illegitimate license plates, with NO official pedimento from Aduana to prove the permanent import.    Because of the fake importations and falsely-obtained plates, Aduana and police officers are now on the look-out for gringos driving suspicious cars.

Guess what…    The friend did not think to carry a copy of his pedimento with him => “Go to Jail, Go Directly to Jail, Do not Cross GO, Do not Collect $200…” … was crossing his mind…

Fortunately, it was a slow day at the 25 km Tamaulipas Aduana checkpoint – and the Aduana Supervisor called Aduana de Progreso,   using the suspect VIN number.   Aduana de Progreso VERBALLY confirmed that they had issued a pedimento for the vehicle, and that they had cancelled out the old TIP several weeks earlier.   Results?  The satisfied supervisor came out and told the friend to go on his way – that everything is fine.

For readers who are not astute at connecting the dots:
~ NONE of this friend’s Progreso Aduana information for the TIP cancellation is currently in the Aduana data base, (yet)
~ none of the permanent vehicle importation information is in Aduana’s national pedimento database (yet),
~ nor is it in the Aduana-Matamoros local TIP/VIN database, (yet)
~ nor is it in the Aduana national TIP data base, (yet)
~ nor is it in Aduana Matamoros paper TIP/VIN data system  (yet)….

Which all combine to explain why people with older TIPS, especially those issued before June 2010, may be best served if they exit Mexico, cancelling their vehicle TIP, at the same Aduana port of entry where they got the original TIP – especially if they are planning to drive out of Mexico, and re-enter before Aduana’s fairly slow systems get updated to show the vehicle’s actual status.

It also says that people with permanently imported cars should carry a copy of their pedimento with them,   as  the police and Aduana start to ratchet up their efforts to find and confiscate “chocolates” ( cars in Mexico illegally with either fake license plates, expired TIPS, or being driven by Residente Permanente owners).

If you have permanently imported your car, and want to check if Aduana has officially logged your VIN & pedimento into their database,   check this Aduana website: CONSULTA RÁPIDA DE PEDIMENTO ESPECÍFICO

Finally, the Matamoros Aduana Supervisor advised that drivers NOT carry the original pedimento in the car, because if the vehicle is stolen, the car can be easily sold using the original pedimento – while a copy is sufficient to prove a proper permanent import but cannot be used to sell the vehicle.

* * * * * * *
Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

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6 Responses to Aduana Foreign Plated Car TIP and Pedimento Systems Updates

  1. Sarah says:

    Okay, this is confusing- you make no mention of whether newer TIPS (ie I brought my car in in Oct,. 2010, paid the $300 deposit, updated it last year when I renewed my FM3, have to take it out now, as going to permanente) can be taken out of our names at any Aduana port-of-entry. A call to Aduana DF resulted in being told I could take it out anywhere.

    • yucalandia says:

      True, but the main point of the story is that you need to then carry copies of your Aduana TIP cancellation document in the car, to avoid unnecessary hassles.

  2. Sarah says:

    Also, as I read it, your mole exited and re-entered through the same border crossing, which was also the border crossing where he got his original TIP, so this tells us nothing about being able to successfully cancel the TIP at another border crossing.

    • yucalandia says:

      Correct, but he did not cancel his TIP at that crossing. He canceled it at a local seaport.

      That is where his minor problems came in. Because the Matamoros 25km point had no record of him canceling his old TIP, they wanted to confiscate his car…. So, yes, he did successfully cancel his tip at a different point of entry – and that other Aduana entry point’s records have not yet been transferred to the national Aduana database nor the local Tamaulipas Aduana database.

      So, if you cancel your TIP at a different point of entry than where you originally got the TIP, then it is especially good to carry copies of the document proving you cancelled the old TIP, and also carry a copy of your new Aduana pedimento (for permanent imports), because the Aduana computer systems are taking time to get the updated information uploaded/downloaded to and from the local offices.

  3. Bernard Wasow says:


    I am not sure where to post my question. I’ll try here. I now have a Residente Permanente visa, so our old car needs to leave the country; no problem in understanding that. We have purchased a 2007 Ohio-built Honda in the US to bring to Mexico. We intended to enter Mexico in late August or early September of this year, nationalizing the car, with a broker’s help, at the border. My question concerns the likelihood that there will be changes in the law/rules/procedures/costs for importing 2007 NAFTA cars between now and September 2013. A friend advised me that the rules are likely to change in June, with 2007 cars becoming more difficult and/or more costly to import. We could bring the car to Mexico now, but that would be very awkward for us. So: Do you expect to see changes in car importation/nationalization protocols in the next few months? If so, what do you guess will happen?


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bernard,
      You seem really on top of things.

      Aduana rule changes June? Is your friend psychic? Does your friend have some juice with higher-ups at Aduana? Our contacts through Mexico’s biggest organization of manufacturers, with lobbyist lawyers working directly with the Camara de Diputados, was told that the Legislature would approve a bill for new Aduana policies** by May, but that has come and gone.

      The last time we gringos waited for the Mexican Govt. to publish new rules (for the May 2011 INM law), there was a written stipulation in the May 2011 Law that the rules were supposed to be issued by Nov. 2011. The actual rules were finally released a year later in Nov. 2012.

      ??? Does that mean that the Camara de Diputados or Aduana will issue new rules in June – as your friend’s rumor proposes ???

      The answer to that is way above our pay-grade, ~ *grin* ~

      **The rumor from the Manufacturers organization headquarters was that foreign-plated cars owned by foreigners – vehicles already in Mexico – would be given a 1-time amnesty, to be permanently imported (for $$), without having to leave Mexico. This bill (if passed) would not seem to help you. Note: The 2 big Mexican auto dealer’s organizations have raised a lot of he** over the proposed amnesty… They do not want 8 million “chocolate” used cars legalized/dumped into Mexican markets => a whole lot of push-me-pull-you going on, depending who you talk to.

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