There is a glaring example of this in the years of Americans (and Mexicans) importing used cars and used pickups into Mexico. We’re all pretty much aware of the Mexican requirements for importing one-car-a-year into Mexico, but how many of us pay attention to the other half of the equation: Formally Exporting the vehicle from the USA ?
US law is pretty clear on this: We must formally register the exporting of our cars/pickups with Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) BEFORE we can legally import them into Mexico. See:
19 CFR 192.2 – “Requirements for Exportation”
“(a) Basic requirements. A person attempting to export a used self-propelled vehicle shall present to Customs, at the port of exportation, both the vehicle and the required documentation describing the vehicle, which includes the Vehicle Identification Number or, if the vehicle does not have a Vehicle Identification Number, the product identification number.
Exportation of a vehicle will be permitted only upon compliance with these requirements, …”
Failure to comply with this US Export law is a felony….
Sure, some people can point to the CBP website that has squishy language about the requirement for export, but websites are not law, especially when the website info is directly contradicted by laws and regulations published in the US CFR.
Reality: (sometimes reality ~ enforcement of the law ~ is different from the law)
There are people who offer a service for gringo’s illegal TIP cars – taking them (legally) back up to the border to either legalize them or sell them NOB. These people have reported talking with CBP supervisors as CBP techs tear through the cars. Their consistent internet reports say that CBP/Homeland Security does require us to formally export our used cars (using CBP services at the border) before doing a permanent import into Mexico.
We offer this report, because hundreds of used car are now successfully formally exported everyday at the border – mostly by Mexicans – so, know that the USA is now enforcing the law. Find a licensed Customs broker on the US side of the border who does this frequently (or contact a Mexican broker before you travel), and they make it all easy ~ and legal. ~
~ Notice that a few un-licensed “facilitators”, are mistakenly telling their Canadian and US clients that “you don’t have to do that” ~ (export the car) ~ skipping half the export/import requirements ~ which allows the “facilitators” to charge lower fees by providing only half the required services. ~
The consequences of a future felony conviction (if the vehicle is worth more than $1,000), hardly seems worth the few hundred $$ saved now. (???)
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As always, Yucalandia authors present material that is only for informational and entertainment purposes only. All important fiscal, financial, tax, immigration, Customs/Aduana matters should be discussed with an appropriate expert.
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Readers who want more details on Importing a Car or Truck into Mexico, and the Mexican and US rules and procedures can find lots o’ details at our main article: Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico .
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© Steven M. Fry
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