Are you following Mexico customs rules? When entering Mexico, travelers can expect to fill out a Customs Declaration Form. It is essential to fill this form out honestly as travelers are subject to random inspections. If you are chosen for inspection, your baggage may be inspected to ascertain that your form has been filled out correctly and that you followed the Mexico customs rules. If you are traveling with cash or travelers checks in excess of $10,000 U.S. dollars, you must declare this on your form. It is perfectly acceptable to travel with these funds, but it is a serious crime not to report this on your customs form.
Paying Taxes on Goods
There are various cases in which travelers have to pay taxes on the goods they bring with them into Mexico. If you travel by land into the country, you can bring $75 worth of goods into Mexico; this does not include your personal luggage and associated tax-free items. Travelers are allowed to combine this amount with their family members.
For people entering Mexico by air, $300 worth of goods is allowed tax-free. Again, this does not include personal luggage and associated tax-free items. Travelers can also combine this amount with family members. If you exceed the exemption or your family exceeds the combined exemptions. For goods in excess of the allotted amounts, there is a tax that may be paid at the customs counter. If the value of goods exceeds $3,000, travelers must procure the services of a customs broker.
Personal Luggage and Effects
Travelers can bring their personal items into Mexico without expecting to pay a customs tax provided they are approved. Aside from luggage and trunks of clothes, travelers are allowed to bring items for personal use (toiletries, footwear, etc…), two cameras, two items of sporting equipment (i.e. bicycle, speedboat, surfboard, etc…), a tent and camping gear, books and magazines, five toys, gear for handicapped individuals, personal medications and medical devices (controlled narcotics and psychotropic drugs must be accompanied by prescription), baby accessories, and bedding. If you visit the above link, you’ll find a comprehensive list. You can also contact the Mexican consulate if you have questions.
Travelers are permitted to bring certain items into Mexico. Some of the items on the customs prohibited list include predatory fish, turtle eggs, firearms (except hunting firearms with proper licensing), illicit drugs (i.e. heroin, marijuana, etc…), poppy seeds, and insecticides. Again, if you have questions or concerns, you should contact the Mexican consulate.
Word of Warning
Remember to declare your items when you fill out your customs forms. Any attempt to smuggle in merchandise is viewed as a serious crime. Not only can goods be confiscated, but so can vehicles. You may also be placed under arrest for serious breaches. Fees and attorney costs can be very significant in these cases.
Even so, if you fill out your form honestly, you can expect a smooth entry into Mexico. If you are unsure even after visiting helpful, you should call the Mexican consulate with your specific questions ahead of time. This way you can plan accordingly based on their response.