Information courtesy Government of Mexico, Ministry of Finance
Whether you're visiting family or friends, or just want to
drive through the beautiful countryside Mexico has to offer. it is important for you to
remember the following steps when crossing! the border between the United States and
If your travel is within the Border Zone or free Trade Zone (Including the Baja California Peninsula and the Sonora free Trade Zone) there are no procedures to comply with. However, if you wish to pass these zones, the following procedures will apply.
Obtain the original and one photocopy of the following documents:
The appropriate immigration form. The vehicle State Registration Certificate or a document that certifies the legal ownership of the vehicle.
The leasing contract (if the vehicle is leased or rented) which must be in the name of the person importing the car if the vehicle belongs to a company, present the document that certifies the employee works for the company.
A valid drivers license, issued outside Mexico.
Major international credit card, also issued outside Mexico (American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard or Visa), in the name of the owner of the vehicle. If you do not posses an international credit card, you will be asked to post a bond, payable to the Federal Treasury, issued by an authorized bonding company in Mexico. As an alternative to posting a bond, you may make a cash deposit at Banco del Ejercito in an amount equal to the value of your vehicle according to the "Table of Vehicle values for bonding companies." (see table).
Once you have the originals and photocopies of these documents, present them to the Vehicular Control Module located in Customs to process the Importation Permit. All documents and the credit card must be in the name of the owner who must also be in the vehicle when crossing the border.
Your international credit card will be charged an amount in national currency equivalent to US $10 at the Banco del Ejercito.
If you do not have an international credit card, the Banco del Ejercito will accept a cash deposit in an amount equal to the value of your vehicle shown in the "Table of vehicle values for bonding companies."( See table ) Your deposit plus any interest it may earn will be returned to you when you leave Mexico. Or,you many choose to obtain a bond through an authorized Mexican bonding company located at all the border crossings. the authorized bonding companies will require a refundable deposit equal to the value of the vehicle. according to the table. The Bonding company will also assess taxes and processing costs for this service.
Upon your departure from Mexico, and if the vehicle is not going to be driven back into Mexico, the permit for temporary importation must be canceled at Customs.
That's all there is to it. Follow these simple steps and you will have no problems whatsoever. However, please remember, if your car is found in Mexico beyond the authorized time, or without the appropriate documents it will be immediately confiscated.
For more information contact your nearest office of the Mexican Consulate.
Table of vehicle values for bonding companies.
AMOUNT OF BOND IN AMERICAN DOLLARS
|Type of Vehicle||l993 Thru 1992||1991 Thru 1989||1988 Thru 1986||1985 Thru 1980||Earlier Models|
1 Pick up trucks, Vans (any model).
2. Large and Luxury Vehicles, such as Lincoln, Buick,
Grand Marquis, New Yorker, Cadillac and similar.
3 Medium and Compact Vehicles, such as Nissan, VW,
Honda, Mitsubishi, Ford, Chevrolet and similar.
4. European and Sports Vehicles, such as Mercedes Benz, BMW,
Alpha Romeo, Porsche, Jaguar, Corvette, Trans Am and similar.
Mexico Customs Inspection.
There are two options for inspection:
Fiscal Traffic Light- if when you activate the traffic light at the border, the green light comes on (PASE) there will be no inspection. If the red light comes on (ALTO) there will be an inspection. If there is no fiscal traffic light or it is out of order, there will be no inspection.
Integral Inspection - this is the voluntary request for the examination of the articles and merchandise which you have declared in the customs tax.
FALSE DECLARATIONS LEAD TO SEVERE PENALTIES!!
If merchandise is found which was not declared and you requested the fiscal traffic light, you will have to pay a fine of four times the commercial value of the articles. If you chose the integral inspection, the fine will be one and one half times the value. In both cases you will forfeit the right to the tax exemption and pay a 32.8% tax on all merchandise.
All foreigners and Mexicans coming from another country are international passengers and have the right to bring the following items, tax free:
Items for personal use such as clothing, shoes and toiletries in reasonable amounts according to the length of their trip.
One photographic, video, or motion picture camera, including a power source, except professional equipment. Up to 12 rolls of film, or videotapes.
Books and magazines
One used sports article or piece of equipment for individual use which can be transported by one person.
Up to 20 packs of cigarettes or 50 cigars.
A maximum of 3 liters (approx. 3 quarts) of wine or alcohol if the passenger is an adult.
Medicine for personal use. (with your prescription).
Suitcases or bags to transport the items.
If you are legally a resident of another country in addition to the items listed, you may bring into Mexico, tax free:
A photographic camera
A portable television
A radio/tape recorder with a maximum of 20 records or tapes.
A typewriter or portable computer
Up to five used toys (if the passenger is a minor)
A pair of skis
Two Tennis rackets
A non-motorized boat up to 5 1/2 meters in length or a surfboard, with or without a sail
Camping equipment and a tent.
If you are traveling by camper, trailer or motorhome you may also bring in:
A video cassette recorder(VCR)
A bicycle (with or without a motor)
Household linens and kitchen utensils
Livingroom and bedroom furniture
IMPORTING ADDITIONAL MERCHANDISE
You may import additional merchandise valued at up to
$1,000.00 by paying a corresponding tax without the intervention of a customs broker.
(Contact Mexican Customs for the list)
In addition, you may impose without the services of a customs broker, one computer system as long as its value, added to the above merchandise, (of $1,000.00) does not exceed $4,000.00 U .S. Currency.
To pay the tax, multiply the value of your excess merchandise by 20.84% (if the product originated in the U.S. or Canada).
This information, supplied by Paisano Information at the Mexican Border, is subject to change.
It is forbidden to introduce drugs, fire arms and explosives into Mexico. If you do so, you will be subject to penalties and imprisonment.
VISAS - are obtained at the first building on the right after you clear the border check station at Lukeville. A Visa is required IF you are going beyond Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). You will need
proof of citizenship such as a U.S. passport, birth certificate, voter's registration etc. (a driver's license is NOT proof of citizenship.)
PETS - if you take your dog or cat into Mexico, you are required to have:
1) A U.S. veterinarian's certificate Form 77-043 and
2) A rabies inoculation permit valid within the past 6 months.
DO NOT BRING your pet bird, turtle, fish etc. into Mexico as they will be subject to quarantine at your expense.
U.S. CUSTOMS HINTS
PLAY IT SAFE ! Avoid customs penalties by declaring all articles acquired in Mexico and in your possession at the time of your return.
Articles that you purchased (in regular and duty-free shops)
Gifts presented to you
Items you have been requested to bring home for another person.
Any articles you intend to sell or use in your business.
If in doubt about whether an article should be declared, always declare it first and then direct your question to the Customs inspector.
WARNING! If you understate the value of an article you declare, you may have to pay a penalty in addition to payment of duty. If you fail to declare an article acquired in Mexico, not only is the article subject to seizure, but you will be liable for a personal penalty.
YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A $400.00 EXEMPTION IN A 30 DAY PERIOD.
Articles totaling $400.00 may be entered free of duty, subject to the limitations on liquors, cigarettes,
Cigars & Cigarettes: not more than 100 cigars or 200 cigarettes (one carton)
Liquor: One liter (39.8 fl. oz.) or one 6-pack of beer per person 21 years of age or older
Medicines: If you've purchased medicine in Mexico which requires a prescription in the U.S., you must carry your U.S. prescription with you.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
You cannot bring the following items back across the border into the U.S.:
NO BIRDS - If you have a pet bird, leave it in the U.S. If you bring your bird into Puerto Penasco, you would have to exit Mexico through San Luis, a the bird would be quarantined for 30 days at your expense.
NO NATURAL WILDLIFE
NO WHALE BONES OR CORAL
NO FRUITS OR VEGETABLES
NO UNCOOKED EGGS
NO UNCOOKED POTATOES
NO AVACADOS (unless the seeds are removed)