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Mexican Customs
 

Customs Regulations: Please refer to our information on customs regulations at the following website:  http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1468.html U.S. citizens bringing gifts to friends and relatives in Mexico should be prepared to demonstrate to Mexican Customs officials the origin and value of the gifts. U.S. citizens entering Mexico by land borders can bring in gifts with a value of up to $75.00 USD duty-free, except for alcohol and tobacco products.  U.S. citizens entering Mexico by air or sea can bring in gifts with a value of up to $300.00 USD duty-free.

Personal Effects: Tourists are allowed to bring in their personal effects duty-free.  According to customs regulations, in addition to clothing, personal effects may include one camera, one video cassette player, one personal computer, one CD player, 5 DVDs, 20 music CDs or audiocassettes, 12 rolls of unused film, and one cellular phone.  Any tourist carrying such items, even if duty-free, should enter the "Merchandise to Declare" lane at the first customs checkpoint and should be prepared to pay any assessed duty. Failure to declare personal effects routinely results in the seizure of the goods as contraband, plus the seizure of the vehicle in which the goods are traveling for attempted smuggling. Recovery of the seized vehicle may involve payment of substantial fines and attorney's fees.

Temporary Imports/Exports: Mexican Customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Mexico of items such as trucks and autos, trailers, antiquities, medications, medical equipment, business equipment, etc. Prior to traveling, contact the Mexican Embassy or one of the Mexican consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Charitable Donations:  U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico with goods intended for donation within Mexico, or traveling through Mexico with goods intended for donation in another country, should be aware of Mexican Customs regulations prohibiting importation of used clothing, textiles, and other used goods into Mexico, even as charitable donations. The importation of all medicines and medical equipment for donation to charity must be approved by Mexican Customs in advance; failure to obtain the proper import permits will result in the confiscation of the medical supplies. Out-of-date medications may not be imported for donation under any circumstances.>Individuals or groups wishing to make charitable donations should check with Mexican Customs for the list of prohibited items, and should hire an experienced customs broker in the U.S. to ensure compliance with Mexican law.The charitable individual or group, not the customs broker, will be held responsible for large fines or confiscation of goods if the documentation is incorrect.For further information, visit the Mexican Customs webpage:
http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008
/tramites/140_13829.html
(Aduanas) (Spanish only) at Acerca de Aduana Mexico (“About Mexican Customs”). 

Mexican authorities require that all international transit through Mexico of persons and merchandise destined for Central or South America be handled only at the “Los Indios” Bridge located south of Harlingen, Texas on Route 509. The U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros is the nearest Consulate to “Los Indios” Bridge and may be contacted for up-to-date information by calling 011-52-868-812-4402, ext. 323 or 304, or by checking its website: http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov which lists in English the most common items prohibited from entry into Mexico. Additional customs information can be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website: http://www.cbp.gov/.

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