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Mexico Travelers: Duty Free Imports

Discussion of any issues related to importing to Mexico.

Mexico Travelers: Duty Free Imports

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:42 pm

Mexican import duty regulations give individuals entering Mexico the opportunity to bring a limited amount of personal items into the country duty-free. Different duty regulations apply for individuals arriving by land, air, or sea. In general, the limits are $US300 for air travel visitors and $50 for visitors arriving by land.

Duty-free personal exemptions :

- items for personal use such as clothing, shoes, personal toilet items, in a reasonable quantity and in accordance to the duration of the trip;
- one photographic or movie camera, or a video recording camera, including its power adapter, except for professional equipment, up to 12 new roles of film or video cassette tapes, as well as photo prints or film, a used or new portable computer laptop, notebook, omnibook or similar;
- one used sport item or sport equipment, only if it can be usually carried by the person;
- books or magazines;
- medicines for personal consumption, accompanied by their respective prescription in case of psycothropic drugs;
- the luggage in which the items are being transported;
- 20 cigarette packs, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco, only if the passenger is an adult;
- a typewriter;
- a binocular;
- a portable television set which does not exceed 12 inches;
- a portable radio set for recording or playback or both;
- two laser discs as well as up to 20 compact discs or magnetic tapes for playback (cassette);
- a musical instrument only if it can be normally and commonly carried by one person;
- a tent and camping equipment;
- up to five toys;
- fishing tackle, a pair of skis and 2 tennis rackets;
- a boat without motor, no more than 5.5 meters long (length), or a water slide with or without sail;
- a videocassette player;
- one or several items valued up to $US 300 or its equivalent in other currency if arrive by sea or air;
- one or several items valued up to $US 50 or its equivalent in other currency if arrive by land.

With the enactment of NAFTA, a combined duty rate of 20.52% was introduce to be applied on dutiable goods exceeding the applicable limit of either $US 50 or $US 300, brought into Mexico by passengers whose trip originated in the US or Canada, even if the goods do not qualify under the rules of origin requirement and without requiring a NAFTA Certificate of Origin. If the trip does not originate in the US or Canada, duties at a rate of 38.92% are levied on dutiable goods.

Duties are applied only to the value of goods in excess of the exempted limit. For example, a person arriving by land from the US, subject to a $US 50 limit, importing $US 90 worth of goods, would pay duties on only $US 40. Duties would be ($40 x 20.52%) = $8.21.

Persons bringing dutiable goods into Mexico have the option of classifying them under the corresponding tariff (for this purpose, a Mexican Customs Broker is required) and possibly paying lower applicable duties, instead of declaring through the simplified procedure described above.
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