How Much ‘Stuff’ Can I Bring into Mexico Duty-Free?
The folks who ask these types of questions generally fall into two categories: 1) People who are moving to Mexico from either the U.S. or Canada, and 2) people who already live in Mexico but return to their countries of origin to do some extensive shopping from time to time.
Duty Exemption (Monetary Limits)
You’re permitted to bring a certain dollar amount of goods, not including “personal luggage” (next section), into Mexico without being charged a duty. As you can see from the following chart, the limits vary depending on how you enter the country and whether or not you’re a Mexican citizen:
The duty exemption of each member of a family can be accumulated if they travel together in the same means of transport, except if you are a border area resident. The rules are different for those folks.
You may prove the value of the goods that are part of the duty exemption with invoices or sales receipts. In case of not having these, the customs officer at the port of entry will be the one to determine the value of the goods.
The following goods are NOT allowed to enter under the duty exemption:
Automotive fuel, except the contained in the fuel tank of your vehicle.
Goods Considered “Personal Luggage” and Exempt from Duty
The following items are considered part of your “personal luggage” and do not count toward the monetary limits in the following section:
Goods of personal usage, such as clothing, footwear, and personal care products, according to the length of the trip, including a wedding dress, baby items like a chair, carry cot, baby walker and stroller, among others, including their accessories.
Two cameras or video recorders, photographic material; 6 portable cell phone equipment or other wireless networks; a global positioning equipment (GPS); an electronic agenda; a laptop, notebook, or similar; a portable copying machine or printer, a computer burner and a portable projector, with its accessories.
Two personal sport kits, four fishing rods, trophies and awards, as long as they can be transported by the passenger.
A portable device for recording or reproduction of sound or mixed; two digital sound or image recording, one portable DVD player, one set of portable speakers and their accessories.
Five laser discs, 10 DVD discs, 30 compact discs, 6 software packages and five storage devices for any electronic equipment.
Books, magazines, and printed documents.
Five toys, including collectible toys, one video games console as well as five video games.
One pressure measuring device, one glucose measuring device, or mixed and its reactants, as well as medicines for personal use (in case of psychotropic substances medical prescription must be shown).
Hand luggage, bags, trunks and suitcases or any other item necessary for the carriage of the luggage.
One binocular and one telescope.
Two musical instruments and their accessories.
One tent and other camping items.
One hand tool set with its case, which may include a drill, tweezers, spanners, dice tool, screwdrivers, and power cables, among others.
Passengers over 18 years old are permitted to enter a maximum of 10 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 g of tobacco, and up to 3 liters of alcoholic beverages and 6 liters of wine.
Senior adults and people with disabilities can introduce items that overcome or reduce their limitations without paying additional taxes such as walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, walking sticks, among others.
Three pets, provided that they have the proper documentation.
Generally speaking, if you exceed the monetary limits you’ll be charged a duty of 16% on the overage. We use the term “generally speaking” because the duty percentage can vary for specific types of items (e.g. tobacco, alcohol).
As an example a couple arrived at PVR Airport with multiple suitcases containing their old possessions from Canada. Obviously the Customs folks at the airport took an interest in them, and long story short, they ended up paying just over $700 in taxes to import their stuff.
If you’re moving to Mexico permanently and you plan on bringing a lot of things along with you, you will want to apply for a special certificate at the Mexican Consulate that allows you to import your household items duty-free. It’s called a certificado de menaje de casa.
Ever wish your vacation lasted a few more weeks? What about years? We left the daily grind in California to live and work in Mexico and now help others do the same! From assistance with residency visas to property rentals and purchases to digital nomad networking, we are here to help people take that leap towards living in paradise. DM us your questions! Or follow us on Instagram for a peek at what it’s like to live the #mexicolife