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Mar 17, 2014, 4:51 PM

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Re: [HMacy] Moving Stuff to Mexico

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There is a big difference between what some Mexican Consulates tell people versus what Aduana actually does at the borders.

Mexican Consulates have ZERO authority over what happens as you enter Mexico at the border, because the Consulates are a part of SRE (the equivalent of the US State department) while Aduana (Customs) is under a very different government organization called SAT, and they have follow different rules that what the Consulate employees say. (Just like the US borders, where it is Border Patrol & Customs people you deal with, there are NO SRE - State Department people at the border)

We were told by the Mexican Consulate in Denver that we MUST have a fully Consular-approved Menaje de Casa to enter Mexico with a truckload, trailer-load, and car load of our household goods. It took 3 trips (11 hours) and a lot of hassles to get the Consulate to finally approve our Menaje de Casa list.

When we arrived at the Matamoros border crossing, we tried to get the Aduana (Customs) officials to look at our Menaje de Casa list, and they just waved it off. We tried again, later as they processed our car and truck import papers, and the second group of Aduana officials just laughed, looked at it long enough to confirm that we had no contraband, and waved it off. ...

If you follow years of internet reports from people bringing in pick-up truck loads, van-loads, and 10 ft - 16 ft trailer-loads of their PERSONAL HOUSEHOLD GOODS, the most common report is that Aduana looks at your unofficial Menaje de Casa STYLE list of what's in your load, including the numbered boxes and the contents of each box. Most people are charged nothing and waved through. A few people with big big loads of household goods, including enough tools to start a business are asked to pay token duties - like $150 to $350 USD in duties.

The best advice we've seen is to make a formal official looking Menaje de Casa list as a spreadsheet, following all the rules for Menaje de Casas (see ~ Are you planning on driving into Mexico with your household goods? ~ Menaje de Casa Rules (English) ~ ) and make 3 or 4 copies of the list to pass out to various Mex. Gob. inspectors, police, et al.

Multiple friends of ours have done this successfully on multiple trips where they brought in trailerloads of household goods. Expect the Aduana officials to give your load a quick "once-over" look - and they likely will ask you to open a box or 2. They will match the box #'s with your un-approved Menaje de Casa list, and compare the contents of the box with your list's inventory for that box. If everything matches up - great!

Don't try to bring in commercial quantities of things.
Don't try to bring in an contraband or prohibited items. ~ Which goods are restricted
~ Which goods are prohibited?

Remain calm and helpful as the Aduana people at the border inspect your load.

Remain calm and helpful as the military - soldiers with automatic weapons - scan your load for weapons or drugs- at the border and at random checkpoints.

Remain calm and helpful at the 25 km Aduana checkpoint inside Mexico as you cross out of the border zone.

Remain calm and helpful as police give your load a quick look at various rentenes.

Remain calm and helpful as you cross state borders, as State border officials may ask to see inside your load.

At all of these points, if they ask to see your load, also quickly offer them a copy of your ad hoc Menaje de Casa list. They love to see our computer printed lists - and if their boss ever asks them to justify why the waved you through, they show the boss your list. This also explains why you might want to bring 3 or 4 copies of the list - but don't sweat it - likely only the Aduana guy at the border will keep a copy.

Since foreigners who reside in Mexico are allowed a load of household goods duty free, using a Menaje de Casa, the officials along the way are used to see us gringos dragging trailerloads of our household stuff - cars packed to the gills - and the wave us through - especially if you have pets or kids with you.

So, rather than thinking that Charlie got away with something (or slid one by), really, his experience was the norm.

Happy Trails and Safe Travels,
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Mar 17, 2014, 5:26 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by YucaLandia (Veteran) on Mar 17, 2014, 5:13 PM
Post edited by YucaLandia (Veteran) on Mar 17, 2014, 5:18 PM
Post edited by YucaLandia (Veteran) on Mar 17, 2014, 5:20 PM
Post edited by YucaLandia (Veteran) on Mar 17, 2014, 5:21 PM
Post edited by YucaLandia (Veteran) on Mar 17, 2014, 5:24 PM
Post edited by YucaLandia (Veteran) on Mar 17, 2014, 5:26 PM

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