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jl1

Jun 13, 2009, 8:45 AM

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Here we go Again

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One more twist to the menaje de casa saga. Last night I spoke to a fellow Sayulita resident who hauled a cargo trailer thru Nogales 3 years ago. I had just called him to ask for some general advice, as I will be doing the same in a few weeks. He told me that he "had to use" a broker to get him thru customs, even though he had his menaje properly filled out. The broker is a new one to me. Anybody heard of this. Sorry , to resurrect this issue but I need to know. Thanks.



Rolly


Jun 13, 2009, 9:26 AM

Post #2 of 10 (6605 views)

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Re: [jl1] Here we go Again

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It is true that a customs broker is required to handle the paperwork for a menaje.

A broker also may be required for a non-menaje load that exceeds US$1,000 in value.

Reports I have read indicate that the broker for a menaje is pretty strictly enforced, while requiring a broker for a car load of stuff is often skipped.

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Jun 13, 2009, 9:28 AM)


bournemouth

Jun 13, 2009, 11:56 AM

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Re: [jl1] Here we go Again

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Nogales has, in the past, been notorious for ignoring menajes de casa but don't worry too much, it will all work out. It is probably not worth your while to pay the cost of a menaje de casa. Instead put those dollars aside for any duty you may be charged - it should not be much.


jl1

Jun 13, 2009, 1:02 PM

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Re: [bournemouth] Here we go Again

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Hi--Thanks for the encouragement. I've heard references to the "cost of the menaje." I thought the whole point of the menaje was to avoid duty costs. Other than the actual form itself, what are these costs people are referring to? As for just paying duty...I'm not bringing a lot of stuff, mostly art, vases, etc. I've decided to purchase in Mexico all the incidentals for kitchens, bathrooms. I'm not bringing anything new except for a coffee maker, which I can make looked used. Is there duty due on used household items that I bring from my California home? If not, I'll consider foregoing the menaje.


bournemouth

Jun 13, 2009, 2:50 PM

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Re: [jl1] Here we go Again

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A menaje de Casa is obtained from the consulate in the US that covers your US address. The cost is somewhere in the region of $130 US - I know someone will have the precise cost - this is the cost I refer to. On that document you list the stuff you are bringing into Mexico, including serial numbers for everything with a plug - see Rolly's website - www.rollybrook.com. If you are bringing only the kind of stuff you mention, pack your vehicle and hope for green lights. If you get a red one, it seems unlikely to me that you will have a problem but I would have a list of the stuff in my vehicle along with yard sale prices, just in case I got a red light along the way. Other posters have just thrown themselves on the mercy of customs officials, asking them what they thought the items were worth. Both approaches work. As an aside, it is worth bringing with you decent towels, sheets and kitchen equipment. Good luck.


jl1

Jun 14, 2009, 12:56 PM

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Re: [bournemouth] Here we go Again

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Thanks...It seems that both ways can work, depending on luck and/or divine intervention. I feel a little sheepish since I found a similar thread from a few weeks ago. I was in Sayulita at that time and off-line. So, I apologize for the redudancy. That said, it seems that no matter how many times this topic is raised there are always new, divergent opinions and recountings of actual experiences. I should have figured out by now that there a lot of ways that things can happen in Mexico and so many variables of what should be the same experience. Regarding the kitchen stuff...I was planning on stocking both casita and house kitchens with stuff from home, but there are so many big stores in Vallarta now that I feel it is no longer necessary. I bought a set of pots and pans and cutlery set at Costco in PV last week and they are good quality and the price was only slightly higher than in the Costco in Richmond, CA. What I might do is do the menaje to have with me, but just drive through and hope for a green light. Based on my conversation with the guy who did the menaje with trailer 3 years ago, it seems that having a menaje almost requires that everything be unloaded and checked; whereas if you do the red/green light route you may just luck out and avoid loading and reloading the trailer. I wish I could find a way to close this thread, it's beginning to feel like an obsession. I mentioned once before on this thread that my attitude about things like this was so much looser when I was young. Oh well, I can't change that. Thanks again.


punta4


Jun 15, 2009, 4:58 PM

Post #7 of 10 (6363 views)

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Re: [jl1] Here we go Again

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We've recently been interviewing importers/freight shippers to get info for our upcoming move to live full time in Baja Sur.

We'll be bringing down some of our household items with a Menaje and will be importing and trucking all the doors and windows, solar water and grey water systems, along with 8 more solar panels, batteries etc.for our main house we'll be building

We don't have a huge house full of stuff for the menaje, but because every watt counts when your 100% solar powered, I've been reasearching and buying the most energy efficient appliances available while we're still in CA in prep for the move even though our main house hasn't even broken ground yet.

I've got a chest freezer humming right next to me here in our office and hopefully one of us will fling the door open and put a little dent in it soon and have been using the new washer regularly so it will have soap deposits. Next week the fridge will arrive and we might plug it in in the bedroom and spill a little soy sauce inside.

The importers we contacted gave some conflicting information but all agreed:
1. They will not combine a load of menaje items in the same truck with new dutiable items being imported. Most importers/freight carriers will take your stuff across in 2 trucks and usually have a warehouse on the Mex side where they will combine the loads in to one for transporting.

2. For a Menaje, all items must be out of their original boxes even if they are used and you have the receipts- This is an Importer requirement, not a law. It sounds like once the customs agents become suspicious, they will use a fine tooth comb on everything and the freighters say it's not worth their effort to spend that much time.

They all said to double and triple check that all serial number are absolutely correct on your electronics because if you transpose one little number, the customs agents again get suspicious and will make you/them unload everything out of your nicely packed boxes.

What the importers did not agree upon is the criteria used to determine if something is new or used.

#1 Importer said items must be 6 months old or they will not transport it for you in a Menaje. This company will however store new items for you for 6 months and them transport them. Their Menaje cost is a percentage of the manifested value of the used items.

#2 said the 6 month rule is not valid and the law says items must be 1 year old (??). He also said the age of something is irrelevant because if something has never been used, they consider it "New".

#3 said take stuff out of their boxes and as long as the stuff looks like it's been use, we'll be ok.

We're going with company #3- they seem the most knowledgable have the best price and are the easiest to work with. The cost they gave for the Menaje fees are:
$135.00 to Consulate
$16.00 duty (maybe this was a tax?)
Appx. $400.00 to the customs broker who comes to their ware house for the Menaje inspection (I think?) but I don't know if he was quoting their cost to truck the items in this estimate or not. For the new items,they carge a flat 30% of the value of goods for importing, commercilizadora, broker, storage fees and insurance and the trucking. Other quotes we got were 35-45% .

Many people have reported that they went to the hassle of getting the Menaje docs, and the Aduana agent never asked for it etc. If you don't have a huge amount of stuff, you may be better off trying to keep the "thrift store values" of your used items less than the $1000 limit and you can avoid using a broker.

Don't low ball your stuff too much or they will pull out the book of of values and they will determine how much duty you owe.

I've never had aduana ask the country of origin of items we've imported ourselves (thru TJ/San Isidro) since we kept the total under $1000 so we've paid the NAFTA lowest duty tax on everything.

They did check the countries of origin when we brought in a larger load and had to go to OTAY Mesa to the commercial port.

I've heard from several people that Mexicali is very lenient when you enter with goods and often don't even inspect your stuff.

I would never suggest taking your chances and not pulling in to the declare lane when you do have alot of stuff because I have heard of people's vehicles and goods being confiscated because they did not pull in and were chased down by Aduana. You're better off declaring and maybe fudging your values a little. But I tend to be overly cautious too, and try to have at least 3 back-up plans!

Plan as best you can try not to fret.


jl1

Jul 20, 2009, 9:17 AM

Post #8 of 10 (6048 views)

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Re: [punta4] Here we go Again

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We've recently been interviewing importers/freight shippers to get info for our upcoming move to live full time in Baja Sur.



(This post was edited by tonyburton on Jul 20, 2009, 2:09 PM)


esperanza

Jul 20, 2009, 9:53 AM

Post #9 of 10 (6035 views)

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Re: [jl1] Here we go Again

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We're going with company #3- they seem the most knowledgable have the best price and are the easiest to work with. The cost they gave for the Menaje fees are:
$135.00 to Consulate
$16.00 duty (maybe this was a tax?)
Appx. $400.00 to the customs broker who comes to their ware house for the Menaje inspection (I think?) but I don't know if he was quoting their cost to truck the items in this estimate or not. For the new items,they carge a flat 30% of the value of goods for importing, commercilizadora, broker, storage fees and insurance and the trucking. Other quotes we got were 35-45% .


This quote is undoubtedly the price for the menaje paperwork plus the charge for the customs broker's inspection. For this price, it probably would not include the actual shipping. Check carefully before you sign on the dotted line!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









jl1

Jul 20, 2009, 2:00 PM

Post #10 of 10 (5966 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Here we go Again

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Somehow, I screwed up my last post and the previous post wound up with my name on it. Anyway....My wife and I just returned from the San Francisco, Ca consulate and have completed our fm3's. What I wanted to add was that they disregarded our bank statements and letters, as well as other financial stuff, and were only interested in our letters from S.S., confirming that we had at least $1000.00 per month EACH in income. So, the 6 months of statements were a waste of time--at least in this instance. I also spoke with the officer about our Menaje de Casa and she told me, and others previously, that we could bring some new stuff, as long as we paid duty on it. This contradicts what other members of this forum were told by brokers and others. So, I will call the broker who was recommended to us and get his opinion, which in the end is probably the most important. I'm writing just to give some follow-up. I appreciate it when others do the same.
 
 
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