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Aug 8, 2009, 3:52 PM

Post #1 of 4 (2984 views)


Need Directions for Piedras Negras Crossing

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We are about to head down with our last trailer (6' x 12') load of household goods. We had planned on crossing in Laredo (Bridge 1) but have been advised by a few people to avoid Laredo, as they are making people unload their trailers. A friend recommended the Piedras Negras crossing. Has anyone crossed there lately, and if so, what was your experience? What were the road conditions? Any areas we should avoid?

Which bridge should we use? I have our lists ready, as we are planning to declare everything. Do we do that at the first Aduana check or the 2nd one?

Thanks in advance for any input or recommendations.

"When choosing between two evils, I always like to pick the one I never tried before." - Mae West

Judy in Ags

Aug 8, 2009, 3:56 PM

Post #2 of 4 (2980 views)


Re: [N2Futur] Need Directions for Piedras Negras Crossing

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In our past several trips, that is where we have crossed (my brother-in-law just crossed at the Colombia Bridge (Laredo-more or less) and didn't have any trouble.

We've never had a problem at Piedras Negras and always have a van full. Of course, we voluntarily stop and make a declaration. It's worked out well for us.


Aug 10, 2009, 6:21 AM

Post #3 of 4 (2920 views)


Re: [N2Futur] Need Directions for Piedras Negras Crossing

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Not many people with small trailers cross at Bridge I---I assume you are referring to the old downtown bridge when you say Bridge I. I would cross at Bridge II in Laredo where almost all Mexican nationals with large loads of personal and household items cross.

EaglePass also has two bridges and again I would recommend Bridge II which is about 1/2 mile downriver from the old downtown bridge. There is an Aduana check at the bridge, but the actual permit station and main aduana inspection station is about 35 miles south on Mex. Hwy. 57 around Allende.

Since they have gone to a gate system in combination with the light system at the bridges in Laredo, I draw red lights much more often than under the old system. I have a basis for comparison since I cross both bridges 6 days a week and have for several years. But I have not seen an increase in the number of detailed inspections even though red lights seem to occur more frequently.

In my opinion you can have a bad experience at any crossing if you are carrying a trailer load of goods, so I would not drive a long way out of your way because you have heard that some crossings are more hassle free than others. In my experience busier Aduana points are more likely to pass someone through with a perfunctory inspection than the less busy, but that is just an observation. I also think Aduana tends to hassle paisanos more than gringos. There are simply too many variables to predict how the crossing will go, aside from a prediction you will probably have no problem wherever you cross.

Going to the Declaration line as opposed to Nothing to Declare line as someone suggested can be a good stategy, especially if you can communicate with the official and give him the impression you think you are within the import limits but just want to make sure.


Aug 16, 2009, 11:40 AM

Post #4 of 4 (2823 views)


Re: [N2Futur] Need Directions for Piedras Negras Crossing

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I concur with the recommendation to declare everything. But I wonder, if you are bringing a lot of stuff into Mexico if you don't have an FM3? If not, then you will probably expect to pay some duty, which is only fair.

I consult with a lot of Americans moving to Mexico with and without FM3's and tell them that they are spending $1,000 worth of worry on $100 worth of duty if they do things the right way. What I generally suggest is that they make a list of what they have, walk across the day before and ask what the duty will be. Then they will know what to expect.

Also with the importation of guns into Mexico by Americans, customs officials and the Army are more likely to check out any trailer full of stuff. Where you are going should predicate which crossing you use.

I have crossed at every border crossing in Texas over the years and do not think it makes much difference which one you choose. I personally do not like N. Laredo and don't cross there. I do use both of the bridges at Reynosa (Hidalgo and Pharr) frequently and have tried the smaller one at Falcon Dam not long ago. Very laid-back. Very. 'Mexico" Mike.

"Mexico" Mike Nelson
Writing about Mexico for 40 years.
Maps, Road Logs for drivers
Author of "Live Better South of the Border."
"Spas & Hot Springs of Mexico."
Mexico is a state of mind.
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