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purplepatty

Jul 16, 2005, 6:09 AM

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Putting together my menaje

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I got my FM3 OK and am now working on my Menaje de Casa. I knew I couldn't bring food across but now I find that spices are not allowed. It's not absolutely necessary to get them across, but my vitamins are necessary. Can I call them food supplements to get them legally across the border? If any of you have had this problem, please advise. Also, no prescriptions but I must have my medicine with me, although no more than 1 month's supply--how can I do this?

The guy that does FM3s and menajes at my consulate has just gone on vacation for a month with no replacement worker, and I'd like to start out for my home in La Floresta in 3 weeks. What a pain!!!

Thanks in advance for any help--PP


(This post was edited by purplepatty on Jul 16, 2005, 6:19 AM)



Ms_Powell

Jul 16, 2005, 6:33 AM

Post #2 of 32 (2015 views)

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Re: [purplepatty] Putting together my menaje

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Hi, Purple Patty, Let me be among the first to welcome you south. It is fun!

Did someone tell you specifically that you cannot bring vitamins? I would find that very unusual. But weird stuff happens here.

No doubt, you will find vitamins near where you live, but it may be less than you think. In the state capital of Michoacan near where I live, I have never found a good supply of specific vitamins. GNC is in Mexico, but their selections are very limited. Generally, you find lots of multiple vitamins, calcium, etc. But for specific things like, for instance, selenium or echinacea, forget about it.

Which brings me to this: Puritan Pride, an internet vitamin company with an excellent reputation for quality, will ship directly to you in Mexico. The international shipping, of course, is more, but their prices are so good, it is worth it.

They have permanent "sales," which mean very good prices. Their website is:

www.puritan.com

Buena suerte.

Ginny
------------------

"He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals." -- Benjamin Franklin.


Don


Jul 16, 2005, 6:37 AM

Post #3 of 32 (2013 views)

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Re: [purplepatty] Putting together my menaje

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We listed those items as a box of personal care items. That box can include toothpaste, makeup, etc.


(This post was edited by Don on Jul 16, 2005, 6:38 AM)


esperanza

Jul 16, 2005, 6:44 AM

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Re: [purplepatty] Putting together my menaje

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If you are using a moving company based here at Lake Chapala, they will be able to give you any advice you need about packing and moving your household goods. Email them--they're a better resource than the consulate.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Howard Botz

Jul 16, 2005, 7:57 AM

Post #5 of 32 (1985 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Putting together my menaje

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I brought my vitamin and mineral supplements with me in my car. I did not want them to be in a hot truck for a month. By all means bring your vitamins, etc. and bring a lot. I do not care what anyone says here they are not readily available (Guadalajara/Lake Chapala)in the dosages and forms we might be used to. If you find them they are usually name brands and in small bottles which are priced very high. Buy your generic vitamins and minerals in the U.S. and bring down a lot. I recently ran out of my Calcium 600 mg + Vit D which I bought as a 500 tablet bottle at Safeway in the U.S. Looking in Costco, Sams (no drugs), WalMart and every Farmacia I can only find Caltrate in 60 count bottles which costs almost as much as the 500 tablet generic bottle from the U.S. Costco did have the Kirkland brand at one time but they don't right now. The same thing with Multivitamins....buy and bring down generic in quantity because you will be buying brand name, e.g., Centrum and paying a big price for them. I am almost out of my selenium and wont even try looking for that. When my friends visit I always ask them to bring me a supply of the vitamins/minerals that I am running low on.

An interesting side note with regard to my menaje de casa. I got my FM3 and menaje de casa at the consulate in Seattle Washington. My mover typed out my menaje in Spanish as everything you read says it needs to be. When I presented this to the consulate they rejected the style and said they wanted it to be in English. The final documents (three originals) that I obtained from the consulate had a beautiful cover letter with all sorts of official stamps and seals and these I gave to the moving company...keeping one copy for myself. I was sure that when these were presented by the movers to the authorities at the border in Laredo they would be rejected because they were in English. Surprise apparently there was no problem because my cargo (two very large wooden steel banded crates) were not even opened.
Best of luck,
Howard


jaybear

Jul 16, 2005, 8:00 AM

Post #6 of 32 (1984 views)

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Re: [purplepatty] Putting together my menaje

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Hi, PP! My understanding is that you are driving down with a car full of household goods, and that you are not using a mover. Is that correct? Hope all is going well!

We are also in the process of getting the menaje act together. Rolly's site is very helpful, and we are also getting good lists from Strom Moving, as we are using them for our move. You might also pick up a few tips from NewBeginningsMexico.com, altho those people brought a LOT of stuff; it was not exactly downsizing! Pay close attention to the requirements for electronics, if you are bringing anything with a plug.

My understanding is that spices are NOT allowed. We met a lady who was moving to Ajijic and who said she got rid of over 300 jars of spices before they moved. I am still thinking about that one.
"Don't believe everything you think" - Maxine

JayBear



esperanza

Jul 16, 2005, 8:55 AM

Post #7 of 32 (1973 views)

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Re: [purplepatty] Putting together my menaje

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Patty, if what Jaybear says is true--that you are coming down with only a carful of your household goods--you do not need a menaje de casa. The menaje de casa is normally used only when you are shipping a moving van full of things.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









EEK

Jul 16, 2005, 9:08 AM

Post #8 of 32 (1968 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Putting together my menaje

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Esperanza, that's a good answer and exactly what I want to do in Oct. I will return to Houston, get my car and a FM3 - load the trunk and back seat and head south. If I don't need a menaje, do I still need to box it and lable the box content or can I just throw it into the car and see what happends? Nothing (including electronics) will be new and most will be personal goods, household goods, etc. You always give good advise. Thanks, eek.


skelleyhoutex

Jul 16, 2005, 9:14 AM

Post #9 of 32 (1964 views)

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Re: [purplepatty] Putting together my menaje

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Purple Patty: My husband I just got back from Lakeside. We priced vitamins at the San Francisco Pharmacy. They cost as much as prescription medicine. I was especially concerned about glucosamine - it was outrageous! My prescription medicines are coming through Mail Box Etc. Maybe the vitamins should come that way as well. Mail Box Etc. told us that to import any kind of drug through the mail, you have to have a license. They have it. It is one solution.


Georgia


Jul 16, 2005, 9:15 AM

Post #10 of 32 (1964 views)

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Re: [jaybear] Putting together my menaje

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When my movers moved me, they prepared and submitted the "menaje" (I did not get it at the consulate, the movers took care of everything - and we did the same thing in two separate moves). Among the items from my kitchen was a box full of spices along with some canned goods. Frankly, I never thought about it. It was probably listed on the box as "canned goods." I have no idea. But they came through just fine.


esperanza

Jul 16, 2005, 9:46 AM

Post #11 of 32 (1960 views)

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Re: [EEK] Putting together my menaje

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I'd put the stuff in boxes and make a quick list for your eyes only of what approximate garage sale values you want to put on the electronics and anything else you're bringing that has real value--not clothes, not books, etc. Then if you get the red light when you cross the border, you have a good idea of how much to declare. For example, used 26" TV: $90. Used PC: $150. (Or whatever prices you think are fair, I'm just giving examples, not real pricing ideas.) Bear in mind that there are many things that you can bring across without incurring any duty at all. I think Rolly's made a list of all that on his website.

Rolly, you out there? Can you give these folks a link to the right page?

Remember: the key is that you are bringing your USED PERSONAL ITEMS into Mexico. If you're bringing some new items, take them out of the boxes and packaging, remove the hangtags and price tickets and anything else that shows that they're new, and pack them in with your other stuff.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









jaybear

Jul 16, 2005, 10:06 AM

Post #12 of 32 (1958 views)

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Re: [skelleyhoutex] Putting together my menaje

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This is all very interesting and helpful. I had thought I would be unable to get prescriptions and vitamins sent to me in Mexico. I use 2 Canadian mail-order drug companies, and one of them ships to Mexico, but I had assumed that orders would never arrive. Non-arrival seems common with anything shipped from the US that has to go thru customs (that is, objects not documents). Anyone care to comment on my chances of prescription arrival if I get a Mail Boxes Etc. box in Ajijic (actually, I think the office is in San Antonio)? Mail Boxes Etc. was said to be unreliable, according to earlier posts. I don't take anything attractive like OxyContin, but I do pay on the order of $80 USD for one prescription, and it is not uncommon for me to order 3 bottles of vitamins for $90 USD, so I would be shelling out a bit of money.
"Don't believe everything you think" - Maxine

JayBear



Rolly


Jul 16, 2005, 11:30 AM

Post #13 of 32 (1945 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Putting together my menaje

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No, Esperanza, I don't have a list of duty free items on my website. I guess I should work on that.

Personal items -- clothing, toiletries, etc -- are always duty-free, even if they are new.

Other free items include medicines, cameras (still and video), a laptop computer, a reasonable number of books CDs and DVDs, a boombox, a small amount of sporting equipment, and a musical instrument that meets the carry test -- can be carried by one person (no pianos).

Rolly Pirate


esperanza

Jul 16, 2005, 11:42 AM

Post #14 of 32 (1941 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Putting together my menaje

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Here's the complete list of what anyone with either an FMT (tourist card valid up to 180 days) or FM3 (one year visa) is allowed to bring duty free into Mexico.
  • Suitcases, trunks, valises, and hampers necessary for their baggage
  • New or used consumer goods necessary for their personal use, such as clothing, shoes, items for personal hygiene. These must be in accordance with the length of the passenger's stay and not in quantities that would appear to be sufficient for sale.
  • Medicines for personal use. Psychotropic drugs must be accompanied by their prescription.
  • One still camera, one video camera (and its power supply), up to 12 rolls of new film or videocassettes, one cellular phone, one pager, one pair of binoculars, one typewriter, one new or used portable computer (laptop, notebook, etc.), one portable printer or copier (new or used), one portable radio (new or used) to tape or reproduce sound (or for mixed use).
  • Two types of new or used sports equipment suitable for one person to carry; one tent for camping plus camping equipment; one surfboard, with or without sail; four fishing rods with their accompanying gear.
  • Five laser disks, five DVDs, 20 compact disks (CDs) or cassette tapes, books and magazines which show by their quantity that they are not for resale.
  • Five games which might ordinarily be brought by one person.
  • Any equipment necessary for the care and wellbeing of a handicapped person.
  • In addition to the above, any adult may bring into the Republic up to 20 packets of cigarettes, 25 cigars, 200 grams of loose tobacco, and up to three liters of wine, beer, or liquor.

In addition, people driving into Mexico may bring $50 more new goods into the country without paying duty. People who fly in are allowed an additional $300 new goods.

You are allowed to bring household goods valued at up to $1000 US over and above what is listed above without the need for a customs agent to file the paperwork and to assist you. If you plan to bring household goods into Mexico with a value greater than $1000 US, then you need to use the services of a customs agent to work with you to determine the duty values and assist you in the process of actually bringing your belongings into Mexico. The duty payment is usually (but not always) valued at 17% of the declared value of your household goods over and above the allowed value.

This information is courtesy of the Mexican government. Here is the link to the Spanish language page:

http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/...dunet/aga.aspx?Q=r30

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Rolly


Jul 16, 2005, 12:45 PM

Post #15 of 32 (1928 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Putting together my menaje

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And here is an English version of that information and a great deal more:

http://www.mexicanconsulate.org.uk/...of_Tourist_Entry.pdf

Rolly Pirate


Gary Anderson

Jul 16, 2005, 1:00 PM

Post #16 of 32 (1924 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Putting together my menaje

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Getting back to what Esperanza said re bringing only a carload of goods across the border, here is my experience from a year ago: I crossed at the Nogales truck crossing early in the morning with an SUV and cartop cargo carrier loaded to the gills with a component stereo, maybe 200 CD's, 3 guitars and an amplifier, kitchen stuff (including spices and some plug-in items), books, clothes, you name it. I had already obtained my FM-3 from the consulate in Seattle but didn't bother with a manaje, as I was prepared to pay any duty imposed. When I reached the aduana station, I got the red light. The inspector just shined his flashlight around the inside of the vehicle for a minute, asked a few questions about what's in this box and that box, said "bien viaje," and I was on my way, no problema. I was subsequently waved through all the other checkpoints, and reached Ajijic by mid-afternoon the following day.

I'm not recommending this course, but it's what happened to me. As Esperanza sometimes says, your mileage may vary.

GA
____________________________________________________________
"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22 . . . ." - Joseph Heller

(This post was edited by Gary Anderson on Jul 16, 2005, 1:34 PM)


not_ally

Jul 16, 2005, 4:04 PM

Post #17 of 32 (1888 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Putting together my menaje

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Useful link, Rolly, as always.

Patty, were you told that it was unlawful to transport any kind of food across the border? On Rolly's link it said that certain listed foods were prohibited, but there was not a o blanket bar. Also, on the US side, when I returned to the US via Los Angeles last week I prepared to hand over the cooked chicken I'd brought along to eat on the plane, but the Customs agent said that it was fine to take it in. Not sure if the same would be true going from the US to Mex., but I thought the US would be tougher, if anything.
----------------------------
"The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly I discover there is no reason." John Cage


Rolly


Jul 16, 2005, 4:38 PM

Post #18 of 32 (1885 views)

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Re: [not_ally] Putting together my menaje

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The Aduana website I listed in my post above does not contain a complete list of prohibited items. I have read in other places (whose URLs I have lost) that fresh and frozen meat & fish and fresh or dried plant material, including food and spices, are not allowed. Even cheese was on one of those other lists.

Rolly Pirate


not_ally

Jul 16, 2005, 7:08 PM

Post #19 of 32 (1857 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Putting together my menaje

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Damn, I was hoping to take some spices back with me when I return to SOB. Does anyone know what happens if you just take them in anyway? I've been through customs at Leon six or seven times in the last year and have never been searched. If they search and find contraband food items, do they just confiscate them or are you fined also? Any other penalties/sanctions? The things I want to take in are items I have not been able to find anywhere in Mexico, and ingredients for food I really like to prepare, so it's worth some amount of risk (not a night in the pokey, though.)
----------------------------
"The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly I discover there is no reason." John Cage


jennifer rose

Jul 16, 2005, 8:11 PM

Post #20 of 32 (1845 views)

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Re: [not_ally] Putting together my menaje

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I think some folks are overreacting. Sure, some spices may fall within the list of prohibited items, but most don't. I've been inspected countless times -- and have suffered confiscation of seeds, German rice beans, smoked pig ears, and a couple of fresh apples I've completely forgotten about -- but I've never had a problem with spices. Or pine nuts. Not even canned Solo poppy seed filling.


sfmacaws


Jul 16, 2005, 8:31 PM

Post #21 of 32 (1836 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Putting together my menaje

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I cross the border a couple times a year in an RV with a full kitchen and all the supplies. I've never had either side ask about spices or even look at them. They will take beef and beef products including dry dog food - that is going in either direction. They take uncooked eggs, chicken and pork as well. They allow cooked chicken and hard boiled eggs. There is a long list of fruit that is not allowed, it is also slightly different depending on the country you are entering. In general, I always assume they will take avocados, potatos, carrots, limes, tomatos. I was allowed to bring in a 4' stem of bananas this spring. Plant seeds are also not allowed I believe... not sure on that. Seeds for cooking are not questioned. I have small plants in my RV but not growing in dirt. The US will not allow plants in dirt but things like water bamboo or air plants have not been questioned.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




purplepatty

Jul 16, 2005, 9:44 PM

Post #22 of 32 (1823 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Putting together my menaje

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So, what I'm getting, and correct me if I'm wrong, I may or may not have to have a menaje; I might be able to bring in my spices (I seem to remember a long time ago Bubba said to call them "condiments"); I can bring in my vitamins if I call them "personal items". And all I need when I get back up to Laredo to retreive my second load, is an inventory and may or may not have to pay duty.

Obviously, I'm still a bit confused. If I don't have to go through the menaje thing, I'd rather not. Remember, the consulate guy that handles all this is on vacation for one month and I plan to leave for Lakeside in three weeks.

Thanks for all your replies--I really appreciat the time it takes to give your fingers a workout ;-) Keep 'em coming.

Pat


sfmacaws


Jul 17, 2005, 1:32 AM

Post #23 of 32 (1806 views)

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Re: [purplepatty] Putting together my menaje

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Pat,

I can tell you what I would do if I were in your situation. I would load up the first load and make a list of what I have or have the contents written on every box, in spanish if you speak it or in english if you don't. For all electronics, I would have a list with serial numbers and make sure that this stuff is easy to get to if they want to check. Everything else I'd just pack and label the box generally. Like Kitchen Equipment or Pots & Pans, nothing real specific except for the electronics.

I'd drive up to the border and go through the Declare lane. When they come up, tell them you are bringing in some stuff for your house and show them the electronics list. Smile, be charming and smile some more. If you get a jerk or someone on a bad day and they tell you that you need a customs broker or a menage de casa then thank them profusly for giving you this great information, turn around and go back to Laredo and either use a different crossing or wait until the next shift and go back. You will already have your car permit so you won't have to do that again, the next time drive straight to the declare lane again and give it another shot.

I doubt you will have to do this a second time but it is possible. Just realize it and have a plan for it and you probably will sail right through on the first time and be on your way. The guys that work at the border are just civil servants, they take a lot of BS from people and they are probably bored a lot. If you are friendly and patient and open with them I have always found them extremely helpful. Worst case scenario, you have to spend more time in Laredo and get one of the customs brokers to take you across.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




patricio_lintz


Jul 17, 2005, 3:39 PM

Post #24 of 32 (1740 views)

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Re: [purplepatty] Putting together my menaje

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I have flown in and driven into Mexico with vitaminas listed as items which I was bringing in. Aduana told me that there is no duty on food (comida) and vitaminas.


Georgia


Jul 17, 2005, 5:28 PM

Post #25 of 32 (1714 views)

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Re: [not_ally] Putting together my menaje

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The chicken was ok, but the rats took the apple I had along for lunch.
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