Personal Items Into Mexico

By Yucatan Expatriate Services on November 22, 2011

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The Mexican Tax Administration Service has announced that from November 1st 2011 until January 8th 2012, visitors with Mexican passports who travel to Mexico by land will be allowed to bring in $300 USD of merchandise without incurring a tax, equaling the rights for those who arrive by air or by sea.

Also, during this time, travelers from the fringe states or border region that are traveling towards the interior of Mexico can import merchandise valued up to $300 USD. This temporary rule applies to any person who introduces merchandise from another country when he or she enters Mexico or moves from the border region to the rest of the country.

Travelers (minors included) have the right to bring into Mexico their personal luggage and personal articles without paying taxes. Personal luggage and personal items are defined below:

Personal Luggage

Each passenger (minors included) can include articles that are mentioned below, new or used, as part of their personal luggage, without the payment of taxes:

    • Goods for personal use, such as clothing, footwear and personal toiletries and beauty products. These must be in an amount appropriate for the duration of the trip and cannot be for commercial sale, including wedding party items and baby travel accessories, such as strollers and baby-walkers.Explanatory notes
        : When evaluating whether or not the items you are bringing are for personal use or commercial gain, they take into account the duration and the circumstances of the trip, the object of the trip, your profession, your stated activity in Mexico and the “characteristics of the passenger”. In order to bring articles for the travel, cleanliness and entertainment of a baby as part of your luggage, it is required that the baby is traveling with the passenger.
    • Two photographic cameras or video recorders including 12 rolls of film or videotapes
    • Photographic material printed or on film
    • Three portable cell phone or of other wireless network devices
    • One global positioning device (GPS)
    • One portable typewriter
    • One electronic calendar
    • One new or used portable computer (laptop, notebook, omnibook or similar items)
    • One portable copier or printer
    • One portable projector
    • One CD or DVD recording device

The above items can be new or used and can include their accessories.

Sport Equipment

  • Two new or used portable sports items (like surfboards… )
  • Four fishing rods
  • Three speedboats with or without sails and their accessories
  • Trophies or other awards, as long as they can be normally transported by the passenger
  • One treadmill
  • One exercise bike Explanatory notes
        : In order for the sport equipment to be considered part of the personal luggage of the passenger, the passenger must be able to carry it.
      Regarding trophies of sport hunting, if the trophy is a dead or dissected animal or its parts, it must be brought to the warehouse of the Customs Department for processing and import, through a customs agent. This will require paperwork, payment of corresponding taxes and fulfilling the required permissions.

Electronic and Entertainment Equipment

  • Portable device for the recording or reproduction of sound or both
  • Two image and digital sound recorders or reproducers or one portable reproducer of compact discs and one portable reproducer of DVD’s
  • A pair of portable loudspeakers, whether new or used, and their accessories
  • Five laser disks, 10 DVD disks, 30 compact disks (CD) or magnetic tapes (audiocassettes), for the reproduction of sound
  • Three software packages
  • Five storage devices for any electronic equipment
  • Books, magazines and printed documents
  • Five toys, including collectible toys
  • One video game console and five video gamesExplanatory notes
      : In case of toys, if the toys are present in a package that contains more than one piece, each package will be considered as one toy.

Medical Devices

  • One device for measuring blood pressure
  • One device to measure glucose
  • Drugs for personal use. In the case of psychotropic substances, the prescription must be available to show the agent.


Trunks, suitcases, bags or any other article necessary for the transport of luggage. You can bring any number of trunks, suitcase, bags or any other article necessary to transfer your items. These are not taxed by the Mexican government.

Passengers over 18 years of age

  • A maximum of 20 packs of cigarettes
  • 25 cigars or 200 gr. of tobacco
  • Up to 3 liters of alcoholic beverages and 6 liters of wine

Other Personal Items

  • One telescope
  • One set of binoculars
  • One tent and other associate articles used for camping
  • For the elderly and for people with disabilities, any items that replace or reduce their limitations, such as walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, canes or similar items
  • Two musical instruments and their accessoriesExplanatory notes
      : As for the musical instruments to be considered as part of the personal luggage they must be portable, which means the passenger must be able to carry the item.

Personal Tools

  • A set of hand tools including their case, which may include a drill, pliers, wrenches, dices, screwdrivers, cables, among othersExplanatory notes
      : For the tools and their cases to be considered as part of personal luggage, the passenger must be able to carry the items.

Any additional items brought by the passenger will not be considered part of their personal luggage.

In Addition To All That…

The Mexican Government grants to any person, national or foreign, the permission to bring a given quantity of merchandise into the country without paying rights or duties.

If you enter Mexico by sea or air: You are permitted to bring with you up to $300 USD (or equivalent) in one or various articles, not including beer, alcoholic beverages and wrought tobaccos.

If you enter Mexico by land: You are permitted to bring with you up to $75 USD (or equivalent) in one or various articles, not including beer, alcoholic beverages, wrought tobaccos and gasoline (you may bring in the gasoline in the gas tank of the vehicle in alignment with manufacturer’s specifications). From November 1, 2011 until January 8, 2012, that limit is raised to $300 USD for anyone with a Mexican passport.

In all cases it is necessary to have the invoice, bill, receipt or any other document that shows the commercial value of the merchandise.

Each person in a family (father, mother and the children, including even those who are underage) gets an individual allowance, even when they arrive into Mexico simultaneously and in the same mean of transportation.

If a passenger wants to bring merchandise other than what is defined above into Mexico, they will have to import these goods and pay the corresponding taxes.

For the import of merchandise that exceeds the personal allowance, there are two procedures allowed. There is a simplified procedure for travelers, which can be handled with paperwork and payment in the Customs Office at the point of entry. This is only available if the merchandise is worth less than $3000 USD and the merchandise is not subject to restrictions. For anything that does not qualify for the simplified procedure, there is also the importation procedure, done by means of a customs declaration and transacted by a customs agent that must be hired by the importer.

The additional personal allowance is done regularly each year to facilitate families and tourists traveling in and out of Mexico during the holidays. The regular $75 personal allowance for traveling by land will be back in effect on January 9, 2012.

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This article represents the opinions of the writers and does not constitute legal or accounting advice. It is recommended that before taking any action, you should consult with your own accountant or lawyer who is familiar with the laws and customs in Yucatan and in Mexico, and the circumstances surrounding your situation.

30 Responses to “ Personal Items Into Mexico ”

  • Rene'e Watson said on November 22nd, 2011 10:32 pm

    Thank you, this article was very informive. I do have a question. I want to take like new used clothing to different villages in Mexico. I take them either to the church or the health center where they are given out in a very fair way. Is there any papers I can get so I can do this without such a hassel by the Mexican authorities each time.

  • Hushlizard Steve said on November 24th, 2011 6:31 am

    I’m driving down in long bed truck trying to minimal belongings but still need taking my two 19″ & 31″ tv’s and two Laptops.Camping gearand art supplies. Perhaps my Motorcycle ,I thought if I have permits for all my dog, truck & self I’d have it covered?? How do I find out what happens to me crossing Tijuana into Mexico Yucatan to live ? Anxious a bit & Confused !! ? HELP …

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on November 24th, 2011 11:53 am

    It sounds like you’ll be fine.

  • Dorothy Kaytor said on November 24th, 2011 4:10 pm

    Hi.. we drove down in a 1/2 ton extended cab truck, careful to only bring the requisite items listed above..All contents were searched and invoices plus a list in Spanish was made available by us. However, the non-English speaking border agents at Matamoros insisted on us paying duty on the entire load.. we negotiated it down to $1700 pesos…So well and fine to have the rules but does not guarantee they will be followed at the border crossings when driving across. Seems to be hit and miss as others we have spoken too have breezed thru while similar stories to ours also exist…

  • Steve Hush' said on November 24th, 2011 10:57 pm

    Was thinking dear friends is there anyway to find which hotels take big dog ahead of time ? Can’t drive nights .
    I’m taking coast route Tijuana down, trying to stay closest to coast. Be nice to take a nice person who speaks & reads spanish to yucatan with me, arrangements can be made of course, a oneway trip.
    End of May looking good. smiling at you all…Hush’

  • Adriana said on November 26th, 2011 12:46 pm

    Rene´e, please contact our affiliate customs brokers “Agencia Aduanal del Valle” to get a response to your question: Write an e-mail to María Luisa: She speaks English.

  • Adriana said on November 26th, 2011 12:59 pm

    Steve, why don´t you take a look to these 2 websites: and, they list hotels in many cities of Mexico. Have a good trip!

  • Rene'e Watson said on November 26th, 2011 9:51 pm

    Adriana, Thank you so much. I will check into it.

  • Rene'e Watson said on November 26th, 2011 10:08 pm

    Hi Steve, I am a bit confused when you say you are driving the coast down , which coast are you talking about ? Do you mean highway 200 or are you talking about Baja ? If you are talking about Baja there is not very much to all most no coast driving and then you would have to take the ferry over to the mainland, LaPaz to Mazatlan which is very expensive and puts you through another going through what you are taking with you. I have driven the coast many times meaning 200 all the way to Oaxaca. The quickest route now with the new Arco Norte is going from San Miguel area straight shot and it can be driven in 10 hours to San Cristobal de las Casas, going the other way it takes 3 to 5 days of driving. Do you have the new map book Guia Roji ? I really feel it is the best on mexico. I traveled this route in July and August and #1. Tijuana is the absolute worse place there is to enter into Mexico at either of their crossings, I go to Rosarito Beach 1-3 times a month and two weeks ago and they knew I was going only for the day to the Eye Dr. they went through my toyota tundre with a fine tooth comb spending 20 minutes asking for every paper imaginable, things they did not need. I have crossed in nearly all of the places from TJ all the way to Renosa and the absolute best, by far crossing is in Nogales, Arizona. They have two different crossings there, in town and out of town where the big trucks cross., I stay at the motel 6, they take dogs, and it is only a couple mile to the crossing. If you are there when they open at 6, maybe 7 in the winter you can get through very quickly. I don’t know where you live but I have another suggestion also that works wonderfull for me if you live near the border. Happy to help in any way I can, I have been doing this for over 40 years. One thing they are doing now is really going through luggage and anything that is large enough to hide guns in. I find that most hotels in Mexico take dogs I traveled with dogs for a lot of years.

  • Rene'e Watson said on November 26th, 2011 10:12 pm

    Steve , I forgot to tell you that the crossing that is much better in Nogales is for sure the one out of town where the big trucks go. Always that one.

  • Steve Hush' O'Curran said on November 30th, 2011 12:35 pm

    Rene’e Watson, you are so kind to a going-to-be-New-Expat going to live in Progreso. I’m planning to go through Tijuana. I’m coming down from Portland Oregon hopefully by end of May. So much to do !! I’ll get map you say, it’s now I need to make the correct decisions! That San Miguel sounds sweet way to go, quicker the better. I’ve always been a traveler but I admit with all I’m hearing, I’m a bit nervous. I need to move to be Expat and Progreso is the best for me to start a new in retirement.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on November 30th, 2011 3:22 pm

    Steve, we highly suggest you become a member of our sister website, and talk to the members there. MANY of them have driven down from the States, and recently, and can share with you their advice and experience.

  • Rene'e Watson said on November 30th, 2011 10:50 pm

    Hi Steve, I was in Progrosso in July and I totally love it there. The street along the beach has been completely redone and closed off to traffic with nice benches, so beautiful. when you get all settlet be sure to go over to the village of San Filipe on the water also, The people are wonderful and the homes, it is truly a little munchkin village. your move sounds very exciting, good for you. I still do not understand how you plan to get there by crossing in TJ. Rene’e

  • michele said on January 15th, 2012 9:30 am

    Driving to Mexico and want to know what the procedures are for bringing a motorcycle into Mexico? We can either put the motorcycle in the back of the van or purchase a motorcycle trailer to attach to the back of the van. I see references to boats, but none to motorcycles.
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  • Adriana said on January 17th, 2012 8:49 pm

    Michele, you can bring the motorycle in the back of the van or on a trailer and import it with the van under the same temporary import permit by showing: your passport, your FMM or FM3 and title of property of both.

  • michele said on January 18th, 2012 7:08 am

    Thank you Adriana. I love YES!! Always helpful and prompt with an answer to my questions.

  • Adriana said on January 18th, 2012 7:30 pm

    Thank you Michele, we are happy to help!

  • Steve Hush' said on January 18th, 2012 8:25 pm

    Rene, Ok ! Thx so much I’m learning .. I’m taking Nogales to cross . What a adventure from Oregon to get down to Nogales ! / I’m going to Mexican Consulate soon as I get my Passport and hopefully get the understandings to my questions on FM’s etc. & all the Permits…Sure is more envolved driving down than flying . I’m very excited, get my SS hopefully April and leave with all the information of my life & Dog ! ha ha Thx again to Adriana , Rene and all new thoughtful friends your great…Peace & Love

  • phil said on February 27th, 2012 11:21 am

    I am confused. Planning to move to Mexico in the near future. On your site I see the minimum monthly income is $1200. On another site I seen it is $1000usd. My retirement income is $946mothly. I talked to the Mexican embassy in US and was told to apply for a FM3 after arriving and exceptions are often made. Any info you have would be appreciated.

  • Adriana said on February 29th, 2012 6:45 pm

    Phil, what Immigration Authorities request is 250 times the minimum wage in Mexico city. If we consider that in 2012 the minimum wage is 62.33 pesos, that gives us 15,582. 5 pesos, which converted into USD, results in approximately 1,200 USD. You could apply, but it will be under Immigration´s criteria whether your 946 monthly will be enough.

  • Jen said on April 26th, 2012 12:57 pm

    Hi Adriana,
    Thanks for the info on the pets. Can you tell me the best way to move 5 or 6 boxes of house hold goods from Calgary, Canada to Progreso?

  • Adriana said on April 27th, 2012 10:56 am

    Jen, you can contact one of these two companies for the shipping: Mexpack ( or Linea Peninsular (

  • sherry said on March 9th, 2015 11:23 pm

    I have a permanent residency card now and doing the menaje de casa, using a broker and driver with a trailer that will take down most everything to San Miguel de Allende. There are some items, jewelry, silver, and certain antiques that are fragile that I want to personally drive down. Are antiques and personal jewelry and silver flatware, and decorative antiques subject to duty? Do they need to be listed? I know the moving company will not insure these items, and I don’t want them to go with the menaje de casa, but I am not sure what happens at the border when we drive on our own with a Euro Van loaded with things like that?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 12th, 2015 5:22 pm

    Sherry, they will be subject to duty if they are not in the “menaje de casa” package. Consult with your broker how much will the duties may be if you bring them separately.

  • sherry said on March 12th, 2015 5:47 pm

    Thanks for the reply. I do not know if antiques are exempt. they use to be, and they are exempt by US customs, too, I believe. Person jewelry is also not on the list, and we are told not to pack that on the trailer, for sure. I would prefer not to declare these items as they would attract attention. Please advise how this is usually handled. Thanks :)

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 13th, 2015 5:30 pm

    Sherry, antiques do form part of the “menaje de casa”; if you have something that looks as new and is kept in its original box, please bring something to prove it is older than 6 months. Jewelry does not form part of the “menaje”, you must bring it with you.

  • Nancy said on April 27th, 2015 6:35 pm

    My husband and I will be moving from Vancouver to Merida this summer into our new house. We want to ship a small amount of personal items through using a menaje and are thinking about shipping by air into Cancun. Do you know if we need a customs broker for this or can we just present our menaje and pick up the goods ourselves? If we need a customs broker can you recommend a place where we can find a reputable broker? We have been told by a couple of international shippers that we don’t need a customs broker.

    Thanks so much for your help.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 29th, 2015 5:05 pm

    Nancy, if my “menaje” you mean shipping your goods duty free under the “menaje de casa” program that the Mexican Government gives to temporary and permanent residents, then yes, you need to hire a customs broker. Here´s the contact information of Agencia Aduanal del Valle in Cancun:

  • Nancy said on May 15th, 2015 12:04 am

    I called the Agencia Aduanal del Valle and the told me they no longer do household items. Do you know anyone else who provides customs broker services?
    Than you

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on May 15th, 2015 12:43 pm

    Nancy, contact Agencia Aduanal Cervera:

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