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Mexico raises tax exemption at border crossings

- December 10, 2022

The tax exemption does not include the entry of alcoholic beverages, carved tobacco, or automotive fuel.

People who cross from the United States to Mexicali or any city on the northern border, the franchise rose to 500 dollars to introduce merchandise without having to pay taxes. The franchise only applies to US citizens and residents.

From November 29 to December 31, the franchise extension is maintained, later it returns to 300 dollars as it is maintained for the rest of the year.

This is a maximum amount of merchandise that can be brought into the country (excluding personal baggage), without paying additional charges.

According to the federal Héroes Paisanos program, from the National Migration Institute (INM), the 500 dollars are for those who enter by road only.

In the case of entry by plane or train, it applies to 500 dollars throughout the year.

For passengers or residents of the border strip, the franchise remains at $300.

The tax exemption does not include the entry of alcoholic beverages, carved tobacco, or automotive fuel.

What is considered as part of Personal Baggage?

On the other hand, passengers can enter the following merchandise as part of their personal baggage:

  • Goods for personal use, commensurate with the duration of the trip: footwear and grooming and beauty products, provided they are commensurate with the duration of the trip, baby items such as a chair, portable crib, stroller, and walker.
  • Two photographic or video recording cameras, including 12 rolls or video cassettes, and photographic material
  • four fishing rods
  • Three sliders with or without a sail and their accessories
  • Trophies or awards
  • Three portable cell phone equipment or other wireless networks
  • A global positioning device (gps)
  • an electronic agenda
  • A portable copier or printer
  • A burner and a portable projector
  • two cell phones
  • an electronic agenda
  • A computer equipment with its accessories
  • Two personal sports teams
  • A stationary treadmill
  • a stationary bike
  • A portable device for recording or reproducing sound or mixed
  • A portable DVD player, and its accessories
  • A set of portable speakers, and their accessories.
  • Five laser discs, 10 DVD discs, 30 compact discs or audio cassettes
  • Three software packages
  • Five storage devices for any electronic equipment
  • Books, magazines and printed documents
  • Five toys and a video game console with five video games
  • An apparatus to measure blood pressure and one to measure glucose or mixed and its reagents
  • Medications for personal use
  • Suitcases, hip flasks, trunks and suitcases in which luggage is transported
  • A tent and other camping gear.
  • 10 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco (over 18 years of age)
  • Up to three liters of alcoholic beverages and six liters of wine (over 18 years of age)
  • Two musical instruments and their accessories
  • a binocular
  • a telescope
  • For the elderly and people with disabilities, wheelchairs, crutches, canes, among others
  • A set of hand tools: a drill, pliers, wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, power cords, and others.

Passenger luggage with professional activity

Those natural persons accredited as correspondents, whenever it is to carry out their journalistic work in Mexico, will have the right to import the necessary equipment and accessories even if the value exceeds $3,000 .

This limit is for equipment coming from the United States of America.

In addition to personal baggage and franchise, can I enter other merchandise?

Of course it will be possible, but in this case, for the surplus merchandise, you must process its importation and pay the taxes.

o, in order to process the importation of surplus merchandise, one of the two existing procedures can be chosen: simplified passenger procedures, or through a customs agent.

What cannot be included in the Franchise?

Within the franchise you cannot introduce:

  • ​​​Alcoholic beverages.
  • Carved tobaccos.
  • Automotive fuel, except that which is contained in the fuel tank of your vehicle.
  • Live predatory fish, in their fry, juvenile and adult states
  • Totoaba, fresh or chilled (fish)
  • Frozen totoaba (fish)
  • Turtle eggs of any kind
  • Poppy seed (Poppy)
  • Poppy seed meal (Poppy)
  • Seeds and spores of marijuana (Cannabis indica), even when mixed with other seeds
  • Marijuana (Cannabis indica)
  • Opium juices and extracts, prepared for smoking
  • Extracts and juices derived from marijuana (Cannabis indica)
  • Mucilages and thickeners derived from marijuana (Cannabis indica)
  • Stamps or stickers printed in color or in black and white, presented for sale in envelopes or packages, even when they include chewing gum, sweets or any other type of article, containing drawings, figures or illustrations that represent children in a demeaning manner or ridiculous, in incitement to violence, self-destruction or any other form of anti-social behavior, known as Garbage Pail Kids, for example, printed by any company or trade name
  • thallium sulfate
  • Insecticide (Isodrin or Aldrin)
  • Insecticide (Heptachlor or Drinox)
  • Insecticide (Endrin or Mendrin or Nendrin or Hexadrin)
  • Insecticide (Leptophos)
  • Diacetylmorphine hydrochloride or heroin base
  • Medicinal preparations based on marijuana (Cannabis indica)
  • Pharmaceutical preparations based on acetyl morphine or its salts or derivatives
  • Turtle or loggerhead skins
  • Assets that have been declared archaeological monuments by the Ministry of Public Education
  • Used clothing and footwear that are not part of your personal baggage.
  • Weapons and ammunition.

What can be imported under the simplified passenger procedure?

One or several merchandises that have a total value of no more than $3,000 , that are not prohibited or subject to permits.

In the event that a computer is included, the total value of the merchandise must not exceed 4,000 dollars . The percentage of taxes that must be paid in this case is 16% of the value of the merchandise, subtracting the amount of the franchise.

Using this procedure you can import:

  • Up to six liters of alcoholic beverages or wine, in which case a global tax rate of 90% of the value of the merchandise is paid.
  • Up to 40 packs of cigarettes, in which case a global rate of 573.48% is paid.
  • Up to 50 cigars, in which case a global rate of 373.56% is paid.
  • In these cases, the value of the merchandise, of 3,000 or 4,000 dollars as appropriate, cannot be accumulated with other passengers.
  • Goods that are subject to permits or other regulations cannot be imported under this procedure.

To calculate the tax to be paid, the amount of the franchise to which you are entitled must be deducted from the total value of the merchandise; that is, 300 dollars if the income is by land and 500 dollars if it is by air or sea.

As an example, if you enter by air and only bring your luggage and a lamp, which has a value of $3,000. I would process the importation of the lamp through this procedure. You would subtract the $300 franchise from the value of the lamp, so the value on which you would pay taxes is $2,500.


  • Merchandise Value: $3,000
  • Maritime franchise: $500
  • Amount to Tax: 2500 dollars
  • VAT: 16%
  • Tax to pay: 400 dollars

How is the tax payment made under the simplified passenger procedure?

If the arrival is by plane or ship, the passenger must appear before the customs module with the Customs Declaration form duly filled out, to process the declaration and payment of taxes of the surplus merchandise that they carry with them. If your arrival is by land, you must go through the self-declaration lane.

The process for the declaration and payment of taxes must be done before activating the automated selection mechanism.

Taxes can be paid at the customs office of entry, using the “Payment of foreign trade contributions” form, which cannot be deducted or credited for tax purposes. In addition, Customs already accepts bank cards in order for you to pay the surplus of your franchise.

How is the payment of taxes made through a petition processed through a customs agent?

When the value of the merchandise exceeds the amounts indicated for importation through a simplified passenger procedure or is subject to regulations, it is necessary that the importation process be carried out through a customs agent . In these cases, the passenger has to leave the merchandise in storage before customs and must hire the services of a customs agent to carry out the respective import process.

If, before activating the mechanism, you realize that you are carrying merchandise that is subject to permits (or other regulations) and you do not have them, you can choose to express to customs your willingness to abandon the merchandise.

It is worth mentioning that with regard to animals, you can enter with up to two dogs or cats, with the animal health import certificate issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food.

Can we enter Cash?

Indeed, it will not be a crime to introduce or extract from the country more than 10,000 dollars. But of course, the fact of not declaring it is.

If when you arrive or leave Mexico you carry large amounts of money with you, whether in cash, national or foreign checks, payment orders or documents receivable, you must declare it to the customs authorities when they add up to more than 10,000 dollars or its equivalent in national or other currency. foreign currencies.

What is the zone considered as Border?

In Mexico there are two strips or border regions. Next we will see each of them.

northern border strip

Territory between the international dividing line in the north of the country and the parallel line at a distance of 20 kilometers into the interior of the country.

border region

The border region is called the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Quintana Roo and the partial region of Sonora; the southern border strip adjacent to Guatemala and the municipalities of Caborca, Sonora, Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas, and Salina Cruz, Oaxaca.

southern border strip

This zone is the one comprised by the territory of 20 kilometers parallel to the international dividing line of the south of the country.

What is the regime for border residents?

People of legal age who are residents of the strip or border region, can enter the merchandise for their personal consumption, as long as they comply with the following:

  • Value of the merchandise does not exceed daily to 150 dollars.
  • When you enter national territory in your vehicle and more than two people are transported in it, the value of the merchandise that enters as a whole must not exceed 400 dollars.
  • Under this franchise, you cannot enter the following merchandise: alcoholic beverages, beer , tobacco made into cigarettes or cigars, and automotive fuel, except for that contained in the fuel tank of your vehicle.
  • Prove, at the request of the customs authority, that you are of legal age and your residence in said areas, by means of an official identification that accredits you as a resident of said areas.

They may then also enter beer, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, cigarettes or cigars, without requiring the services of a customs agent or proxy, provided that:

  • The value of such merchandise does not exceed $50.
  • The corresponding taxes are paid using the “Foreign trade tax payment” form or “Federal tax payment format”.

In the latter case they must pay:

  • Beverages with alcoholic content and beer with an alcohol content of up to 14° GL: 77.26%
  • Beverages with alcoholic content and beer with an alcohol content of more than 14° GL and up to 20° GL: 82.17%
  • Beverages with alcoholic content and beer with an alcohol content of more than 20° GL: 114.40%
  • Cigars: 573.48%
  • Cigars and carved tobacco: 373.56%

Merchandise that can enter Mexico

There are several products that Mexico prohibits the entry of, but there are others that are allowed , and for the most part they are the most common to transport.

All those passengers by plane, boat or vehicle can enter products allowed in volumes for consumption or personal use, without there being any risk of introducing any pest or disease, after visual inspection by official SAGARPA personnel :

  • Tobacco for smoking, dried, cooked, packaged and bottled foods.
  • Roasted coffee, prunes, bottled or packaged spices, dried medicinal herbs.
  • Preserved or cooked fruits and vegetables, dried fruits.
  • Refrigerated, frozen, vacuum canned, cooked and processed pork, sterile canned pork pâté from the United States of America with the USDA seal (these products in their original packaging and label including the seal of the US Department of Agriculture) .
  • Fresh, frozen, cooked or processed poultry from the United States of America with the USDA seal.
  • Milk, dairy and cheeses.
  • Pork and poultry, either refrigerated, frozen, high vacuum canned, cooked and processed, sterile canned pâté.
  • Milks, dairy products and cheeses from Canada.
  • From Spain : dairy or pork products.
  • Pets : only cats and dogs are considered pets.

Vegetable and animal products that cannot enter Mexico

Given the problems that arose with the development of international trade, many countries choose to prohibit the entry of certain merchandise into their territory, and Mexico is not far behind.

Upon arrival in Mexico, passengers on planes, boats or vehicles may not introduce the following products into the country for any reason, since they represent a high risk of introducing pests and diseases:

  • Earth, straw, containers filled with hay and straw decorations.
  • Homemade food products.
  • Meals of animal origin.
  • Fresh, dried, canned or frozen meat, meat products (sausages, smoked, salted, mature, etc.), that come from countries that Mexico considers risky, or that do not come with their original packaging and label.
  • Vaccines or biologicals that contain any component of exotic diseases and pests, published in the ” Agreement listing exotic and enzootic diseases and pests of mandatory notification in the United Mexican States Published on March 5, 1999 “.

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