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When you arrive at the border crossing, there will be a lane for “Declaration” or “Nothing to Declare.” If you’re not sure what you’re bringing into Mexico, you should go to the Declaration Line and let an inspector check to see if you can bring something in. If you are checked, you don’t want to be caught with items that are against the law or that you didn’t declare.
A complete list of all you can and can’t bring into Mexico can be found on the Prohibited Items List on the Mexican Customs rules website.
Which items may you bring into Mexico exempt from duty or Declaration?
When you cross by land, you can take your own things and up to $300 worth of goods without paying duty. People over the age of 18 can bring up to three liters of liquor or beer and up to six liters of wine.
If you are bringing more than $300 USD worth of goods per person, you can drive through the declaration lane at the border, fill out the right paperwork, and pay a duty of 16% of the total amount. If you bring more than $3,000 worth of goods into Mexico, you must use a customs broker. You can ask the customs office at the border how to find one.
If each person is bringing more than $10,000 in cash, other currencies, checks, or money orders, the amount over $10,000 must be declared. You won’t have to pay duties, but you will have to stop at the border and fill out a customs declaration form to say how much you have.
You are NOT ALLOWED to bring any firearm into Mexico
A knife with a blade longer than four inches is illegal to bring or carry. It’s fine to use your normal knife (Butter, Steak). Don’t bring any big knives with you. Even a small pocketknife could get you in trouble if you are caught with it in a place where knives are not allowed.
If you are bringing alcohol into Mexico from the U.S., you are allowed to bring up to three liters of liquor or beer and six liters of wine per adult.
Two photographic cameras or video recorders, 12 rolls of film or videocassettes; photographic material.
You are allowed to bring a personal computer.
You are allowed to bring sporting equipment into Mexico without a declaration.
- A camping tent and camping equipment
- Kitesurfing Equipment
- Four fishing Rods
- One Wheel
Any medication you take to Mexico must be in the original prescription bottle. Placing pills into smaller containers for traveling is not allowed.
Passengers over 18 years of age, may introduce a maximum of up to 20 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco
Health Care Items
When it comes to medical devices and health care products, there are some extra rules that must be followed. First, the products must meet the standards that are in place. Second, products made outside of Mexico must have a legal representative in Mexico. Third, before the products can be sold in Mexico, they must be registered with the Secretariat of Health, or SSA. Almost all medical products can be brought into Mexico as long as they follow the rules. The only things that can’t be brought in are blood, blood products, and organs. Check out our section on health care for more information.
Traveling with Pets
Mexican customs will let you bring your cats or dogs with you as long as you have the right zoo-sanitary paperwork and the animal(s) look healthy when they arrive. You can bring up to three pets or other animals with you without having to pay taxes on them.
In Mexico, only cats and dogs are considered pets, and they need a health certificate from a vet that shows they have had their shots.
A Detailed List of Items you Can and Can’t Bring into Mexico
The following items are ALLOWED:
- Peeled almonds and hazelnuts
- Roasted coffee
- Pelletized cereals
- Spices: vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mace, amomum varieties, cardamom varieties, aniseed, coriander, fennel, ginger, saffron, turmeric, thyme, bay leaves, curry, etc.
- Dehydrated fruits (seedless)
- Cereal, oilseed, and legume flour
- Medicinal herbs (only dried)
- Dehydrated vegetables
- Ilkin palm tree seeds
- Seedless cashews and walnuts
- Dried pistachios (salted)
- Dehydrated tobacco
- Dried mate
- Animal Products
- Aged cheese
- Pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized liquid milk
- Condensed milk
- Powered milk
- Canned/packaged and labeled breastmilk substitute (infant formula)
- Serrano ham or aged shoulders
- Aged cured meats
- Thermally processed poultry and pork cured meats packaged, labeled, and sealed
- Packaged and labeled dried beef
- Turkey meats or smoked chicken
- Canned bottled and labeled pate from any species
- Wholly processed food preparations with meat content from any species (excluding ruminants) including any of the following consumables: eggs, honey and diary packaged and labeled products. For example: stuffed pasta, cheesecake, pates.
- Natural bottled honey
- Aquacultural Products
- Frozen or iced fresh fish in any presentation
- Dried, freeze-dried, cooked, or smoked fish in any presentation
- Canned or bottled fish, labeled, indicating the type of fish, expiration or preferred consumption date
- Fish products in other presentations (sauce, dry bone, crusts, etc.)
The following items are NOT ALLOWED
The following items are prohibited or restricted:
- Arms and ammunition
- Live fish
- Predators of any size
- Images representing children in a degrading or ridiculous way
- Used clothes that are not part of your personal luggage
- Firearms and ammunition
- Electronic cigarettes (as of February 2020)
The following Grocery items are prohibited or restricted:
- Animal Products and By-Products for Human Consumption
- Fresh meat of any species
- Sandwiches, snacks, sub sandwiches, hamburgers, pizzas, etc., with meat and diary content without intact packaging or sanitary seal from the competent authority
- The entry of wholly processed food preparations with bovine meat, such as meatballs, lasagna, ravioli, etc.
- Fresh cheeses
- Homemade or handmade products
- Fried chicken
- Aquaculture Products
- Live, raw or dried crustaceans
- Aquaculture products for animal consumption
- Live turtles
- Regulated aquatic sourced products in poor condition and/or decomposing and/or with the presence of larvae or insects
References and Other Adventures:
- Website: Mexico – Country Commercial Guide
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