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Problems Obtaining A Menaje de Casa from Cozumel


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#1 chris in cozumel

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:24 PM

I have been living in Cozumel for 9 months and I love it here, but it can be kind of crazy dealing with the bureaucracy. I shipped my household goods in a shipping container to Progresso, but I wasnít aware that I needed a Menaje de Casa issued from the consulate in the town that I used to live in to have my furniture released by Customs. From everything that I have read you have 6 months to move your furniture down here after obtaining your FM3. Immigration in Cozumel has confirmed that. Since I live here the consulate in Dallas said I could get a power of attorney and my sister in Dallas could sign for me if I sent everything there including my FM3. Now the Consulate is saying that since I have lived in Mexico over 6 months that they canít give me the Menaje de Casa. Does anyone know how to find a copy of the law so that I can show it to the people in consulate?

The biggest problem with living here is that everyone interprets the law the way that they want to and everything is no problem until someone has to put their stamp on it.
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#2 CZMDM

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:46 PM

It used to be a year, but I have heard that it has been changed to a shorter period. You need a local shipping agent. I know that we were required to use one, but we brought in a boat and a car, so I don't know if that matters. I really doubt that you can do it without one.
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#3 Coz2wonder

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:38 PM

Chris:

First question: WHO shipped your furniture?

Second question: You CAN NOT ship furniture across the boarder without your "Menaje de Casa" that is a letter that YOUR Broker would have provided when the furniture was at the boarder, PRIOR to crossing along with the inventory.

You don't need a copy of the law, you need to contact the shipper and find out what to heck they did with the paperwork.

In other words, you could NOT have gotten across the boarder with a household of furniture without documentation, unless somebody did something illegal.

I just shipped 8 thousand pounds worth of furniture in here 6 mnoths ago on an FM2. You have to have an FM3 for 5 years, and I already had my FM2 for at least one year.

You need to contact your shipper...
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#4 Coz2wonder

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:41 PM

Chris:

First question: WHO shipped your furniture?

Second question: You CAN NOT ship furniture across the boarder without your "Menaje de Casa" (That is your inventory of your household goods) that is a letter that YOUR Broker would have provided when the furniture was at the boarder, PRIOR to crossing the boarder. Where is your inventory documents?

You don't need a copy of the law, you need to contact the shipper and find out what to heck they did with the paperwork.

In other words, you could NOT have gotten across the boarder with a household of furniture without documentation, unless somebody did something illegal.

I just shipped 8 thousand pounds worth of furniture in here 6 mnoths ago on an FM2. You have to have an FM3 for 5 years, and I already had my FM2 for at least one year.

You need to contact your shipper...

As for Progresso, in my experience they are the worst places you can imagine to ship anything in to.

if you send me an email, I will send your the guidelines, and sample letters of what you need. islandgirl@ecozumel.net
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#5 chris in cozumel

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:54 PM

I used a company out of New Orleans called Missionary Expediters. We had made a conference call to the Consulate in New Orleans and they said it could be handled down here. After I contacted the custom brokers (Lopez, Mena) here I learned that I couldn't do it here, but by then everything was shipped. The consulate in Dallas was ready to give me the Menaje de Casa yesterday until they realized I had been here longer than 6 months. But I have only been here 4 months since I got my FM3. My attorney is trying to reach the Consulate in Dallas but that is difficult to do.
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#6 Coz2wonder

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:57 PM

Chris, I am telling you, the shipper could NOT legally have shipped across the boarder without all the documents...

You PAID for the service, and the Broker...demand the documents from the shipper.

I looked at the shipper service you used...my guess they used a container and shipped out of Miami with Hyde Shipping into Progresso.

NO SHIPPER would have touched your goods without documentation, and surly not Hyde.
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#7 Charles

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:03 PM

In a mild correct of Paula's statement, you CAN ship stuff here, you just can't get it without paying a small fortune in taxes, duty and broker fees. I can't imagine a shipper taking this on without the documentation that is surely going to be needed. Even if importing stuff without benefit of using the menaje de casa, you would need detailed inventor lists, values, countries of origin etc.

Progresso has been a very difficult port to ship a container OUT of Mexico into the U.S. Probably no one has done more research and pulled off a more complex and complicated move as Paula and her advice is fresh. What may have been valid as to procedures five to ten years ago may be entirely different. Sorry, but this seems like a mess and at face value, it seems that the shipper has a lot of moral responsibility if not legal to help straighten it out.

I was checking for arrival of a container scheduled to have arrived in Alaska to have been shipped out of Progresso. It took some phone calls and tracking people down to find out that not only had it not been shipped, the customs broker handling the shipment in Merida hadn't even transferred the container to Progresso, it was still in a warehouse in Merida. When you are expecting an arrival of a shipment and it is now two weeks past due in Alaska, there were not happy people when they found out it had not even been sent to Progresso. It was late, it needed to be offloaded in Mississippi, railroaded to Washington state via Chicago and then transferred to a cargo barge destined for Alaska. No need to verify the name of the broker at fault there, I doubt he is in business and may no longer be alive.

You are going to seriously need the services of an attorney as well as a customs broker in the State of Yucatan. I honestly have no idea, but I would not discount the possibility it might need to be returned to the States and start the process over.

Did you have detailed inventory lists included? Paula managed to accomplish what many doubted could even be done, about as potentially complicated as it can be. If done properly and timely with your menaje de casa, it can be fairly straight forward, but the word simple does not exist in any matters of governmental regulations. I don't know what changes are in store for Rentista FM3s that go into effect on May 1st of this year. Monica is the paralegal that handles work for many people with immigration matters and is perhaps the person most qualified to know what exactly the regulations are this week. I am being just a bit facetious in the comment as to this week, but the long awaited over haul of the whole FM3 system is in limbo now. The law was passed the end of January, officially published last month and the details and legalities are being researched as to how they are to be applied. It could be necessary to hurry and it could be better to wait.
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#8 Coz2wonder

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:30 PM

Charles, I have only used a professional mover, and as the "consignee" they (the movers) had to provide all the proper documents to Customs, prior to shipment.

It is the "consignees" responsibility for the content of the shipment. Therefore, they MUST document what is in the shipment.

I did find a site that may or may not of of use. At least it's in Progresso, and it is a Custom Broker for export, and importations into and out of Mexico.

Look at "Our Services" on the site. http://www.progresso-chb.com/

Hope this helps.
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#9 chris in cozumel

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:53 PM

I do have an Attorney Dora Uribe working on it and I have Lopez Mena for my customs brokers. I also, have detailed shipping lists in Spanish and in English. I have them on each box and I have the lists also. I have all of the documentation that I need except for the Menaje de Casa. Everything that they need is with the Consulate in Dallas. She just has be made to realize that the law states that I have 6 months to bring in my goods after receiving the FM3 and not after having arrived here. The front of the FM3 has the date that I arrived in Mexico and that is what she going by.
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#10 Charles

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 01:01 AM

You came down on a tourist visa and then later applied for your FM3? The new law which I'm not sure anyone knows about yet, is going to radically change things in the States away from dealing with the Consulates. Previously most people got their FM3s in the States and processed their menaje de casas from there too at the same time. Now we're in limbo time now. It is the belief that Consulates will no longer be allowed to issue FM3s, they will have to be done entirely in Mexico. Whatever with the new law will address issues like this as your manner may become not only the normal way, but the only way to obtain the FM3. It is hard to guess what role and how menajes will be processed.

It seems that the Consulate may not be clear on the current law, but then all the rules and regulations should change after May 1st and supposedly to provide consistency, speed and efficiency. In the past you could talk to five Consulates and get six different stories.

Lopez Mena can handle things in the Yucatan or could it be better to use a broker based in the Yucatan? That is a question for your attorney.

I have only shipped items commercially which required an importation license and once all the information was in the customs system, shipping was a breeze. It was the first time since it was a commercial account, that was fun getting all the info into the system. What I meant was I could have had merchandise shipped down by anyone. I bought the merchandise, paid for the shipping and then it was my responsibility to deal with customs upon arrival. If my business did not have all the licenses and permits in order for dealing with aduana, I might well have been taxed more than the value of the merchandise. It seems that a competent shipper should have known to have all ducks in order and as Paula said, Progresso has never been known for ease of shipping, coming or going.
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#11 divadiver

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:01 AM

Chris, I did the menaje de casa myself and drove across the border 3 yrs ago. The law is 6 months from the date of issue of your FM-3. Inventory lists must be in Spanish, boxes numbered & a brief description of the contents. All electronics on the inventory must have the description, manufacturer & serial numbers listed.

I imagine now, that you missed the window for menaje, you'll have to pay taxes & duty.

One thing you probably need to do is review your contract with the shipper. It sounds to me like they dropped the ball on their responsibility.

I got both my FM-3 & menaje thru the Dallas consulate. Here's the email for the person I dealt with Muriel Cabrera - mcabrera@consulmexdallas.com. Now that was 3+ yrs ago, so I'm not sure that she is still there.

The reason the consulate asked for your FM-3 is that they make a notation in it.

I have a vague recollection from old posts that containers coming into Progresso can take a very long time, before being released. Yours is likely delayed much longer with your complications.
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#12 chris in cozumel

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 01:45 PM

I actually have until May 15th before I miss the deadline for the 6 months grace period.
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#13 Coz2wonder

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:55 PM

So Chris, any updates???

fingers crossed.
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#14 nauticab

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:17 PM

hate to say this, but choosing lopez mena was your first mistake. i have heard horror stories from many people about using their services to get their stuff here. i used to use them but was told by official folks to NOT use them anymore. i know mexican nationals that had problems getting their personal furniture released to them....took them months. others that took even more.
if you can, CHANGE your importer to Lopez Castro, with paty, who is here in cozumel. she does NOT speak much english at all, but will get you moving. they have offices in cancun, and i'm sure can get someone to progresso or at least recommend someone who will actually get the job done.
you can change your importer ANYTIME you want. dont let anyone steer you otherwise. and dont give any importer a REASON for changing. just change.
paty can be reached at 987 114 1470, or office 987 869 8407
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#15 Charles

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 11:16 PM

On top of everything else, Lopez Mena was a local PANista candidate back a few years. Now what, how might local and State elections and party affiliation have impact upon performing duties as they pertain to Federal codes? Well, you could add that to the list of possible reasons why not to use Lopez Mena. If the problem is in Progresso, you probably need a person fluent in the situation and processes in the State of Yucatan.
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#16 chris in cozumel

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 01:33 PM

They finally gave my sister my Menaje de Casa yesterday. The only problem is that they made her sign her name. My name is on the front but the Consulate didn't know if I would have problems signing for the shipment. The saga continues. I am not sure that I can change Custom Brokers at this point because Lopez Mena is on the shipping documents and has all of my doucuments. Thanks everybody for your help. I will keep you all informed. I am sure we are far from done.
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#17 Coz2wonder

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 01:43 PM

Chris, that should not be a problem at all.

Your next hurdle is getting it out of Progresso.

Have you prepaid for your items to come to Cozumel? Are you going to attempt to deal with them on your own?

The reason I am asking is because we had a generator shipped into Progresso, and they wanted $1,000 usd's to bring it to Coz. That was not going to happen.

We hired a dump truck here, #70, Dario owns it, and he went with my husband and the whole thing, plus bribes costs $450 usd's. It was $60 bucks to get into the Progresso gate, and $80 usd's to get out...the rest was labor and ferry costs.
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#18 chris in cozumel

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 02:10 PM

The original shipping company was already paid to get it from Progresso to Cancun.
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#19 Coz2wonder

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 02:33 PM

okay, but I thought you where moving to Cozumel?

To take it all the way to Cancun, to only bring it back again...oh well.

As to your FM status...that's BS, plain and simple.

I verified with 5 different sources prior to my shipment 6 months ago and I had every right to do a ONE TIME shipment of household goods in here, regardless if I had an FM3 or FM2.
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#20 nauticab

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 03:43 PM

it doesn't matter if lopez mena has everything. you ask for it back and fire them once you have found another agent to help you.
my experience with them was with my store merchandise years ago. they took over 3 weeks to revise my stuff, then their comercializadora kept holding things up (which was NOT the case i later found out), and other lies. i had already paid the aduana fees as was quoted to me. we got our money back immediately, and all the paperwork, immediately. they are working FOR YOU, not the other way around. they can be fired, just like a lawyer can.
i highly URGE you to find another person. paty is a fantastic resource. i have been using her for many years, they have rushed my merchandise, they have hustled when i needed it. and they can provide all the info you need. and no BS either. if she is your contact, even if another person is physically working on your stuff, she will make sure it is done timely.
good luck!
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