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Mexican Customs In Cancun


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#1 itzrandy

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 01:10 PM

We are coming to Cozumel for Christmas and I was wondering where I can find out what's legal to bring into Mexico in case we get the RED light.  We aren't bringing any liquor/cigarettes, fresh veggies or meat, but there are alot of things in boxes and cans that I want to bring to fix Christmas dinner, i.e. stuff I know already that is unavailable there.  I want to bring my own spices and boxed items, and a few cans. And a few gifts for friends.  Someone told me that you can only bring in 3 toys???  That's weird.  Is there a dollar amount that everything has to add up to???  Thanks.  We have always come before, but just to dive, and never brought anything unusual.


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#2 Coz2wonder

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 01:33 PM

Items in original packaging is okay, canned goods okay.  No dog treats that contain meat product.

 

You are allowed $300 usd's per person without duty.

 

Make sure the toys do not have 'Made in China" tag.  Distribute the toys between suitcases.

 

You can peruse though the list provided by Yucalandia on what is legal, or could be subject to duty, or not allowed, Current as of Oct. 2013. http://yucalandia.co...es-the-article/


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#3 Carey

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 02:13 PM

Whoever wrote you could only bring in 3 toys is WRONG.  I guess if you were bringing in 3 Playstations, then yah.  I live here and regularly come back with 2 giant suitcases crammed to the brim with goodies.  Lots of food but it's always in professionally sealed containers. For example, unopened, sealed bottles of dried spices.  Lots of toys, puzzles, kites, you name it. If a customs agent gives me a look I just smile and say "para los niños" (for the children).  They don't give a hoot and no way a couple of suitcases worth of food items and  toys is going to be considered over $600 USD.  No way.  Especially if you are a tourist.

 

If you are bringing a lot of expensive looking toys, you can either take them out of their boxes and repackage them so they look used.  Or bring the receipts all stapled together in a big wad and wave those in their face if asked how much merch you have.


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#4 itzrandy

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:49 AM

Thanks Carey for the helpful advice.  I did not get such good advice on Trip Advisor!  Randy is going to "play" Santa while we are there, I think Alison Dennis is going to find out if he can visit the home for battered and abused children.  And he will be going to the Money Bar on family Sunday Day.  If you see Santa in the Square, you will know it's him.  He wants me to dress like an elf.  We wanted to bring small toys and candy, plus we have all our regular dive gear, so space is limited.  Then I  voluntered to cook for 12 people at the B and B where we are staying so I was concerned about bringing some items in and getting them confiscated in Cancun.  We won't be bringing any fresh products or alcohol/tobacco.  Maybe the stars will be in the right position on the 13th of December and we will get the Green light.  Randy should put his Santa Hat on as he goes through the gauntlet.  Thanks again.


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#5 itzrandy

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:51 AM

Oh, I forgot to add, Why can't ;you bring things made in China.  I swear I have seen stuff in Mega from there?????  Is this something new?  But good to know, I will just rip out the labels if I can.


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#6 Carey

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 07:14 AM

Well, sometimes they will confiscate things that say made in China on them if they're feeling energetic.  So it IS best to remove said labels where possible or else pack where they're a little harder to churn up in your suitcase.  All kinds of Chinese made stuff here now so I don't understand it either but better safe than sorry right now.

 

Since you are coming into Cancun, I'm not familiar with customs there as to whether they are stricter than Coz or what.  That being the case, just save a bunch of receipts from Wal Mart, etc and staple them together.  If asked about the valuable of the items, you can wave the pile or receipts at them and chances are extremely good they will not want to take the time to check them out.  They would if, as I said, you were bringing in a couple of playstations and a boom box or two or a laptop or two.  But toys and some food items?  As I said, no way over $600 for the two of you.

 

And, yes, the Santa hat is actually a good idea.  It will make them smile and if you ARE questioned about the toys, that will go very well with 'for the children".  Practice saying that in Spanish.

 

Candy, by the way, is perhaps not such a good idea.  A lot of parents here, just as in the US, kinda get miffed when people give their kids candy.  Not because of any safety issues but because it's bad for them.  Just a word to the wise on keeping that gifting down to a dull roar.  The little toys are a great idea.  I would recommend inexpensive squirt guns as one popular item but you've prolly already thought of that. 


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#7 cvchief

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 08:24 AM

I have brought huge bags of stuffed kids toys and glow sticks and what not with me through Cancun for Carnival.  I spouted the Ninos thing and they smiled as they dug through my bag.  Only time I ever had issues is with 'someone's' supply of ecigs.  Apparently they calculated how many reg cigs they amounted to and then dinged us for that.  Bright side was it was my sister in law who got the ding, so that made it more amusing for me....


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#8 marlinfishing

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:48 PM

I just bought (4) salt fishing reels w/different crank to spool ratios to experiment with & some lures to bring in May for our use.  The total will probably be around $700.00-$800.00 by time I finish my purchases.  I'll be taking the reels out of their original packaging and spreading them out between (3) pieces of luggage.  The reels will be going back w/me, the lures(maybe $90.00) will stay(whether they work or not, w/my fishing captain friend) on the island.  I read everything on the posts and followed the links.  I only saw "(4) fishing rods" so I'm assuming that's the same for reels if you don't bring the rods?  Not a big thing, just curious.


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#9 Steve

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 07:11 PM

For the last 3 or 4 years I have always had something to declare as I have been over the limit on some things you are allowed to bring in. I check the yes box on the declaration form because I am willing to pay the duty. When I hand it to the person at the light they glanc it over and put it in with the rest then tell me to press the button. I have always gotten green so I go right through. Itt might be luck but at least I checked the correct box so it is not my fault.


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#10 mstevens

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 10:07 AM

"stuff I know already that is unavailable there"

 

The worst that could happen with food items is they might confiscate something. You end up the same if they confiscate it or you leave it at home, so there's little harm in trying. That said, I've been amazed at what can sometimes be found on the island.


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#11 Carey

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 10:12 AM

Here's my current can't find list for this week:

whole cloves

whole allspice

marjarom

larger, unbroken bay leaves

gluten flour

bread flour

any vitamins at a decent price


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#12 KAC

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 11:59 AM

Carey,

Try Pacsadeli for hard to find spices. I bought cloves there last year around the holidays for my ham.
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#13 ccannon707

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 07:33 PM

Next trip I'm bringing in nice linens - requested by my hotel folks - to trade for room rent. Good to know about the $300 duty free limit.


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...Christine

 

I drink to forget, but I eat to remember.... so it all balances out

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#14 TRAVELER89

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 10:20 PM

Whole cloves/clavos.... the market on a small stand in the aile on the east side, aways fresh!

Gluten flour or gluten free flour....... check Mega!

Bread flour...................................... check Mega!


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#15 Carey

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 07:48 AM

no gluten or bread flour at the mega.  cake flour which is quite different. 

 

I'll check for the clavos at the mercado.  Thanks.


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#16 Carey

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 07:54 AM

Next trip I'm bringing in nice linens - requested by my hotel folks - to trade for room rent. Good to know about the $300 duty free limit.

Depending on how many sheet sets you are bringing in, you have several choices.

 

#1.  Take all of them ouf of their packaging and refold so they look just a little bit used.  Call them 'viejas' and if ask the worth of each, say $20/set.

#2.  Leave them in the packaging -- a better option for cramming more in your suitcase -- and if asked, value them at $30 USD/set.  There are no uber high thread count sheets available in these parts right now that I'm aware of so it is not going to occur to the customs agent that those sheets might be valued at $60 or more each.

#3.  Keep all your receipts and if you are over the $300 limit, pay duty on the overage. (Be sure to bring pesos along, however, as they won't accept dollars for customs fees.)


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#17 ccannon707

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:33 PM

Thanks for the tips, Carey. I lucked out on catching a linen shop closing and got 9 sets of 300 TC King & Double cotton sheets @ $32+/-...  no need to fudge on prices :) I've picked up another couple sets of nice sheets at the local high-end thrift store.

 

I did keep the receipts. Now I'm figuring out how to transport - sheets are bulky and heavy! I may unwrap anyway to get rid of the plastic & the cardboard inside. Thankfully, hotel folks did say they would reimburse the airline fee of an extra bag. Never pictured myself smuggling.... sheets. :lol:


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...Christine

 

I drink to forget, but I eat to remember.... so it all balances out

.· `·. ><((((º> .· `·. <º))))>< ,·. ..· `·. .· `·. <º))))>< .· `·.


#18 Coz2wonder

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:39 PM

suck'm bags...you can get a S%#t load of stuff in them, and they take up a lot less room.

 

The sheets here, are horrible.  I bought some at SAM'S, paid WAY to much for that junk!

 

Had to go back and edit "suck'm bags"...those bags are available at Walmart, Linen & Things, and the are the bags that you suck all the air out of.


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#19 ccannon707

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:49 PM

Thanks for the tip, Paula... I'll have to look for those. It's a mystery to me why decent sheets are so hard to get there - a business opportunity for somebody!


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...Christine

 

I drink to forget, but I eat to remember.... so it all balances out

.· `·. ><((((º> .· `·. <º))))>< ,·. ..· `·. .· `·. <º))))>< .· `·.


#20 Coz2wonder

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 02:06 PM

you can purchase bamboo sheets here for about $100 plus USD's...

 

It's what the general population can afford.  Sheets are not at the top of the budget item.

 

That's why we love mules...you can find what we need, at a reasonable price and are willing to bring them down.

 

We LOVE our mules.  Have you hugged your Mule today????


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