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Import/Export

United States to Mexico

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Mexico. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

"Import of Alcoholic beverages into Mexico is permitted via ISC contract service. Business to consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) shipments are allowed into Mexico. Beer, wine and spirits (liquor). For B2B alcohol shipments into Mexico, the consignee must be registered in the Taxpayers Registry of Alcoholic Drinks to then get register in the Sectorial Import License for Alcoholic Drinks. There is no limit for beverage with less than 24% alcohol. Beverages between 24-70% alcohol need to be in containers less than 5 liters, there is no volume limit. Beverages over 70% alcohol are not permitted. For B2C, limit USD 1,000 for individual consumption, no more than one operation per month. All the drinks must follow the Estimated Prices determined by Fiscal Authorities. These items are not authorized to be imported with the UPS Standard Service, so UPS Worldwide Express, Saver or Expedited service required."
There are no gift exemptions for Mexico. All goods going into Mexico are subject to the normal duty and tax rates.

There are no gift exemptions for Mexico. All goods going into Mexico are subject to the normal duty and tax rates.

A Customs Broker must arrange clearance (either UPS broker or the importer's own broker). Alcoholic beverages are not a restricted commodity, but if the consignee cannot arrange clearance, then UPS will return any bottles that the contents are less than 24% of alcohol volume to the shipper. For bottles with more than 24% alcohol volume, UPS will abandon the shipment. These items are not authorized to be imported with the UPS Standard Service (Colombia & Tijuana).

For Formal Entry, Marbetes Tag for wine bottles is also required (Issued by a government agency in Mexico).

If the value of alcoholic beverages is less than 2500 USD, the importation may be carried out in a simplified procedure with prior authorization from the import customs office, paying the following fees:

Product / Fee

  • Beverages with alcoholic contenct and beer with an alcohol content of up to 14 degrees GL - 77% fee
  • Beverages with alcoholic contenct and beer with an alcohol content of up to 14 degrees GL and up to 20 degrees GL - 82% fee
  • Beverages with alcoholic contenct and beer with an alcohol content of more than 20 degrees GL - 114% fee
  • The above fees will have reductions if the products prove through documentation that they originate from a party country with which Mexico has entered into a Free Trade Agreement or Cooperation Agreement. Please consult the respective rate with the Brokerage or Compliance Team.

    Cows, goats, sheep, and pigs are considered domesticated animals. All other animals are considered non-domesticated animals. Items or products made from non-domesticated animals are restricted in the UPS system and only allowed with a UPS ISC contract. CITES permit and additional restrictions may apply, please check with your local ISC Coordinator.

    The importation into Mexico of products made with animals in danger of extinction is not allowed unless the recipient has a CITES permit and processes the import permit from the Secretariat of Natural Resources of Mexico (Semarnat).

    Articles sent to Mexico for animal consumption (internal or external) require a pre-arrival permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SAGARPA). Non-compliant shipments will be returned to origin as required by the law.
    Most of the books are exempt from taxes by Mexican customs.
    Catalogs are exempt from taxes by Mexican customs.
    Any person who enters or leaves the country with cash values (or through the UPS service), national or foreign checks, money order or any other document receivable, including a combination of them, with a value greater than $10,000 USD or the currency or equivalent currencies in question, they will be obliged to declare the amount before the customs authorities in the official forms approved by the National Customs Agency of Mexico (ANAM) or the SAT (Tax Administration Service), following the link you can download the approved form:

  • Download the form in (Declaration of income and withdrawal of cash and/or securities format (Spanish and English), here.

    If the check is found by the authorities, it will be confiscated, and the consignee is subject to fines and penalties and can be subject to criminal prosecution.

  • Chemical products require an attached technical letter and its corresponding HS Code. They are considered "Difficult to identify goods" and as such cannot be imported through a simplified procedure.

    In addition, a tariff restriction may apply to the product depending on the HS Code.

    To import CDs, it is necessary to provide a document with a value equal to or greater than 1 USD.
    Computers and Laptops can be imported no matter if they are used or new, but they need to comply with Quality Certification or Labeling Standards, aka NOM's, on shipments above 2,500 USD if applicable Link to SNICE

    Printers, monitors, mouse, CPU, keyboard, memory units, readers and scanners are allowed in for repair.

    In case your computer is transported with a lithium battery, please refer to Link to UPS Special Item Shipping Guide

    Articles sent to Mexico for human consumption (internal or external) require a pre-permit from the Health Ministry (Sanidad). Non-compliant shipments will be returned to origin as required by law.
    Mexican customs requires the consignee to obtain a permit from the Health Department (COFEPRIS) for all medicine or medical products regardless if they are from a company or from an individual for personal use.

    In the case of medicines for personal use, an import permit must be processed with the Health Department (COFEPRIS); which will be granted for a single occasion if it meets all the requirements imposed. If this permit is not presented, customs will not clear the shipment.

    These items are not authorized to be imported with the UPS Standard Service (Colombia & Tijuana).

    Electrical products in Mexico are required to comply with the Quality Certification Standards (NOM's).

    If the value of the shipment does not exceed 2,500 USD, the import can be carried out by simplified procedure, exempting compliance with the Quality Certification Standards (NOM's) (See numeral "1. Simplified entry" of the Commodity Specific Stipulation)

    All fasteners, screws, nuts, washers, etc., must have the following elements listed on the invoice:

    • Specific name description
    • Specific dimensions
    • International identification code
    • Product weight in kilograms

    If these elements are not specified, shipments will be held in customs.

    For import to Mexico:

    A permit is required to ship non-perishable foods to Mexico. Prior to shipping, the permit must be obtained by the consignee from the Department of Health in Mexico.

    All the food supplements without Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk permit (COFEPRIS) cannot be cleared for any Mexican Customs.

    Sweets (Candy, Cookies, Chocolate, etc)
    Food sold as sweets have additional taxes imposed by the government. To comply with classification, the invoice should list the percentage of sugar of the total product. For example, a candy bar may be 70% sugar by weight.

    Candy cigarettes (chocolate, sugar, etc.) are prohibited to import into Mexico in all forms.

    Please note This also applies for any gifts, personal or commercial.

    For export from México to abroad:

    For the export of food from Mexico to abroad, mainly to the USA, it is only allowed to be sent through air service, it is restricted through the standard service and will be returned to the sender.

    It is important to mention that only the shipment of food through the air service is allowed in small amounts or for personal consumption, not for resale, for example: bread, tortillas, cheese, >i>mole (in powder and paste), typical sweets (like cocadas, turrones, palanquetas, etc.), pralines, marzipan, ate, wafers, sweet pumpkin and sweet potato, guava roll, ravioli and peanuts, chocolates, fruit preserves, preserves (beans, corn, hominy corn, chiles), dough for tamales (corn dried or ground or prepared dough), tamale leaves, dried chiles, sauces.

    If the green card is complete, meaning written, then it can be imported providing the shipper writes the visible and legible code "49111099-impresos (printed)." If the green card is not complete, meaning not written, then you have to write the code "49119903-formas con claro para escribir (clear forms to be written)."
    Magazines are exempt from taxes by Mexican customs.

    But if it is part of a serialization (such as issues or editions) you must pay taxes.

    Mexican customs requires the consignee to obtain a permit from the Health Department (COFEPRIS) for all medicine or medical products regardless if they are from a company or from an individual for personal use.

    In the case of medical items for personal use, an import permit must be processed with the Health Department (COFEPRIS); which will be granted for a single occasion if it meets all the requirements imposed. If this permit is not presented, customs will not clear the shipment.

    These items are not authorized to be imported with the UPS Standard Service (Colombia & Tijuana) including toothpaste, dental floss, and any medical devices.

    Mexican customs requires the consignee to obtain a permit from the Health Department (COFEPRIS) for all medicine or medical products regardless if they are from a company or from an individual for personal use.

    In the case of medicine for personal use, an import permit must be processed with the Health Department (COFEPRIS); which will be granted for a single occasion if it meets all the requirements imposed. If this permit is not presented, customs will not clear the shipment.

    These items are not authorized to be imported with the UPS Standard Service (Colombia & Tijuana).

    Difficult-to-identify goods are that, due to their presentation in the form of powders, liquids or pharmaceutical forms, such as: pills, troches, tablets, granules, tablets, capsules and dragees, which require physical or chemical analysis, or both, to know their composition, nature, origin and other characteristics necessary to determine its tariff classification, regardless of the quantity and the consigned value. In this case, UPS will return these goods to their country of origin.
    Personal effects or personal goods, items that are used for personal use such as clothing, footwear, toiletries, and beauty products (provided they are used for and during the trip taken), can be shipped and cleared through customs as personal effects / goods. These shipments, however, require a copy of the itinerary and passport showing the trip details (which Must be within 6 months of import), not for sale, and their CURP# (similar to a U.S. Social Security number) if a Mexican citizen.

    Personal Effects / Goods must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description.

    If the shipment includes medicine, a copy of the prescription must be presented with the quantities and doses indicated.

    Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, and/or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis.

    Laptops can be considered as personal effects in Mexico, only if the goods are accompanied by the traveler at the time of arrival into Mexico.

    Personal effects or Personal Goods:

    Personal effects or Personal Goods:

    • Can only be shipped via UPS Express or UPS Expedited. Personal effects / goods that are shipped UPS Standard Service will result in the packages automatically returned to the Shipper.
    • Shipments sent via UPS Express or UPS Expedited service are accepted to most destinations and may be cleared by UPS or an alternate broker.

    Due to Mexican customs restrictions, personal effects / goods will not be accepted to the greater Colombia and Tijuana areas. Shipments containing these commodities will be returned to shipper.

    For shipments containing other commodities (e.g. not personal goods and/or effects), UPS must be the broker for U.S. to Mexico Standard service. Please refer to the link MX Port Contact List to verify which ports have restrictions regarding personal effects. These products may be subject to customs revision and may be held for an undefined period of time (see Immobilized shipments on see additional clearance information).

    Photographs are exempt from taxes by Mexican customs.
    For small package shipments (only authorized ports of Entry) valued less then 2,500 USD there are not restrictions for import.

    For Small Package shipments greater then 2,500 USD or all SCS shipments, the consignee must have the following requirements:

    • Padron de Importadores: Customers importer registration with the MX Customs Authority (SAT). This is completed in SAT´s website and applies to all importers of any material.

    • Padron Sectorial: An additional certification on the importers registration allowing them to import textiles. This is completed in SAT´s website.

    In order to avoid incorrect customs declarations at import, it is mandatory that the exporter provide all the detailed information about the shoes (what kind of leather, what material used for soles and uppers, if are sport shoes, sandals, boots and if are for children, women or men). Duties and taxes will be determined with this info. The only authorized ports to import shoes are:

    1. Mexico City Airport
    2. Ciudad Hidalgo Chiapas
    3. Lazaro Cardenas Michoacan (ocean)
    4. Manzanillo Colima (ocean)
    5. Mexico City (known as Pantaco)
    6. Guadalajara, Jalisco (only 10 pairs)
    7. Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
    8. Progreso, Yucatan (Merida)
    9. Tijuana, Baja California
    10. Veracruz (ocean)
    There are no restrictions for export shipments.
    To import software valued over US$1000.00 into Mexico, a sectorial register is required (Padron Sectorial). This is a national registry of importers and exporters. The importer of record must be registered in the appropriate sector. For software under US$1000.00, the importer must present an RFC number.
    An import license is required when the value of the shipment is equal to or greater than US$1,000.00. Prior to the shipment leaving the U.S., the consignee must obtain the import license.
    New Clothing

    When importing clothing with a declared value of US$2500 or greater, the consignee must have the following requirements in place to import textiles:

    • Padron de Importadores: Customer´s importer registration with the MX Customs Authority (SAT). This is completed through "Secretaria de Hacienda y Crédito Público" - link: SAT´s website.
    • Padron Sectorial: An additional certification on the importer´s registration allowing them to import textiles. This is completed through "Secretaria de Hacienda y Crédito Público" - link: SAT´s website.
    • Normas de Etiquetado: Labels/markings in the textiles comply with Mexican marking laws, or if goods are not for resale, a letter from the importer advising the goods will not be re-sold.
    • Certificado de Origen (Certificate of Origin) Optional. Required only when customer requests reduced duty through trade program (NAFTA, TPP, etc.)

    Some ports in Mexico do not allow import of textiles via Small Package. Please refer to the Mexico's Contacts to assure accepted in the port for your customer.

    Used Clothing

    Used clothing can be imported only if the consignee left clothes behind in another country or territory while traveling, and the used clothing is for personal use. The consignee must present an airline ticket or passport to demonstrate that he or she has recently returned to Mexico from traveling abroad.

    Toys can be imported according to their value (See the Commodity Specific Stipulation).

    In the case of toys intended for children under 3 years of age, it is required to comply with a permit of the Health Department (COFEPRIS).

    Unused traveler's checks must have a signature in order to be shipped. If the value exceeds US$10,000 a declaration signed by the shipper and consignee must be presented to the Mexican government.

    Declaration on bringing and taking money in cash and/or securities form (Spanish & English) may be found "Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito" - Link

    UPS will not pay the duties and taxes arising from import and export entries (Pedimentos) of products considered as vulnerable for the Mexican authorities.

    Duties and taxes will be paid through the PECA service (Centralized Customs Electronic Payment) according to the conditions and requirements established for this purpose.

    Products considered as vulnerable:

    • Ground, air and sea vehicles; new and used
    • Gambling and lottery machines, new and used
    • Equipment and materials for the manufacture of payment cards
    • Jewelry, watches, gemstones and precious metals, with a value equal or greater than 485 times UMA´s (UMA=$96.22 MXP)
    • Art work, with a value equal or greater than 4815 times UMA´s (UMA=$96.22 MXP)
    • Ballistic resistant materials for service provision of vehicle shieling, regardless of the value of the goods
    • Semiconductor supports, smart cards, cards incorporating an electronic integrated circuit (smart cards)
    • Semiconductor supports, smart cards, cards incorporating an electronic integrated circuit (smart cards)
    • All the electronic cards to pay (debit cards, credit cards, gift certificates and others)

    UPS cannot be the IOR on import of Vulnerable Products

    PECE Centralized Customs Electronic PaymentIs the payment form for Vulnerable goods to prevent the Money Laundering, the importer need to update their RFC in SAT (Service Tax Administration)

    Also is necessary to provide the following bank information, to pay the Pedimento Previously the importer need in their Bank Account register the patent Broker (Check where will be the Mexican Customs to clear to register the correct Broker License)

    • Branch where the account was open - Account number
    • Bank Name (only Banamex, Bancomer and HSBC)
    • Bank ID number (4 digits)

    Customs allows imported wheels, however, the consignee must present to Customs a special certificate called "NOM Certificate"; the Quality Certification Standards (aka NOM's) are mandatory for the importation and trade of tires, tubes or valves for motor vehicle wheels.

    • NOM-086/1-SCFI-2011 (tires)
    • NOM-086-SCFI-2010 (tires)
    • NOM-121-SCFI-2004 (inner tubes for tires)
    • NOM-134-SCFI-1999 (tire valves)

    All shipments containing solid wood require:
    • SEMARNAT permit: for Marketing Purposes or for Non-marketing Purposes
    • Confirmation of payment of SEMARNAT permit
    • Ocular inspection (RV) - link
    • Fumigation stamp on all the sides. This includes, pallets, crating and the goods being shipped
    • May require an international phytosanitary certificate before entering Mexico, depending on the characteristics of the product
    Goods made of heat-treated or processed wood (plywood), require only the Ocular Inspection (RV) approval.

    Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

    All products containing tobacco require a permit from COFEPRIS and payment of duties / taxes directly from the IOR account "Centralized Customs Electronic Payment" (PECE).

  • Link

    In addition, cigarette importers require the Sectorial Import License (see section "Registration in the specific sector of cigarettes"):

  • Link
  • Credit cards, as they are merchandise marked as vulnerable products by the Mexican government, require for their import a formal entry with an IOR correctly registered in México other than UPS, payment of taxes directly from the IOR account ELECTRONIC PAYMENT FOREIGN TRADE (PECE) and several affidavits that identify the owner or ultimate beneficiary of these credit cards, since these can be used for the financing of crimes or management of resources of illicit origin.

    Information on how to set up PECE payment can be found here.

    For the previous reasons, the importation to Mexico of credit cards through small parcel with simple entry called T1 is restricted and all shipments will be returned to origin.

    This restriction also applies to debit cards and all electronic payment cards.

    The importation of electronic cigarettes and vapers in all its forms is prohibited in Mexico.
    Marijuana is forbidden to import in Mexico in all forms. This includes seeds, tablets, ointment, herbs, dust, etc. even when intended for medical use.
    Meat can only be imported/exported if the customer must have a Senasica permit, which is issued per shipment by the MX Government. More info can be found here.
    The importation of weapons (and their parts such as telescopic sights or others), knives and explosives of any kind is regulated by the Mexican Army.

    For knives, this rule applies specifically to knives that are for military use or as a weapon.

    The army import permit (SEDENA) is required for each shipment.

    If goods are denied access by the MX authorities, the goods will be seized by the government and not allowed to return to origin.

    To know the requirements to get the permit please click here.

    Negotiable bonds and drafts are prohibited.

    NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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