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Moving personal goods to Mexico 2nd time around

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Post by Milena Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:48 pm

I moved Lakeside 5 yrs ago at which time I drove down, hauling a 6x10 cargo trailer with my personal effects & some small household goods. I registered both vehicles at Nogales crossing, but no inspection occurred there, nor at the checkpoint a few miles further (I got the green light!).

I had to return to Canada 2 yrs ago for urgent family issues, and now am coming back. I can't drive my non-NAFTA Japanese SUV due to my upcoming Permenente status change in April so am looking into hiring a movers or freight forwarding company to get a couple dozen boxes sent.
The companies I have contacted have either not responded or told me they know nothing of Mexico's policies so I am on my own to find out. I need to know which scenario most closely fits what could happen to my shipment of goods by Mexican customs:

a ) load permitted to enter, no duty
b ) load permitted to enter, duty incurred
c ) load refused entry because customs computer shows me having moved a cargo trailer 5 yrs ago & only permitted one move of personal goods.

I need to know before I spend several hundred or thousands of $ only to have it turned back, as I won't be crossing with it, so even paying mordida won't be possible. And if they were to deem it seizeable & destroy my things, including a lifetime of family photos, I would be devastated. Can anyone weigh in with their experiences? Many thanks!


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Post by gringal Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:51 pm

You probably need some professional advice before taking action here.
I do know that you get only one "menage de casa" freebie when you first move.
Did you use one?

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Post by Milena Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:14 pm

I know that I prepared a nicely typed inventory of each numbered box, listing detailed contents, in both English & Spanish, multiple copies in case required. I don't recall anyone asking for them though. Is this done right at the border where vehicles are registered or only at the checkpoint further in?

I am not planning on a full menaje de casa, though, just a few boxes of clothes, books, TV, computer, some small household & kitchen wares. I don't even mind paying duty, I just need to know my stuff will be allowed in.

Has anyone ever moved in a load of things after using their original 'menaje de casa' and if so, what was your experience at customs?

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Post by Luisa Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:00 pm

My experience has been that you either need to contact an agent who is in the business of coordinating shipments between countries, or a Chapala-area moving company that will be familiar with the ins and outs of shipping into Mexico. Your local Canadian moving companies just don't have the experience with international moves.

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Post by JayBear Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:30 pm

Strom White movers in Ajijic should be able to answer your questions. Whitemovers@gmail.com or 376-766-6153. Good luck!

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Post by Milena Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:26 pm

JayBear wrote:Strom White movers in Ajijic should be able to answer your questions. Whitemovers@gmail.com or 376-766-6153. Good luck!

Have emailed them twice, via the Contact Us link on their website, one week ago, no reply. Not encouraging. Phoning from Canada seems a poor risk at this rate. Will try another moving company.

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Post by Clueless Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:59 am

Many people find that it doesn't pay to move things like furniture down here due to the cost and potential problems. That's why most homes are sold furnished.

When I came here I flew 28 boxes down airfreight and all my paperwork was in order. I was still told at the airport I had to pay some fees since my importation of my stuff was "temporary." Of course this was B.S. but my second choice was to let it sit there while I tried to convince someone in authority not to charge me. I ended up paying since the amount was not enough to be worth the fight.

So take a look and see if you might not be better off just bringing your necessary personal stuff down rather than what you can replace here.

Just a thought.
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Post by Milena Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:06 am

Clueless wrote:Many people find that it doesn't pay to move things like furniture down here due to the cost and potential problems. That's why most homes are sold furnished.

When I came here I flew 28 boxes down airfreight and all my paperwork was in order. I was still told at the airport I had to pay some fees since my importation of my stuff was "temporary." Of course this was B.S. but my second choice was to let it sit there while I tried to convince someone in authority not to charge me. I ended up paying since the amount was not enough to be worth the fight.

So take a look and see if you might not be better off just bringing your necessary personal stuff down rather than what you can replace here.

Just a thought.


I am guessing you did not read my previous posts. I am only bringing a couple dozen boxes of personal goods, no furniture.

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Post by Milena Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:52 pm

Good news, for anyone else wanting to know about this. Just heard from Teresa at Strom-White.

Says she, "You are allowed, with a Permanente, to bring in all your used household goods duty free. Only new items, 6 months old or less, must you pay duty on. It is your visa status they will look at... it is the Permanente they will look at as the date entering the country."

So apparently, you can bring in your possessions on more than one occasion, and without charge except for new items. Fine by me!

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