Border Inspections

San Felipe, Baja, Mexico


The automated selection mechanism or traffic light at the border selects vehicles to turn into Secondary where a search of their belongings and vehicle content will be performed by the Customs authority. The result of the automated selection mechanism is not based upon any personaly criteria but is completely random.
....Green light: you go through Customs without Inspection.
.....Red light: the Customs officers will perform the inspection.
In the case of the red light, it's determined that your belongings and transportation means must be inspected in order to assure that your merchandises, as well as those brought in as duty free items, are within the limits established by the law. The border authorities appreciate your cooperation. The staff of the Mexico Customs Office is obliged to serve you with courtesy, kindness and respect. If there is any irregularity in the way the Customs office authorities treat you, report it to the Secodam desk or call Sactel at 01 800 0014 800.

Which items are part of your personal luggage?

Both the passengers coming from north of the border as well as the passengers who are residents of Mexico or abroad, are entitled to bring into the country the following listed items:

List of items that form part of your personal luggage:
1. A reasonable number of NEW OR USED items of personal use, according to the length of your trip: clothes, footwear and products of toiletry, etc.
2. A camera, or video camera, 12 rolls or reels of unused film (virgin), 12 video cassettes, a cellular telephone, a radio-pager, a typewriter, a portable computer, laptop, notebook, omnibook or another similar, new or used. In these cases an import permit is not required.
3. Two personal used items of sport equipment that can be carried by one person.
4. A portable radio or recorder or combination of both.
5. Five laser disks, five DVD disks, 20 compact disks (CD) or 20 audiocassettes.
6. Books and magazines in a quantity that may not be interpreted as a commercial shipment.
7. Five toys, which can be normally carried by one person.
8. Medicines for personal use. In the case of psychotropic substances, you should submit their respective prescription.
9. Suitcases, luggage and bags, used to carry the aforementioned items.
10. In the case of adult passengers, up to 20 packages of cigarettes, 25 cigars, or 200 grams of tobacco, and up to 2 liters of wine, beer or liquor.
11. A pair of binoculars.
12 A musical instrument which can be carried by one person
13. A tent and camping gear.
14. A wind surfer with or without sail.

Which items can you bring into Mexico duty free?
.... • The items that are included in your personal luggage.
.....• Those items included within the tax exemption you are entitled to.
Tax exemption: This is the exemption granted to a national or foreign individual, from paying duties and taxes on the items brought into or taken out of the country.
.....If you are a resident in the border region, the value of the items imported for your personal use should not exceed the equivalent in Mexican currency to $U.S. $150 on a daily basis.

When people enter into national territory in a private vehicle and more than two people are traveling together, the value of the items carried as a whole shall not exceed the equivalent to U.S. $400 Dollars.

.....If you are a national or foreigner passenger you are entitled to bring goods up to U.S. $50 Dollars or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, in one or several items, except in the case of beer, alcoholic beverages, manufactured tobacco and fuel, except for that contained in the vehicle's tank that meets the manufacture's specifications. You should have the invoice or sale receipt or any other document stating the commercial value of the merchandises.

The tax exemption may be accumulative and include the father, the mother and the children including minors, if and when the arrival into national territory is simultaneous and in the same means of transport. (For example, a family of 5 people is entitled to a tax exemption of U.S. $250 Dollars, U.S. $50 per person).
If upon arrival or departure of national territory you are carrying an amount in cash or check or a combination of both over ten US. thousand dollars or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, you are obliged to declare it to the Customs authorities.
If due to any circumstance someone asks you for money to avoid or expedite any procedure or in order that you leave without going through the Customs Office, refuse to do it and report it immediately. Do not participate or encourage corruption. Proceed to the Secodam desk or call to Sactel toll free number 01 800 0014 800 or 01 800 2238 262 of the Customs Office Service Center (CASA) free of charge and they will gladly help you.