Couple walking along beach at El Arco

Mexico Customs Information You Should Know

International travelers are permitted to import into Mexico with them on their arrival to the interior of the country, without duty or formal declaration up to $300.00 (US) worth of merchandise in one or several articles. Travelers are permitted to carry up to the equivalent of $10,000.00 U.S. currency in cash or negotiable credit instruments upon arrival to Mexico, without the need to declare it.

U.S, citizens must carry proof of citizenship when crossing into Mexico. Officials of the National Immigration Institute, posted at border entry points, require a passport, birth certificate, voter registration card, or any other document that proves citizenship. This is a change from the past. The law applies to all border cities, and is an attempt to implement uniform immigration laws on both northern and southern borders.

Each U.S. citizen may bring back Mexican purchases valued to $400 retail, duty free every 30 days. Federal duty fees will be assessed on the value of articles above the $400 exemption. NOTE: many items of Mexican manufacture, such as handicrafts and jewelry, may qualify for exemption above the $400 limit; ask for GSP brochure on special exemptions from U.S. Customs and shop till you drop!

Visitors to Mexico border cities will seldom need Mexican currency. U.S. dollars are readily accepted at the current exchange rate. Mexican banks, large hotels / motels and tourist service facilities provide currency exchange if needed.


Mexico Customs Change in Entry/Departure Requirements
Beginning on January 23, 2007, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will require U.S. citizens to present a valid U.S. passport or other accepted identification when entering or departing the United States by air or sea travel to or from Mexico or Canada.

Before Departure
U.S. Citizens are required to show proof of citizenship when traveling to and from Mexico. Each visitor needs a valid picture I.D. and one of the following:

  • a state-issued birth certificate with an affixed seal, or
  • a naturalization certificate, with a laminated naturalization card, or
  • a valid U.S. passport (expired passports are not valid)

Please visit the U.S. Department of State official Travel Initiative site for more Change in Entry/Departure Requirements information. Information on obtaining or renewing your passport can be accessed through the TIA Passport portal.

For more complete information on obtaining and renewing passports, including forms to renew by mail and expedited service options, see the U.S. Department of State Passport site.

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