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Old 06-01-2017   #1 (permalink)
lost on fifth
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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Clearing Customs w/ Household Goods at CUN

I recently purchased a small, modest house in Playa, but it won't be ready to move into until December. Next week, I'll be flying down to visit with friends in Playa for two weeks and plan on bringing three suitcases full of a ton of household goods (plates, cups, bowls, pots, pans, silverware, a rice cooker, lots of kitchenware, two bathroom faucets, etc.). I'll then store these belongings in Playa until I'm able to bring more stuff down during future trips before or during December.

I've been to CUN many times now and have experienced the red light/green light customs process. I've never once received the infamous red light. This will be the first time that I've brought a significant amount of outside goods, which normally sets off a red flag for them.

It seems as if I am allowed to bring up to $1,000 worth of household goods without needing to declare anything (which I don't plan on doing). If I do get the red light, which requires inspection, is there anything that I can do in advance? I wouldn't have an official 'menaje de casa', but I would print out a spreadsheet that includes all items and their corresponding current re-sell value just in case.

Also, is there anything that I should be saying to the customs agent if questions do arise? I will be entering Mexico on my initial 30-day temporary residency visa (which I've received through the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC) and will finalize the temporary residency in the Playa immigration office during the week that I'm down there.

I'll be making a few other posts, so any guidance/advice would be much appreciated!
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Old 06-01-2017   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh5rb99 View Post
I recently purchased a small, modest house in Playa, but it won't be ready to move into until December. Next week, I'll be flying down to visit with friends in Playa for two weeks and plan on bringing three suitcases full of a ton of household goods (plates, cups, bowls, pots, pans, silverware, a rice cooker, lots of kitchenware, two bathroom faucets, etc.). I'll then store these belongings in Playa until I'm able to bring more stuff down during future trips before or during December.

I've been to CUN many times now and have experienced the red light/green light customs process. I've never once received the infamous red light. This will be the first time that I've brought a significant amount of outside goods, which normally sets off a red flag for them.

It seems as if I am allowed to bring up to $1,000 worth of household goods without needing to declare anything (which I don't plan on doing). If I do get the red light, which requires inspection, is there anything that I can do in advance? I wouldn't have an official 'menaje de casa', but I would print out a spreadsheet that includes all items and their corresponding current re-sell value just in case.

Also, is there anything that I should be saying to the customs agent if questions do arise? I will be entering Mexico on my initial 30-day temporary residency visa (which I've received through the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC) and will finalize the temporary residency in the Playa immigration office during the week that I'm down there.

I'll be making a few other posts, so any guidance/advice would be much appreciated!
I doubt that you will be able to finalize your temporal status in one week.

You need to find out, from a skilled facilitator, about the paper work you will need to do in order to leave the country while that is in process. That, in and of itself, may take more than a week.
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Old 06-02-2017   #3 (permalink)
lost on fifth
 
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Originally Posted by roni View Post
I doubt that you will be able to finalize your temporal status in one week.

You need to find out, from a skilled facilitator, about the paper work you will need to do in order to leave the country while that is in process. That, in and of itself, may take more than a week.
Thanks, Roni. My questions were more directed towards if anyone had any tips/suggestions on clearing customs while carrying household goods.

I'll be down to Playa for two weeks (not one) and we've already checked with the Playa INM office about leaving the country while the paperwork is still processing.
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Old 06-02-2017   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh5rb99 View Post
Thanks, Roni. My questions were more directed towards if anyone had any tips/suggestions on clearing customs while carrying household goods.

I'll be down to Playa for two weeks (not one) and we've already checked with the Playa INM office about leaving the country while the paperwork is still processing.
I brought a pile of stuff down including the kitchen sink.
No issues. YMMV.
And one week is not enough to finalize your residency.
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Old 06-02-2017   #5 (permalink)
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We've been carrying "stuff" down on several trips now. For purchased items (things we can't find there) we carry receipts, for things we already own I also document the estimated value.
We've gotten the green light every time recently, but we always "get pulled over" by the two gals at the table by the exit doors anyway...
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Old 06-02-2017   #6 (permalink)
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We just purchased in April and we took a couple suit case loads down with sheets, curtains, kitchen stuff, and a new dead bolt I couldn't get in Mexico etc. We got the red light for the first time after all these years. The flipped open the bag didn't even take stuff out just sort of felt around they moved a couple t-shirts saw the deadbolt and said "Are these cigarettes?" I said "No" they really didn't care what it was as long as not cigarettes... They asked me to zip up the bags and was free to go. I had a few receipts if need be but they really didn't care nor did a volunteer to show them the receipts either.

I wouldn't worry...
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Old 06-02-2017   #7 (permalink)
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The senoritas who pulled us aside at the exit of the customs area were very thorough and pulled everything out of our 2 carry-on bags. I think they were having fun examining my wife's shoes! All of our household goods and purchased items were in our other bags so I didn't have to produce any documentation.
This trip I will have 6 of the newer double bolt locks and I'm including 1 box so they can see what it's used for if I'm asked, that was a question last trip and I had to hold it up against the door to show them what it was used for. As long as you can provide evidence of values and communicate that you're fine, just don't be too cute or try to hide anything.
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Old 06-02-2017   #8 (permalink)
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The Menaje de Casa is a one-time thing and is intended for truckloads or containerloads of household goods.

Like others here, I've brought all sorts of stuff through airports. That includes a large gas grill broken down into 3 airline-checkable boxes, plumbing parts, lighting, phones, cappuccino machines. I do bring receipts, but really all that happens is they look curious then ask "this is for your house?" (to ensure I'm not importing for re-sale) then send me on my way.
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Old 06-02-2017   #9 (permalink)
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Just got my first red light on my trip down last week. My wife had me bring down a suitcase full of curtains and two pillows. The lady opened the stuffed luggage and one of the pillows literally popped out and hit her in the face. We both had a laugh. She asked me about cigarettes and I told her no, but that I had cigars. She just shrugged and asked me to help her close back up the packed suitcase.

No big deal at all...
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Old 06-02-2017   #10 (permalink)
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Same here, we came down in January and had maybe 4-6 bags of stuff including PlayStation, computers, vacuums, and loads of household stuff. We got the dreaded red light but went easy. They opened some things but wasn't really thorough. They seemed mostly interested in some flashlights we had brought down and if my wife was available ))
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Old 06-11-2017   #11 (permalink)
lost on fifth
 
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Thanks, everyone, for your feedback! I had three suitcases of pots, pans, glassware, etc. and cleared customs without a problem.
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Old 06-11-2017   #12 (permalink)
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Great - good to hear!
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Old 06-24-2017   #13 (permalink)
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I've been dragging stuff through customs for the past couple of years without any problems. I've hit the red light a few times, but their only question seems to be if I'm bringing anything to sell. I've brought all sort of household good, pots and pans, you name it.

Mexico has announced that they are going to be doing away with the red light/green light system in favor of x-raying the bags before they are loaded on the carousel. Mexico City is supposed to be first, with Cancun on the list to be second. Maybe that will improve the process.
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