Mexico is one of the most sought-after countries for US expats. According to CNBC, well over 1.5 million American now call Mexico home.
Some of the main reasons people are escaping to Mexico are the quality of life, cost of living, beautiful scenery, and Mexico’s rich culture.
With that said, the moving process can seem daunting. Unlike many destinations worldwide, Mexico has a stringent process that requires attention.
You must find a US-based Mexico international moving company that can hold your hand and walk you through importing household goods into Mexico. Unlike most destination countries, Mexico has a stringent process for importing household goods.
What’s the average cost of moving household goods to Mexico?
The average cost of moving household goods to Mexico from the US is $2500 to $12,500. The final destination, move size, service, and mover you choose will be the most significant cost factors.
There are many ways to save money on your overseas move. You can consider getting rid of unwanted items, self-packing, and asking your international mover about their services.
The best international moving companies will make recommendations around your budget. However, reducing your load size will be the best way to save money.
What are the customs regulations for importing household goods into Mexico?
According to article 90 of the customs laws in Mexico, household goods and personal effects should be for personal use only. New or unused items may be taxed at the port of entry.
Used household items include furniture, clothes, books, shoes, medication, and durable medical equipment. A Mexico international moving company can assist you with creating an inventory list used for the customs process.
You must communicate the details of what you’re moving to the international relocation company of your choice; otherwise, customs clearance inspection and fees can occur.
Required documents for importing household goods into Mexico
Moving household goods from the US into Mexico requires specific steps and documents that Mexican customs need. A Mexico international moving company can walk you through the process. Below are the required forms for Mexican Customs:
Inventory list of used household goods
You and the international relocation company of your choice must create a detailed inventory list of what you’re importing into Mexico. You will need to mark each box along with the box’s contents and values.
Example: Box 1: clothes (Value $150), Box 2: Books (Value $200).
Ask your Mexico international moving company for a blank inventory list to make things easy.
You must provide a residency card
You must process your permanent or temporary residence via the National Immigration Institute (INM) office. It must be done during the first 30 days of your entrance into Mexican territory. Your resident card will confirm your legal stay in Mexico and allow you to remain there.
You will need a Bill of Lading (BOL) from your Mexico international moving company
If you’re hiring a Mexico international moving company, you can request a copy of the bill of lading (BOL). A BOL is primarily used for ocean freight shipping and shows your shipping details.
You will need proof of the last entry date
Mexican customs will want to see the last time you were in the country. An airline reservation would suffice.
Proof of address
You must provide proof of residency in Mexico; a utility bill would work fine. However, evidence of residence must be dated within three months of your last entry.
Letter of empowerment
A letter of empowerment is a document that authorizes a customs broker or Mexico international moving company to transport your goods.
Does Mexican Customs charge import duty on household goods?
Mexico has a specific process for importing household goods and personal effects. The process must be completed within six months of your first entry into Mexico as a legal resident.
Start by contacting your nearest Mexican consulate regarding a Menaje de Casa. It’s a household certificate allowing you to bring your items into Mexico without incurring tax or duty.
Additionally, you will need to have a customs broker at the Mexican border or have your Mexico international moving company handle the process on your behalf.
It would help if you found international moving companies with experience importing household goods into the country. Mexico has particular rules that should be followed.
How long is the customs clearance process in Mexico
The customs clearance process in Mexico averages 4-7 days. All imports into Mexico are subject to a customs inspection. To ensure your moving process is seamless, look over the prohibited items list.
Shipping a container into Mexico with prohibited items can cause delays. Additionally, if prohibited items are found in your shipment, it can cause additional charges. If you need more clarification about a specific item, you should speak with your international moving company about the details.
What items are not prohibited to import into Mexico?
The following items are prohibited from importing into Mexico. However, it would be best if you spoke with the international relocation company of your choice to request a prohibited items list.
- Guns or ammunition.
- Pepper spray
- Lethal knives and machetes (anything over 8″ is not allowed)
- Live predator fish
- Totoaba fish (fresh or frozen)
- Turtle eggs
- Poppy seeds or flour of poppy seeds
- Marijuana, medicinal marijuana, marijuana products, marijuana seeds or spores, or marijuana extracts
- Opium extract
- Stamps or prints, displayed for their sale in envelopes or packages, containing illustrations that represent childhood in a degrading, violent, self-destructive, anti-social, or ridiculous way (i.e., Garbage Pail Kids trading cards)
- Thallium sulfate.
- Isodrin, Aldrin, Heptaclor, Drinox, Endrin, Mendrin, Nendrin, Hexadrin, or Leptophos insecticides.
- Medication prepared with acetylmorphine or its derivatives
- Loggerhead turtles or turtle skins
- Goods that have been declared as archaeological monuments by the Secretary of Public Education.
- Air compression spearguns are prohibited. Rubber band spearguns are permitted.
Who are the best international moving companies to Mexico?
According to US News, Forbes, and Moving.org, the best international moving companies that service Mexico is International Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, and Atlas Van Lines.
Each company listed offers various moving services to Mexico from the US. They maintain excellent customer reviews and have years of experience moving household goods to Mexico from the US.
It would be best if you are looking for something other than a cheap moving company but a company that will get your household items into Mexico safely and without incurring additional charges.
Also, check out: Moving to Mexico from the US
What moving services do companies offer to Mexico?
Most international movers offer ground and ocean freight transportation to Mexico from the US. The mode of transportation can depend on the size of your moves, your destination, and the company you choose. Below is a list of moving services that most companies offer:
- Packing & loading
- Packing materials
- Special handling (crating, bulky items, etc.)
- International moving insurance
- Customs clearance
- Delivery, offloading & removal of debris
- Ocean freight & trucking
If you have questions regarding the different moving services, you should speak with the company you’re working with.
Will an international mover pack my boxes?
It’s suggested that you hire a Mexico international moving company to pack boxes for you. Self-packing is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and there is a skill that international moving companies hold.
However, if you’re keen on self-packing, you can get packing materials from any local Home Depot or Walmart. To ensure the safety of your used household goods, make sure that the boxes are packed densely, leaving no room for items to shift while in transit.
Lastly, speak with your international mover regarding their insurance options. Packed-by-owner (PBO) moves have limits regarding the type of insurance you can get.
Do Mexican international moving companies offer storage services?
The best international moving companies offer storage in Mexico and the US. Storage services can range from long or short terms storage. Additionally, if you sorted out your documents before the move, an international moving company can store your goods.
Each company offers different international moving services, so it’s best to speak with the mover of your choice directly regarding the details of your international move.
Also, check out: The top 5 cheapest international moving companies
International moving FAQ
Do international movers accept credit cards for payment?
Most international moving companies will accept credit cards for partial payment. However, the balance is typically due through a wire, ACH, or Zelle. It would help if you spoke with your international moving company about their payment details.
How long does a move take to Mexico from the US?
The average transit time for importing household goods into Mexico is 2 to 4 weeks. However, Mexican Customs can affect transit times, so you should speak with the international moving company of your choice about the details.
How long does customs clearance take in Mexico?
The average time it will take to get your household goods cleared is 4 to 6 days. Once your items have gone through customs, your international mover will arrange delivery. However, it would be best if you always spoke with the international relocation company of your choice regarding their shipping time frames.
How do I get an international moving quote?
You should seek out licensed international moving companies for an international moving quote. Next, you should request a visual or virtual tour. Lastly, compare up to three moving quotes before making a decision. Finding an international moving company with experience in Moving to Mexico is essential to a seamless moving process.
People also ask
What are the most affordable places to live in Mexico?
Mexico is a large country, home to everything from beautiful beaches on the Pacific coast to exciting cities like Mexico City and Tijuana. Below is a list of the most affordable places to live in Mexico.
- San Cristóbal de las Casas – average rent $290
- Oaxaca City – Average rent $220
- Cancún – average rent $250
- Puebla – average rent $310
- Santiago de Querétaro – average rent $330
- Puerto Vallarta – average rent $332
- Tulum – average rent $480
- Mérida – average rent $350
- Guadalajara – average rent $309
- Aguascalientes – average rent $335
- Monterrey – average rent $400
- Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco – average rent $350
- Merida, Yucatan – average rent $250
Who is the best international moving company to Mexico City?
According to several third-party publications, International Van Lines is the best international moving company to Mexico City from the US. IVL offers ocean and ground transportation. Additionally, IVL will walk you through the moving process to ensure your goods get cleared and delivered promptly.
Is it safe to live in Mexico as an American?
Living in Mexico as an American can be a very safe experience. For the most part, Mexicans are friendly and welcoming towards foreigners, especially those from the United States. However, it is essential to take certain precautions if you plan on living in Mexico for an extended period.
One of the first things you should do if you plan to live in Mexico as an American is to take precautions against crime. Although crime rates are relatively low in Mexico compared to other parts of the world, petty theft and robbery occur, especially in large cities like Mexico City or Monterrey.
Importing household goods into Mexico can be a seamless process. However, finding the right international moving company is essential.
Unlike most destinations worldwide, Mexico inspects every container that comes into the country. However, understanding the process, getting your documents in place, and having relationships will help the moving process.
International Van Lines offers moving services to Mexico from the US. We have locations in California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Arizona. But we cover the entire continental united states. You can get a free international moving quote by filling out a form on our website or calling us. We wish you the best of luck with your new venture.