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Moving To > Mexico

Moving to Mexico from the U.S.

If you are moving to Mexico from the United States, there is plenty to consider before you head south. With so much to prepare for, the last thing you want to worry about is the logistics of your complicated move.

International Sea & Air Shipping will make your transition to Mexico as seamless as possible by providing top-notch shipping services for all of your household goods and much more!

How International Sea & Air can help for moving to Mexico

mexico3 First, one of our trained moving specialists will provide a personal consultation, thoroughly outlining your moving options based on specific criteria, such as:
  • Your moving time line. When do you need to be in Mexico?
  • Your real estate plans. Will you be renting or buying?
  • Your family/household size. Will you be moving alone or with your family? For business or personal reasons?
  • Cubic feet estimate. How large is your shipment?

What Will Moving to Mexico Cost?

mexico1 For an accurate estimate of your shipment size, you should schedule a home survey as early as possible for your move to Mexico. Our moving specialists will assess your belongings to give you the best potential estimate to expedite your relocation. The cost of moving to Mexico will vary considerably based on the cubic footage of your belongings and your proposed destination arrival time.

Don't forget to ask about our overseas packing and custom crating services, too!

About Mexico

mexico2 Mexico is the eleventh most populous country in the world, featuring over 113 million residents. With the ruins of several advanced civilizations like the Maya and Aztec, Mexico is a beautifully historic land. To its north is the United States, and to its south it borders Belize and Guatemala. The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea border Mexico's eastern coast, while the Pacific Ocean borders its west.

A heavy majority of the country's population speaks Spanish, but a small percentage of people are also fluent in indigenous tongues. Mexico is also one of the largest oil producers in the world, which is why its powerful economy continues to grow. Featuring historic ruins, famous cuisine and a wide variety of art, Mexico is a place where you'll learn something new every day.

Can't wait to get started with your international move to Mexico? Find out what you'll need to clear Customs!

Custom Regulations for Mexico:


  • Passport
  • Temporary Residence Visa (Visa de Residente Temporal - obtained by the Instituto)
  • Work permit (Nacional de Migracion)
  • Inventory list (original copy and two copies typed in Spanish - signed by owner and notarized)
  • Inventory - estimated value included
  • Consulate at origin
  • Manifestation of Value (obtained from service agent)
  • Declaration to Customs (Carta Juramentada - states there are no prohibited items in shipment, all new items listed)
  • Letter of Commitment (Carta Compromiso)
  • Liability Letter (obtained from service agent)
  • Federal Registration or tax ID of employer (Registro Federal Causantes)

For permanent moves to Mexico, you are allowed to import both used personal effects (clothes, jewelry) and used household effects (furniture, bedding, linens, rugs/carpets, dishes, etc.) duty-free, under the following conditions:

  • Items have been in shipper's possession for a minimum of six months and are not intended for resale
  • Returning nationals must have lived outside for a minimum of six months to import used goods duty-free
  • FM-3 visa holders must export used items upon departure
  • Any items less than six months old must be declared separately on inventory and are subject to duties (otherwise, shipment can be held/confiscated)
  • Amount of new items (anything purchased less than six months prior to import/still in original packaging) limited to:
    • 10 articles of clothing
    • 3 pairs of shoes
    • 3 pieces of jewelry
    • 10 pieces of imitation jewelry
    • 10 pieces of furniture
    • 2 electronic toys
    • 10 non-electronic toys
    • 1 piece of sporting good equipment
    • 20 CDs/DVDs/tapes
    • 5 computer parts
    • 6 large appliances
    • 1 set of tools
    • 1 bicycle
  • Appliances and electronic items must be loaded together for access by Customs (advise agent to limit number of lift vans to one or two)
  • Split shipments must arrive to airport/pier simultaneously
  • Shipments are declared abandoned after 30 days at airport and after 60 days at surface port
  • If no new items are being imported, include "No hay ningunosarticulosnuevosen los efectos” in the inventory document.

In Mexico, some items are limited or require special authorization to clear customs. Sometimes, this includes payment of taxes and duties, but some goods are restricted to maximum quantities. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Artwork and antiques
  • Medication - personal use only (must be in original container and clearly labeled, with prescription)
  • Alcohol - up to 3 liters of alcohol and 6 liters of wine (if shipper is over 18 years old)
  • Tobacco - up to 20 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco (if shipper is over 18 years old)
  • Photography and videography equipment (film, videocassettes, lenses) - amount limited
  • Cellular phones, radios, walkie-talkies, binoculars, typewriters, laptops, CDs, DVDs - amount limited
  • Duplicate appliances (two microwaves permitted, but major appliances may be considered commercial rather than household goods)

The following items are prohibited from importation under any circumstances:

  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Illegal drugs and substances
  • Pornographic material
  • Plans, fruits and vegetables
  • Oriental rugs
  • Spices
  • Silver and gold
  • Precious metals and fossils
  • Liquids of any kind (includes cleaning supplies, toiletries, cooking items, perfumes)
  • Boats and other motorized vehicles (exception: automobiles)
  • Counterfeit materials

If you need to import your automobile into Mexico, you'll require help from an experienced, reliable international vehicle shipper. International Sea & Air Shipping possesses the knowledge and resources you need to get your vehicle across the border. With an exceptional understanding of Mexican automobile import laws and customs regulations, your car will be in good hands.
The required documents for automobile import include:

  • Original visa (if you are not a returning Mexican national)
  • Passport
  • Valid driver's license
  • Original certificate of title
  • Valid state registration
  • Letter of credit or affidavit from financing company (if vehicle has a lien)
  • International credit card in driver's name
There are also several specific regulations involving the importation of motor vehicles into Mexico:
  • Vehicles must weigh less than 3 tons (exception: mobile homes)
  • FM-2 visa holders and returning nationals cannot import automobiles duty-free (import permits required)
  • FM-3 visa holders can import automobiles temporarily - vehicle may not be sold in Mexico and must be exported when visa expires
  • Only the shipper and members of shipper's immediate family may drive vehicle in Mexico

Are you bringing a pet across the border? Here is all of the information you'll need to make sure your furry friend gets into Mexico with you:

  • Valid vaccination certificate - states that pet is up-to-date on vaccinations against rabies, hepatitis, pip and leptospirosis (issued by veterinarian within 3 months of move)
  • Authorization from the Security of Commerce and Industrial Promotion
  • Official health certificate (issued by veterinarian within 72 hours of entering country)
  • Air waybill (AWB) - for pets arriving unaccompanied by owner (must state "Freight as agreed”)
  • Mexico allows up to two dogs and/or cats to be brought into country.
  • If you have more than two pets, you must obtain special permission from the Mexican consulate.
*If your pet is arriving in Mexico without you, it is best to fax all documents (including the AWB) to Customs in advance to avoid delays. Try to arrange arrival earlier in the week to avoid your pet being held in Customs over the weekend.

In Mexico, there is a 16% tax applied on CIF in addition to duties. When shipping within the "border regions” of Mexico and the United States, the value-added tax (VAT) is reduced to 11%. Mexico's VAT usually ranges from 10-16%. The tax rate applies on CIF, duties and other charges upon import.

NOTE- Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International Sea & Air Shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1-866-788-1090

To learn more about the packing and moving services we offer, please watch this video

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mediaCustomer Reviews


  • "Thank you both for dealing with my clear materialism. Hard to live without one's things for two months. I never realized. You go kind of loopy! Start dreaming of your fancy dishes you once had in NYC. You guys are a fantastic company and team. You will be highly recommended by me."
    Hani M. Block






Motto : N/A
Capital : Mexico City (Distrito Federal)
National Anthem : "Himno Nacional Mexicano" ("Mexican National Anthem")


Location : Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States
Area : Total : 1,964,375 sq km

Land : 1,943,945 sq km
Water : 20,430 sq km
Climate : Varies from tropical to desert


Nationality : Mexican(s)
Population : 113,724,226 (July 2011 est.)
Major Cities : MEXICO CITY (capital) 19.319 million; Guadalajara 4.338 million; Monterrey 3.838 million; Puebla 2.278 million; Tijuana 1.629 million (2009)
Languages : Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and Indigenous languages 5.7%, Indigenous only 0.8%, Unspecified 0.8%; Note - Indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages (2005)


GDP : $1.56 trillion (2010 est.)
Exchange Rates : Mexican pesos (MXN) per US dollar - 12.687 (2010), 13.514 (2009), 11.016 (2008), 10.8 (2007), 10.899 (2006)


Airports : 1,819 (2010)
Roadways : Total : 366,095 km
Waterways : 2,900 km
Ports & Terminals : Altamira, Coatzacoalcos, Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Salina Cruz, Veracruz


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