Mexican Import Business
February 15, 2005 8:36 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I have this crazy idea to start an import business. The notion is to drive a big van down into the heart of Mexico, load up on cool homewares, (pottery, etc.) and drive it back across the border. How realistic is that? Does NAFTA apply? Will they pull out the latex gloves every time I come back across the border?
posted by Dag Maggot to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Although ive never driven through, only flown, the US makes you declare all of the items you buy. Theres a limit of 10,000 dollars worth of stuff (in your case homewares) and then after that you have to pay a tax on it of some sort. You should check out a US immigration website and get the specifics.
posted by pwally at 8:43 PM on February 15, 2005

It might be a good idea to discuss your plans with a Customs Broker.
posted by Buzz at 10:18 PM on February 15, 2005

pwally, where did you come up with the $10k limit when you've flown in?

The duty-free exemptions limit is $800 for most countries and $1600 if you are coming back from U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa. However, this is for only for items of personal use or for things you are bringing in as gifts (but you still need to declare them regardless). It does NOT apply to products of commercial nature that you plan to sell.

To my knowledge, you need to officially declare everything you need to bring in for business purposes and go through the importation process. You can use informal importation for goods worth less than $2000, but need to do a formal importation for all others (U.S. Import Requirements - WORD document).

Also, here is all the NAFTA information.
posted by tuxster at 2:44 AM on February 16, 2005

Thanks Tuxster - great information.
posted by Dag Maggot at 5:29 AM on February 16, 2005

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