Taking merchandise to Mexico via Airlines?
April 12, 2006 9:11 AM   Subscribe

What do I have to obtain in order for me to export merchandise to Mexico?

I have relatives in Mexico that could sell merchandise that I send them. What I want to do is fly to Mexico every weekend and drop the merchandise so that they may sell it. At most I will be taking with me two suitcases full of clothes or cosmetics. I'm doing not for profit but just so I can make enough money to pay for my airplane ticket and some spending money. I know there is a $300 limit on merchandise brought in (if its not for personal use). I want to be able to keep the boxes and tags so it's easier to sell and I would want to avoid paying the 32% surcharge for the retail value of the merchandise. What do I have to do to avoid complications in the airport?
posted by nserrano to Work & Money (1 answer total)
This is amazingly not simple. To do this properly (legally) you'll need to file Customs paperwork for ccommercial importations. You're best bet is to get a broker to do the paper work for you, and assuming you're doing basically the same stuff over and over you can re-use similar paperwork (figuring it out yourself is pretty far out of the question, as it's very specialized stuff).

If the goods are originally made in Canada the USA or Mexico they'll be protected under NAFTA, and you won't have to pay duty. You may be required to pay or submit sales tax though, depending on the local laws. If the goods are not made in Canada/US/Mexico you'll be required to pay the highest duty of the given rates that might apply to the goods, individually.

Anyway, my advice is to talk to a professional customs broker, however, you may just want to give up, as small scale international shipment of goods is best left to professionals, and since you seem to want to actually fly the goods yourself, you're likely to cause yourself more cost and trouble then you'll gain.

That said, is there a good reason you can't just ship the goods? I would guess that it will be pretty difficult to make enough profit to cover a few hundred dollars a month in plane tickets without attracting the wrong kind of attention from Customs officers.
posted by tiamat at 9:49 AM on April 12, 2006

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