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Ajijic

Crossing the Border & Duty

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This man Leo Chow is very well known in SMA. People have items mailed to his Laredo Texas and he stops at border, declares, pays taxes at least monthly. The following is his public email which i received from a friend

See below - message from Leo Chow at the border:

Hola my Friends,

I thought I would never have to find my self in this particular

situation that I an now. Monday night I tried to cross the

border, declare and pay my Custom Duty Taxes, there were like around 25

people from Mexico City Custom Department supervising the Laredo Custom

Agents and 5 of them wanted to see my papers and the contents of my

truck and trailer even when I had a green light. I told them what I

had was on the declaration list and the proximate value, since some of

the stuff were used and had no sticker or invoice. They were not happy

with anything and told me that I was trying to avoid to pay the real

price value. Finally one guy told I had to pay around 1,500 U.S. Dollars

more and after being there for 4 hours I said fine is OK, I will go

ahead and pay it, but when the supervisor came to see what was the hold

up they found name of people in the some of the boxes that were in the

trailer and my truck and they told that I was carrying things for

other people and I was not suppose to do that. To make a short

story the confiscated my truck, my trailer and its contents, so

everything is being hold up at the Custom Detention Center or Central

Command they called and after one whole day of inventory and price check

and bureaucratic bull shit, they told I have to pay several

fines totaling 120,000 pesos, which is around $10,000 U. S.

Dollars. The amount is totally ridicules and exaggerated, there

for some people rather loose there vehicle and things. I can not afford

neither loose my truck or the stuff that is not even mine. I asked

around and some lawyers told me that I could go to the court

for allegations, but that could take months or even a year. The

fastest way is to pay the fine within 10 days before they moved my truck

to storage and fees start going up plus interest. It is been 2

days of running around from one place to another trying to deal with

this situation. And here is the best I could think could work to help

gather some money to pay the fine. For those people that I have stuff

coming I will ask of them to PLEASE pay and advance to my wife Maria in

San Miguel and If you could pay more that you think it is I

will appreciate and give you some credit for the future. For those

that know me and want to help me for any reason to get out this

situation PLEASE get in contact with my wife. Any help and effort

is greatly appreciated from the bottom of my heart. Hope to see you very

soon.

Maria Chow Cell # is 044 415 113 0031 or the internet number 415 152

8190.

Muchas Gracias

Leo Chow

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Ok, I've been watching this thread all day, waiting for someone to respond. Now, as always I know there are often different versions of any story, but I focused on the part where they said "bringing things across for other people is a problem". Ok, assuming the items were declared, the 15% paid what is the problem? - what the heck do UPS and FedX do for a living? Isn't Pancho at SuperLake bringing things in for other people who "reimburse" him here? Who cares who it's for, as long as the 15% was paid, I see something deeper here, someone, or someone's brother-in-law is still living by the "old rules".

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Leo always stopped and declared and the amount he would bring was quite large as noted he had a truck and trailer. Is this much different than MailBoxes Etc or HandyMail?

I also wonder if Leo has a "working" visa and registered with hacienda. Just thinking out loud.

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There are a few things I see here. The difference between Leo and Fedex is that Fedex probably has an import export / license or permission from the government. Also it used to be that the threshold amount for requiring the services of a customs broker was $1,000US which looks like was exceeded here. Maybe the guy was ignorant and had bad luck and now with them being more thorough he got caught. He says he has a truck, that could be anything from a semi to a pickup.

I got the red light at the airport last week and they searched me good, kept looking into my full wine bottles and tilting them to see if there really was wine in them.

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I have discovered he did not have a courier license / permit so one of the issues. So that is the difference with MBE and Hmail eyc. The truck is a pickup.

Moderator can move thread easily and I am sure has already thought of that. I debated which was best area. it certainly affects a huge number of people.

Also told in December a huge number of items brought by Mexicans returning for the holidays so another reason to clamp down. Plus may very well be a move to try and limit what narcos bring in as part of money laundering. They bring in millions every week by the tractor trailer load including appliances and electronics.

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Ok, I've been watching this thread all day, waiting for someone to respond. Now, as always I know there are often different versions of any story, but I focused on the part where they said "bringing things across for other people is a problem". Ok, assuming the items were declared, the 15% paid what is the problem? - what the heck do UPS and FedX do for a living? Isn't Pancho at SuperLake bringing things in for other people who "reimburse" him here? Who cares who it's for, as long as the 15% was paid, I see something deeper here, someone, or someone's brother-in-law is still living by the "old rules".

The 15% tax is when you are buying. Taxation when importing varies according the kind of merchandise you are importing in to Mexico. If luxury items..... could ascend up to 42% per item. So, What type or merchandise was him importing? The new customs guys are by the rules, and if they said an amount (around 10,000.00) is because a receipt is going to be given for paying off that amount.

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The 15% tax is when you are buying. Taxation when importing varies according the kind of merchandise you are importing in to Mexico. If luxury items..... could ascend up to 42% per item. So, What type or merchandise was him importing? The new customs guys are by the rules, and if they said an amount (around 10,000.00) is because a receipt is going to be given for paying off that amount.

Ok,now that I can understand, but that begs another question, 42%?

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Ok,now that I can understand, but that begs another question, 42%?

That is correct and sometimes worse:

"México eleva aranceles a 89 productos estadounidenses

09:15 PM México.- México publicó hoy una lista de 89 productos estadounidenses a los que elevará los aranceles, en represalia por la cancelación de un programa piloto de transporte que permitiría a camiones mexicanos trasladar bienes por Estados Unidos y advirtió que podría incluir más bienes.

El gobierno impuso a partir del jueves un arancel de entre 10% y 45% a productos que van desde árboles de navidad, cebollas, chabacanos (damascos, albaricoques), uvas frescas, cerezas, papas, jugos de fruta, hasta gafas para sol, papel higiénico, cafeteras, lápices, cerraduras y dentífrico.

http://www.eluniversal.com/2009/03/18/eco_ava_mexico-eleva-arancel_18A2259323.shtml

If you notice, this news talks about 10% to 45% taxation on products from US as Christmas Trees, onions, toilet paper, pencils, locks, tooth paste, etc. These are just some examples. For more details check the approved taxation listing for this new 2010, it shows you there that importation tax for every single product when brought abroad and is not part of the package allowed to bring in to your personal belongings when crossing the border in to Mexico.

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I guess I'm somewhat puzzled, as a gringo I'm getting mixed signals. I read articles that steps are being taken by some parts of the MX government to make moving and living here easier for obvious economic reasons. I see that all school children are being taught English, I see and hear numerous other things that are positive. Yet I also see and hear, and at times experience exactly the opposite. I thought NAFTA was supposed to take the bite out of much of this, did I miss something?

My friend who recently had her passport stolen is, and has gone through bureaucratic h e l l just trying to get it reported to the Ministerio Publico and get the resulting paperwork to take to the Consulate. And now I see things like this that are very specific punitive measures which surely can't result in much revenue for MX yet make it difficult for those either buying or bringing goods in. I've bought things NOB that were assembled in MX yet I'm supposed to pay to bring them back into MX, why?

The other day I bought a new Linksys router, the entire package and included documentation were totally in Spanish. I've bought Linksys routers etc. for years and NOB they typically include 3 languages, recently I bought a plugin DVD which had instructions in 33 languages, but here it's special packaging in Spanish only, it's like they go out of their way to make some aspects of residency here purposely difficult. All that being said, my question is simply why?

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This is an update on what is going on at the Border:

http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/sala_prensa/158_14391.html

and then follow the other link.

http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/sala_prensa/158_14395.html

Cómo funciona

El Sistema de Supervisión y Control Vehicular (Siave) se compone de dispositivos que, en aproximadamente ocho segundos, toman el peso, dimensiones, placas, fotografía y tipo de vehículo, lo que permite al procesador central hacer cruces de información y determinar si es de riesgo y, en su caso, solicitar que sea revisado.

siave

siave1.jpg

Todos los vehículos deben cruzar, incluidas las motocicletas y bicicletas, por los carriles marcados para ello. Para que el sistema recabe los datos de forma correcta se debe transitar por el carril a una velocidad máxima de 10 km por hora.

Independientemente del resultado del semáforo fiscal, la autoridad aduanera puede emitir una orden de verificación de mercancía para comprobar lo manifestado.

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The more I read the more I ask. When people have a person with a truck and trailer regularly bringing in items for expats as in this case those people who own the items should very well be asking what is the Immigration status and Hacienda registration of the "importer". Does he have "working" visa? Is he registered with Hacienda? It is a heck of a predicament he is in and the owners of the items may loose them but I know as a Canadian I sure would not be doing this bringing items say into the US. Sometimes we get away with issues like this but the Mexican government is getting smarter. Following the laws of Mexico may be a good starting point after of course educating ourselves. I am not finger pointing but simply saying be informed and if we deviate from the law be prepared to pay the penalty and endure the fall out. Being naive can be very expensive.

From: http://www.mexicolaw.com/LawInfo05.htm

National Registry of Importers and Exporters of Mexico

Mexico maintains a National Registry of its authorized importers and exporters. Those persons and companies that customarily import or export are to be registered there, otherwise they can not import or export. The Mexican government agency controlling over the registry (Hacienda) will require more of the registrar for imports than exports (since it favors Mexico balance of trade and foreign debt ratios to export). If you are a one time importer and of minor importance, the Customs authorities will permit you to perform the import personally or with the assistance of a customs broker, without this registry. If the matter is of greater importance (higher value) you may be able to get help from a brokerage firm. Just remember that if you are in business in Mexico, you will need to seek the importer and exporter registries.

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I guess I'm somewhat puzzled, as a gringo I'm getting mixed signals. I read articles that steps are being taken by some parts of the MX government to make moving and living here easier for obvious economic reasons. I see that all school children are being taught English, I see and hear numerous other things that are positive. Yet I also see and hear, and at times experience exactly the opposite. I thought NAFTA was supposed to take the bite out of much of this, did I miss something?

Possibly—there are many, many items that have had tariffs removed. However this only applies to items from the US and Canada and much of what is sold in the US has been manufactured elsewhere. Further, there is a significant difference between what one carries across the border when traveling either as a resident or tourist and what authorized importers are allowed to import (and who comply with a whole host of regulations). NAFTA was primarily set up to facilitate trade among the US, Canada and Mexico, not to eliminate what an individual may freely bring across the border each way (as an example, think of how much tequila you may bring into the US without duty or how much bourbon you may bring into Mexico without duty).

My friend who recently had her passport stolen is, and has gone through bureaucratic h e l l just trying to get it reported to the Ministerio Publico and get the resulting paperwork to take to the Consulate. And now I see things like this that are very specific punitive measures which surely can't result in much revenue for MX yet make it difficult for those either buying or bringing goods in. I've bought things NOB that were assembled in MX yet I'm supposed to pay to bring them back into MX, why?

In the end, you are importing goods from one country to another without being a recognized importer. This is not one way. Try purchasing an item here that was made in the US (with a value higher than the US allows to be brought in duty free) and taking it back up north. You will be obligated to pay duty. To follow on in the alcohol example, if you buy several cases of California wine locally and then try driving to Texas with those cases of wine, you will be required to pay duty on the imported wine, even though it was a US product. On top of that, the State of Texas will also require that you pay a fee.

You may consider duties to be punitive, but it is pretty much the same going either way across the border. I’m not sure what a stolen passport has to do with import/export, so I’ll not comment on that problem.

I don ‘t know about how much revenue this will generate, but the revenue for bringing quantities of goods across the border (above the $300 limit) freely is zero. Anything is more than that, and I assume that as the Mexican government attempts to increase its revenue stream in many areas, that this is just one more idea. After all, the restrictions really have not changed—just the enforcement.

The other day I bought a new Linksys router, the entire package and included documentation were totally in Spanish. I've bought Linksys routers etc. for years and NOB they typically include 3 languages, recently I bought a plugin DVD which had instructions in 33 languages, but here it's special packaging in Spanish only, it's like they go out of their way to make some aspects of residency here purposely difficult. All that being said, my question is simply why?

I’ve purchased products here that were manufactured in Mexico (such as my new HDTV) and that had multilingual instructions.

In the US, products that are meant to be exported to both Mexico and Canada have multilingual packaging and instructions—and many that are only intended for US sales have only instructions in English. I assume (without knowing) that products made here that are not intended to be exported, are only in Spanish (my Mabe oven would be a good example of an item with only Spanish instructions—and my Whirlpool washer and dryer have the buttons and dials in Spanish and the instruction manual in both Spanish and English).

My view on this is, that while I find it easier to use products with English packaging (or at least instructions), I live in Mexico and have learned enough Spanish to work out how to use an appliance.

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Yesterday I was at Superama, the upscale arm of Wal-Mart in Mexico. I was in the produce department, which isn't ordinarily part of my Superama shopping trip, but we had missed the neighborhood tianguis due to other unavoidable commitments.

I wanted blackberries. At the tianguis where I shop, Mexican-grown bulk blackberries are selling now for about 25 pesos the kilo (2.2 lbs).

Of course Superama didn't have bulk blackberries; it carries the little Driscoll plastic clamshell packages instead. Each of those packages contains about 8 ounces of berries.

Get this: the clamshell label is clearly marked PRODUCT OF MEXICO. The blackberries are primarily grown near Jocotepec, Jalisco and near Zamora, Michoacán. Driscoll packs them in the fields for export to the USA and other countries.

And GET THIS: yesterday's Superama blackberries had been exported to the USA and then RE-IMPORTED to Mexico.

Finally, GET THIS: the price of the 8-oz clamshell pack of Mexican blackberries was 29.90 pesos--that's about four times the price of the bulk berries at my tianguis, the Mexican berries that haven't made the round trip to the border.

I'll wait till next Wednesday at the tianguis for my blackberries, thank you very much.

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Guest airborne man

One of the reasons i'm in Mexico is that it is so unpredicable. That's the uniqueiness of it all. If you don't expect much you won't be disappointed. The Mexican culture is very different and unique. This is what makes this country so pleasant to be in. Just live and let live and don't compare.

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I accept the fact I'm a guest and always will be no matter how long I live here which is fine. And, I'm learning Spanish and get by as best I can which is again fine. But, as I said, I get mixed signals and some of it is enforcement. Marley, you mention the $300 limit if I read correctly. Well, that's for Mexican nationals, our limit is $75 again if I read it right.

A year ago like a good boy I had my FM3 stamped out, but when I came back in the guy basically refused to stamp it and I asked twice and of course in a gentlemanly manner. My FM3 shows me out of the country, so when I renewed this year I warned my lawyer, absolutely no problem and when I re-entered last month I declared, got jabbed, but didn't bother with stamping out or in. I'm for following the law, but who knows what it is today? And, I might add this latest round is after the new Aduna were in place.

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This man Leo Chow is very well known in SMA. People have items mailed to his Laredo Texas and he stops at border, declares, pays taxes at least monthly. The following is his public email which i received from a friend

See below - message from Leo Chow at the border:

Hola my Friends,

I thought I would never have to find my self in this particular

situation that I an now. Monday night I tried to cross the

border, declare and pay my Custom Duty Taxes, there were like around 25

people from Mexico City Custom Department supervising the Laredo Custom

Agents and 5 of them wanted to see my papers and the contents of my

truck and trailer even when I had a green light. I told them what I

had was on the declaration list and the proximate value, since some of

the stuff were used and had no sticker or invoice. They were not happy

with anything and told me that I was trying to avoid to pay the real

price value. Finally one guy told I had to pay around 1,500 U.S. Dollars

more and after being there for 4 hours I said fine is OK, I will go

ahead and pay it, but when the supervisor came to see what was the hold

up they found name of people in the some of the boxes that were in the

trailer and my truck and they told that I was carrying things for

other people and I was not suppose to do that. To make a short

story the confiscated my truck, my trailer and its contents, so

everything is being hold up at the Custom Detention Center or Central

Command they called and after one whole day of inventory and price check

and bureaucratic bull shit, they told I have to pay several

fines totaling 120,000 pesos, which is around $10,000 U. S.

Dollars. The amount is totally ridicules and exaggerated, there

for some people rather loose there vehicle and things. I can not afford

neither loose my truck or the stuff that is not even mine. I asked

around and some lawyers told me that I could go to the court

for allegations, but that could take months or even a year. The

fastest way is to pay the fine within 10 days before they moved my truck

to storage and fees start going up plus interest. It is been 2

days of running around from one place to another trying to deal with

this situation. And here is the best I could think could work to help

gather some money to pay the fine. For those people that I have stuff

coming I will ask of them to PLEASE pay and advance to my wife Maria in

San Miguel and If you could pay more that you think it is I

will appreciate and give you some credit for the future. For those

that know me and want to help me for any reason to get out this

situation PLEASE get in contact with my wife. Any help and effort

is greatly appreciated from the bottom of my heart. Hope to see you very

soon.

Maria Chow Cell # is 044 415 113 0031 or the internet number 415 152

8190.

Muchas Gracias

Leo Chow

When I first read this note it sounded like a spam letter from "you friend in Nigeria", please send money..but I guess the guy is in real do do

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... Marley, you mention the $300 limit if I read correctly. Well, that's for Mexican nationals, our limit is $75 again if I read it right.

,,,

Actually both numbers are correct. 300USD when you fly in and $75 when you drive.

Go figure.

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If anyone doubts it the original post and this one are totally real. Here is latest response and darn scary.

Hola mis amigos,

First of all, I will like to thank everyone on the list and my deepest

appreciation to those who had offered support and ported financial help.

I am very touched by their good intention and very kind hearts.

My situation is as follow. Customs gave me a fine for $120,000 pesos,

because they said the value of the merchandise or the stuff I was

transporting was far more than the one declare ( I had some old used

tv's and they value each at 6, 500 pesos. I had a new flat screen tv 26

with the invoice of $240 dollars, but they said the tv cost $950.00

dollars, that is just an example of the the ridicules and exaggerated

prices ). While I was detained another guy was also detained for

bringing 25 pounds of Fajita meat and they also confiscated his car, the

Laredo Custom guy told they would had just confiscated the meat and let

the guy go, but the the Supervisors from Mexico city fined the guy with

$41,000 pesos.

The Laredo Custom employees told they do not agreed with what the

Supervisors from Mexico City are doing and the way they are doing it,

but is nothing they can do, these people are trying to make example out

everyone that could make just the slightest unintentional mistake.

After all the lies they feed me and all the beurocratic bull shit I

went through, Thursday morning I went to bridge #3 and spoke to the

Judicial Department Officer in charge and they told me that even if I

paid the fine in full today I will still not get my truck, trailer and

its contents as they are confiscated and the fine is a separate matter.

What I have to do now is to hire a specialized lawyer in this matter and

contest their allegations and present proves. I have ten days from

Monday to do that and they have 4 months to respond, so this is going to

be one those things I always heard of, but never did pay any attention.

I am truly very sorry for all of this inconvenience that this

situation has caused to all of you. This is a learning experience that I

will never forget and will always have present as a reminder that my

perception, yours and theirs are very and total different on the same

article that very well could the same brand name, model number and even

same serial number. I am and always be responsible and will face all of

the consequences that this will bring.

To those who are questioning my legal status in this country here it

is: I have a dual citizenship and my is the one registered with Hacienda

in the Moving Business we have. This incident has raised many question

including from ourselves and we will continue to strive for a better

service to this community who has been very supportive. I am very proud

that some of you consider us your friends. Those of you who knows us

then also know that my wife and this humble server will go to the

extreme to serve you and please you the best way.

This past week has been very tense and nerve wrecking on my self as

on my family and friends. I will have to sales some of my house stuff

and my wife SUV " 1999 Grand Cherokee to be able to buy a truck this

coming week to return to Dallas and get some of the stuff I left there

and the stuff that keep coming. I will ask of you no to loose your faith

and trust that I had gain from you in the last 6 years.

Than you very much again and I will keep you posted on the

development of this particular case. I hope to be up and running by next

Thursday.

Leo Chow.

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This post is creating some confusion.

If somebody wants to know what really is allowed to bring into Mexico, is not about a value of merchandise in total. It is about what you are allowed to bring in as your personal belongings as passanger (which means traveling by plain or vehicle when coming in to Mexico:

Link: http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/pasajeros/139_10210.html

Which items may be included in my personal luggage exempt from duty?

1. Goods for personal use, such as clothing, footwear and personal toiletries and beauty products, as long as they are appropriate for the duration of the trip, including wedding party items.

2. Two photographic cameras or video recorders, 12 rolls of film or videocassettes; photographic material; two cellular telephones or radio phones; a portatil typewriter; an electronic calendar; a portable computer (laptop), notebook, omnibook or similar items; a copier or portable printer; a portable projector, and their accessories.

3. Two sports equipment, four rods, three speedboats with or without sails and their accessories, trophies or recognitions, provided that they can be transported normally and commonly by the passenger, one stair climber and bicycle

4. A portable radio for the recording or reproduction of sound or mixed tapes; or a digital sound reproducer or portable reproducer of compact discs and a portable reproducer of DVD’s, such as a pair of portable speakers, and their accessories.

5. Five laser disks, 10 DVD disks, 30 compact disks (CD) or magnetic tapes (audiocassettes), for the reproduction of sound and five storage devices or memory cards for any electronic equipments.

6. Books, magazines and printed documents.

7. Five toys, —included those that are collectible— and a video game console and videogames.

8. One device that permits measurement of arterial pressure and one for glucose, as well as medications of personal use; in the case of psychotropics the medical prescription should be shown.

9. One set of binoculars and a telescope.

10. Valises, trunks and suitcases necessary for the movement of goods.

11. Passengers over 18 years of age, may introduce a maximum of up to 20 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco and up to three liters of alcoholic beverages, and six liters of wine; in excess of the above, cannot be imported without complying with applicable regulations and restrictions.

12. Baby travel accesories, such as strollers and baby-walkers

13. Two musical instruments and its accessories.

14. A camping tent and camping equipment, as well as their accessories.

15. Handicapped or old travelers may introduce items for personal use, useful to have a better performance of their activities, such as walkers, wheelchairs, crutches and canes.

16. A set of tools including its case, it might have a hand drill, wire cutters, wrenches, dices, screwdrivers, current cables, among others.

17. Beddings, that will be able to include a set of matching sheets and pillowcases, a set of towels, a set of bath, a set of table linen and a set of kitchen.

18. Up to two dogs or cats, maybe introduced as well as their accesories, provided that the corresponding zoosanitary import certificate issued by (SAGARPA) is presented to the customs officials.

I hope this clears things up.

About the other guy, when he talks about prices on Invoices (is irrelevant), they are based on a value manual for every item and then they apply the amortization (discount) for time, etc.

When you declare, you are swearing to tell the truth, if caught.... they apply the higher tax, penalization and some times serving in jail.

If you are bringing more of what you are allowed then do the:

VOLUNTARY STATEMENT

That is the way in which international passengers can carry up to Mexico's import of goods other than personal baggage in excess of the amount of the relief to which he is entitled, without the services of a customs broker, always and when the amount of their goods not to exceed $ 3,000 US or its equivalent in other currencies. This requires that the goods are not subject to tariff regulations and restrictions.

So remember, if you have nothing to declare do not worry about it, if you do, then use THE VOLUNTARY STATEMENT to avoid penalties if caught.

In the case of Leo, he was bringing more than personal belongins, more than was allowed, he pushed the button (which means not needing to declared) and got GREEN LIGHT, but the new scanner installed at the border showed up more weight than normal, he was pull over and inspected and caught lying. If he follows a VOLUNTARY STATEMENT he easily gets out of this because he had the intention to pay for duty or in its case returned the goods back to America.

If caught you must pay or face a confiscation.

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Keep in mind he voluntarily stopped to declare and has invoices for new items. To put such a high value on say a used TV is corrupt or greed or stupidity.

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Keep in mind he voluntarily stopped to declare and has invoices for new items. To put such a high value on say a used TV is corrupt or greed or stupidity.

Seems is not clear he was willing to declare when he said: "around 25

people from Mexico City Custom Department supervising the Laredo Custom

Agents and 5 of them wanted to see my papers and the contents of my

truck and trailer even when I had a green light. I told them what I

had was on the declaration list and the proximate value, since some of

the stuff were used and had no sticker or invoice. They were not happy

with anything and told me that I was trying to avoid to pay the real

price value.

How come they wanted to see his papers and contents of his truck if he was willing to declare?

How come he had a green light? He took the wrong path?

What do I have to do when crossing the border? http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/pasajeros/139_10228.html

Select carefully the lane to enter the country:

* Nothing to Declare Lane

It is used when your exemptions do not exceed the permitted limits

* Self-declaration Lane

It is used when you bring goods worth more than the personal or family exemptions, or when the amounts of goods exceed those amounts allowed in your personal luggage

Upon crossing the border, your vehicle will activate the Automated Selection Mechanism (stop light). When crossing the border on foot you will be asked to activate the mechanism:

o The red light indicates that your luggage will be inspected

o The green light indicates that you can drive through the Customs facilities without inspection

If you or your vehicle have been selected for inspection, a Customs Inspector will conduct the examination. If the Customs Inspector finds goods that should have been declared and you did not do it, the Inspector will classify and appraise the goods and will impose the corresponding sanctions.

If you mistakenly choose the wrong lane, you may approach a Customs Inspector and ask for a classification and appraisal of your goods for the corresponding payment of duties and taxes.

I am not trying to accuse him of anything, I am just interpreting his message.

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