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General Information Guide for

Program Activities Participants


Traveler Guide
Travelling to Mexico

At present, all visitors travelling to Mexico need either a Visa or a Tourist Permit to
enter the country. Whether you need a Visa or a Tourist Permit
(called an FMT or Forma Migratoria de Tourista) depends on
which country you hold a passport from. The FMT can be
completed on the airplane to, or on arrival in, Mexico; a Visa
must be applied for from a Mexican consulate office and granted
before you travel. You can determine whether you need a Visa or
an FMT by visiting www.sre.gob.mx/english/ .

Travel Restrictions
Mexico does not restrict entry to travelers with HIV and there is no HIV testing on
entry. However, delegates flying to Mexico may have to change planes in the United
States which still bans entry of non-US citizens living with HIV without a
special waiver. Most people don’t say anything about their HIV status, especially if
they are just changing planes, and experience no problems. However, if customs
agents find you are carrying AIDS medications they could ban your entry and all
future entries to the USA. When at all possible avoid traveling through the USA if you
are a person living with HIV.

Traveling with Meds


• Take all medications in your carry-on bag. Checked luggage may get lost.
• Medications should be in their original prescription containers. If you carry
syringes and injectable medications (eg. T-20/Fuzeon), or controlled
substances (eg. narcotics), you should carry a letter or prescription from your
doctor.
• Make sure you bring extra medication in case your trip is delayed.
• Learn the generic names of all the medications you are taking. Commercial
names of medications may be different in Mexico.

Marijuana and Illegal Drugs


It is strongly advised you do not bring illegal drugs into the country or use them
while you are in Mexico. Penalties for illegal drug use can be severe, especially for
foreigners.

Dealing with Jet Lag


• Try to arrive at least a day before the conference to rest and adjust to Mexico
City time (Central Daylight Time).
• Try to sleep on the plane, at the usual time in that time zone.
• Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol.
• Do some light exercise on the day you arrive (ideally in the sunlight).
• It can take many days to overcome jet lag so plan your conference schedule
accordingly.

Vaccinations
No special vaccinations are recommended for Mexico City.
Talk to your doctor or a travel clinic specialist if you intend to travel outside the
city after the conference.
Arriving in Mexico and Getting Around

Arriving at the Airport


On arrival at Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City you will have to clear immigration,
pick up your bags, and pass through customs.
Make sure you take a licensed taxi from the
airport. They are yellow and white with a black
airplane on the door. These charge a flat rate to
downtown (around 140 – 160 pesos or $14US)
which you pay for by purchasing a ticket at the
booth marked “transportacion terreste” (ground
transportation). There is a more expensive
booth next to it so check for the cheaper one.

Travel from the airport to downtown takes from


25 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic. It is
best not to take the subway from the airport as the closest subway station is in a
rough area. Also, the subway does not allow you to take luggage on.

Taxis from the airport’s phone is 55719344.

Getting Around
The conference centre (Centro Banamex) is on the Northwest edge of the city and
delegates will have to get there by bus, taxi or subway. Always have Mexican pesos
with you to pay any of these transportation services.

At the end of this document, there’s a map about how to get to Centro Banamex!

Transportation

Subway
The subway in Mexico City, called STC (Sistema de
Transporte Colectivo) is efficient and inexpensive; the fee is
of 2 pesos (0.20 cents of U.S. dollar). It is often very
crowded. Although generally safe, you should take care
against pickpockets. During crowded rush hours, there are
sometimes cars reserved for women and children marked
“exclusivo para mujeres y niños”.

Find a subway map at the end of this document!

Buses
Buses are quite inexpensive but often very crowded. The
fee depends on the distance, the minimum is of 2.50
pesos (0.25 cents of U.S. dollar) and the maximum is 4.50
pesos (0.45 cents of U.S. dollar). Tourist offices will give
out free route maps. When you board the bus, tell the
driver your destination and s/he will tell you the cost.
Although buses run late at night, it is recommended you
do not use them after dark.
Taxis
There have been problems with unregulated cab drivers
robbing tourists. Never hail a taxi on the street. Only take
licensed taxis which can be arranged from regulated taxi
stands or called for by your hotel concierge or restaurant.
You can also take special unmarked “turismo” sedans from
your hotels although these are usually more expensive and
the cost is negotiated in advance. Taxis will charge an
extra 10% at night. Tips are generally not expected unless
you have luggage for which a 10% tip is standard.

Taxis in Mexico City use “taxímetro” to charge for their service. The “taxímetro”
establishes the fare you must pay according to the distance or the time traveled. To
be sure you are paying what you should and for your safety; take in consideration
the following advices:

• Make sure the number plate is of Mexico City. Sometimes there are “pirate”
taxis that don’t have a number plate and charge more.

• Verify the driver activates or restarts the “taxímetro” (there are some that
don’t do this, and charge you the fare of the last trip)

Weather

México is a country with a great climatic diversity, the relief and oceans presence,
influence in the configuration of the weather map. The average temperature for the
country is of 19°C (66°F). In Mexico City the average temperature is of 16°C (61°F).
The months of July and August tend to be very rainy in México City, so for the
Conference we recommend to bring both warm and fresh cloths because the weather
is very variable.

Technical information (electricity, voltage, plugs)

The electric voltage in México is of 110 volts, 60 cycles. Therefore, the artifacts
designed for 220V must use an electric transformer. The electrical appliances for trip
and the laptops usually have a transformer of high voltage (110V-240V) that adapts
to the Mexican electricity.

Mexico uses two and three pronged power plugs,


with the two-prong being the most common.

The illumination on the streets is pretty good in


almost all areas of the city.
Health

Altitude
Mexico City has an elevation of over 2,240 meters above sea level, which means
there is a lot less oxygen in the air than you are likely used to. This can cause
shortness of breath, headaches, difficulties with digestion and sleep, and make you
more sensitive to the effects of alcohol.
It usually takes a few days to adjust to the altitude so take it easy and drink plenty
of water.

Air Pollution
The air pollution in Mexico City has improved in the last few years, and is less of a
problem in the summer months when the conference will be held.
Some people, especially those with respiratory problems, may experience runny
nose, watery eyes, sore throat or difficulty breathing from the smog.
Try to avoid walking busy streets during rush hours.

Food and Water


Diarrhea, caused by e coli-contaminated food or water, can be a common problem
for visitors to Mexico. Symptoms can include frequent loose bowel movements,
cramping, nausea, vomiting and fever. Severe cases can cause dehydration and last
many days. To prevent diarrhea always wash your hands with soap before eating
and after using the toilet, and:
• Drink only bottled water, or purified, filtered, or boiled water
• Use bottled water for brushing your teeth unless your hotel advertises that their
water is purified or “potable”
• Drink canned, boxed, or commercially- bottled carbonated water and drinks
• Beware of unsealed containers that may have been re-filled
• Avoid food from street vendors or market stalls
• Avoid uncooked vegetables and salads that may have been washed with
contaminated water unless from a restaurant or hotel known to cater to tourists
• Avoid unpasteurized dairy products
• Beware of foods that may not be adequately cooked or properly refrigerated
• Do not use ice unless it is made from boiled, bottled, or purified water. Freezing
does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea.

If you do get diarrhea, make sure you drink plenty of bottled water to ensure you do
not get dehydrated.

Certain antibiotics can treat traveler’s diarrhea, as can the stomach remedy Bismuth
Subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol). Also, there is an oral vaccine now available that can
help prevent travelers diarrhea it as long as both doses are taken at least a week
before you arrive in Mexico.

If your diarrhea persists see a doctor or a pharmacist.


Safety
• As in all big cities, Mexico City has its share of crime, although most of this is
petty theft like pick pockets.
• Take care in crowded areas like markets or subways.
• Although the major tourist areas are generally safe it is best to not wear
expensive jewelry or flashy watches.
• Exercise common sense when walking around, especially at night. Be aware
of your surroundings.
• Unauthorized taxi drivers have been known to mug tourists. Be particularly
wary of the green Volkswagen taxis.
• Never hail a taxi on the street. Have your hotel or restaurant call you a
licensed, regulated taxi, or get one at a taxi stand.

You should also fill and print out this emergency card.
AIDS2008 Emergency Card
Emergencies Hotel IAS contact Taxis
Name: Office Phone: Liveer Taxi
My name:______________ _______________ (+52) 55 55 63 47 93 55 34 90 44
(+52) 55 55 63 91 46 55 24 23 45
Emergency contact person: Address: 55 34 04 24
Name:____________________ _______________ Accommodation Taxi-Mex
___________________ _______________ Help Line: 55 19 76 90
Phone:________________ _______________ before 02.08: +44 Servi-Taxi´s
_______________ 207 112 5997 52 71 25 60
My embassy: from 02.08: +46 Radio-Elite
______________________ Phone: 702 9136 14 (24 55 60 11 22
Phone:_________________ +52 (55)________ hour)

Emergency: 066 / Tourist


Help: 5250 8221
At the conference

When do booths and exhibits must be mantled and dismantled?


Mantling
You can start setting up your booth or exhibit material on Saturday 2 of August since
8:00 a.m. in the morning, so you can be ready for the Global Village’s opening on
Sunday 3rd at 11:00 a.m.
Dismantling
You can start removing your material on Thursday 7 of August since 10:30 p.m., so
on Friday 8 of August you can finish dismantling.

Registration for Participants of Cultural Activities or Sessions

If you are a participant in charge of a cultural activity or you are in charge of a


Session, you should confirm your activity and hand in your material (power point
presentation, posters, videos, etc.) at Session Room 1 on Sunday 3rd of August
throughout the morning. If you are not able to do this, the deadline of your
confirmation and the delivery of material for the participation, is 6 hours before your
scheduled activity with the Stage Manager of the Session Room you’re scheduled in.

In case you have any problem at the conference, please check what type of
problem your case falls into, and contact the responsible.

Area Responsible Phone


Accommodation Gabriela Gabriel 04455 54 75 27 19
Booths Talina González 04455 29 72 36 80
Culture Claudia Romero 04455 29 03 63 36
Exhibitions Elvira Baez 04455 54 57 57 64
Global Village Aram Barra 04455 14 51 68 99
Main Stage Minerva Valenzuela 04455 36 43 55 63
Networking Zones Yolanda Rinconeño 04455 10 15 31 53
Youth Lisa Sánchez 04455 32 00 70 29
Ricardo Baruch 04455 22 70 32 36
Youth Pre-conference Yahir Zavaleta 04455 13 37 85 07
Ricardo Baruch 04455 22 70 32 36

Taking and Sharing Information


Plan to take information home for your own learning and future reference, and to
share with others who were unable to attend.
Seek out information on specific topics, collect conference materials, and/or plan to
present a session on what you have learned at the conference to your colleagues or
community when you return.

Your personal learning goals should guide your approach to the conference. At
registration you will be given the conference programme, and all the abstracts on
either a CD-ROM or book. The book is quite large and harder to carry although can
be easier for quick reference.

The conference website www.aids2008.org also has this information and will remain
after the conference. The website will also have Power Point slides from some
sessions.
Bring a notebook with you and take notes. Jot down the day, time and topic first to
make sure you can easily look back at which session it was. This will help you to
organize the information you learn.

Read the daily conference newspaper for a summary of conference highlights. Visit
key websites covering the conference (eg, www.kaisernetwork.org for science or
www.HDnet.org for a more community focus) and attend the Rapporteur Summaries
at the Closing Session.

In addition to presentations, many organizations publish books, CD-ROMs and


pamphlets on specific topics and hand them out for free. There will also be many
brochures, educational material, buttons, posters, T-shirts and other conference
material available.

Consider packing an extra bag or suitcase to fill with the material you plan to take
home. Alternatively, whenever possible, ask people to post copies to you.
The conference is about networking as well as collecting information. Bring business
cards with you to give out to people you meet.

If you don’t have official business cards from your organization, make basic cards
with a computer programme such as Word. If you use Word “Help” and type in
“business cards” you should get results including templates that you can download
off the Internet.

When you collect other people’s cards, take a moment to write a few notes on the
back to remind yourself of where you met and what you talked about.

Health Care
International AIDS Conferences usually have a clinic with doctors, nurses and
counselors available to help delegates with urgent health problems. If the problem is
serious they will arrange for you to see an outside doctor or the hospital. We don’t
know yet what sort of health care services will be available for delegates at
AIDS2008; when it is known, details will be posted at www.aids2008.org.
Before you leave, you should arrange travel insurance to pay for any emergency
health care not provided by the Conference.

PLHIV Lounge
The PLHIV Lounge is designed to help individuals who are living with HIV optimize
their participation in the Conference. International Conferences are loud, hectic
places and can be overwhelming for PLHIV, especially when jetlagged. Although the
lounge at each Conference is unique, in general they provide the opportunity to rest,
to have snacks or a light meal, to socialize with other delegates living with HIV, or to
be referred to various health care or other services.

Rest/Relaxation
Schedule in some relaxation time during each day. Even taking a half hour between
sessions to walk outside will help.

Have fun at night with the many free/low cost events and activities but make sure
you get enough sleep.

You will be doing a lot of walking so look after your feet! Bring some foot cream
with you and apply it each night/during the day as needed. Make sure your shoes are
comfortable and don’t wear the same shoes every day.

Do not try to do and see everything. Otherwise you may be burned out after the first
day.
Customs General Information
English version
Suggestions for Bringing Merchandise into Mexico

General suggestions to avoid paying duties


• Bring the merchandise with you as part of your personal luggage (checked or
carry-on luggage).
• Do not bring merchandise in boxes or through a shipping company.
• Do not bring merchandise worth over $300 USD (by plane) or $75 USD (by
land). These limits are applicable per person; it is possible to distribute the
merchandise among several passengers in order to stay within these limits.
• Bring receipts, proofs of purchase or other documents expressing the
commercial value of the merchandise.

Warnings
• Merchandise of animal or vegetable origin (raw food items, wood products,
eggs, feathers, skins, leather, etc.) are subject to strict sanitary regulations.
• It is important to present a description of the products’ place of origin,
original materials and processing.

Customs Information

Customs Mexico is the authority responsible for monitoring the merchandise and
transports that enter and leave the country. Customs Mexico is also required to
advise you about the taxes that you must pay for importing merchandise into our
country.

WHAT MERCHANDISE CAN I BRING INTO MEXICO WITHOUT PAYING TAXES?


• The merchandise that is included in your personal luggage.
• The merchandise that is included in the exemptions to which you are entitled.
Before you come to Mexico, it is very important that you know the total value of
what you are bringing with you. It is also very important that you be aware of
your rights and obligations.

WHAT MERCHANDISE IS PART OF MY PERSONAL LUGGAGE?


• Property for personal use, such as clothing, footwear, toiletries and cosmetics,
as long as such products are appropriate for the length of your trip,
including a trousseau. In the case of babies, items for transporting, caring
for and amusing babies are included. Such items include a car seat, a baby
carrier, a stroller, and a walker, among others, as well as accessories for such
items.

• Medications for personal use; in the case of psychotropic substances,


you must present a physician’s prescription. One device for
measuring blood pressure and one device for measuring glucose
(blood sugar) levels.

• Two photographic cameras or video cameras, including 12 rolls of film or


videocassettes; photography supplies; two cellular telephones or
radiolocation devices; one portable typewriter; one electronic organizer;
one portable computer of the type known as a laptop, notebook, omnibook or
equivalent; one portable copier or printer; one burner, one portable projector,
and the respective accessories.

• Two sets of sportswear for personal use, four fishing rods, three hydrofoils
with or without sails and their respective accessories, trophies or recognition,
as long as they can be transported in an ordinary and normal manner by the
passenger. One treadmill and one stationary bicycle.

• One portable device for recording, playing or mixing sound; or one digital
sound player or one portable CD player and one portable DVD player,
along with one set of portable speakers and the respective
accessories.

• Five laser discs, 10 digital video discs (DVDs), 30 compact discs (CDs) or
audiocassettes, for playing sound, three software packages and five storage
devices for any electronic equipment.

• Printed books, periodicals and documents.

• Five toys, including collectible toys, and one video-game console, as


well as five video games.

• Valises, trunks, chests and suitcases or any other item required in order to
transport belongings.

• In the case of passengers who are more than 18 years old, a maximum of 20
packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco, up to 3 liters of
alcoholic beverages and six liters of wine.

• One pair of binoculars and one telescope.

• Two musical instruments and the accessories thereto.

• One camping tent and other camping items.

• For elderly persons and persons with disabilities, items that have features
which remedy or reduce limitations; such items include walkers, wheelchairs,
crutches, canes, etc.

• One set of hand tools, including a case, which may include one drill, pincers,
wrenches, dies, screwdrivers, power cords, etc.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT MEDICATIONS


If you are traveling with MEDICATIONS, this fact must be declared on the Customs
form that will be provided during the flight to Mexico or at the Customs unit.

It is recommended that MEDICATIONS be transported in their original


packages. It is also recommended that you be able to provide the
physician's prescription which endorses the use of such medications, in order
to avoid difficulties during the customs check. Being able to provide the generic
names of the medications may help to resolve any issues at customs, since the
names of medications can vary from one country to another.
The amount of medications brought into the country must be appropriate for the
length of the visit.
It is recommended that you carry medications in your hand luggage, since they may
be delayed or lost if placed in checked luggage.

FOOD items may be imported only if they have been industrially processed and
packaged. Raw food items, flowers, fruits and vegetables may not be brought into
the country. It is not advisable to travel with animals, plants or products of vegetable
origin, unless you are certain of the health requirements for bringing such items into
Mexico. If you travel with items of this kind, you must make the appropriate
declarations on Customs forms, and allow officers to check such items and determine
whether they may be legally imported. Restricted products will be confiscated
and destroyed at the point of entry, and attempting to import them may
result in fines being levied. Detailed information about importing products of
animal and vegetable origin (Appendix 2).
WHAT ARE EXEMPTIONS, AND TO WHAT AMOUNT OF EXEMPTIONS AM I
ENTITLED?
Exemptions are a benefit that allows you not to pay taxes on the merchandise that
you bring into the country.

If you reach Mexico by airplane or ship, you may bring, in one or more items other
than your luggage, up to 300 U.S. dollars or the equivalent thereof in other
currencies. If you enter by road, whether in your vehicle or in a bus, the exemption
is equal to 75 U.S. dollars. If you are traveling with your spouse, parents or children,
the exemption will be cumulative, including any minors, as long as you are all
traveling together on the same means of transportation.
You must prove the value of the merchandise that is included in your exemption,
whether through an invoice, a proof of purchase or any other document showing the
commercial value of such merchandise.

The exemption does not include alcoholic beverages, cut tobacco or additional fuel
for the vehicle, if arriving in the national territory by land.

For example: If two passengers together enter at the border, are traveling in
the same vehicle and are part of a single family (e.g., parent and child), they may
add their exemptions together, which means that they may bring one [or] more
items with them, as long as the total value of such items does not exceed 150
dollars.

WHAT AMOUNT OF TAXES DO I HAVE TO PAY ON ANY MERCHANDISE IN


ADDITION TO MY PERSONAL LUGGAGE AND MY EXEMPTION?
If the value of your merchandise exceeds the exemption, but is not more than three
thousand United States dollars or the equivalent thereof in other currencies, or not
more than four thousand dollars if you are bringing computer equipment, you must
pay 15% of the total value of any merchandise that exceeds the exemption. In order
to do so, fill out the form titled “Pago de Contribuciones al Comercio Exterior”
[Payment of Taxes on Foreign Trade].
For example:
Value of the merchandise US$1,000
Less land exemption
for 4 persons ($75 X 4) US$300
Result US$700
Tax rate 15%
Tax to be paid 700 X 15% = US$105

Avoid problems; declare any amount in excess of your exemption.

Taxes are paid at Customs at the point of entry to Mexico, using the form titled
“Pago de contribuciones al comercio exterior” [Payment of Taxes on Foreign Trade].

If the value of your merchandise, less the exemption, is greater than three thousand
United States dollars or the equivalent thereof in other currencies, or greater than
four thousand dollars if you are bringing computer equipment, you must arrange the
services of a customs agent, who will handle the customs procedures.

HOW WILL I BE CHECKED AT CUSTOMS?


If you have to declare, you must do so before passing through the “fiscal indicator.”
If you arrive by airplane, ship or bus, you must press the button on the fiscal
indicator, and the color will indicate to you whether or not customs personnel will
check your belongings.

green light: you pass through without being checked.


red light: your things and your customs declaration are checked.

When you have left the customs area, customs authorities may check your
merchandise, even if you had a green fiscal indicator light, as long as they show you
a verification order.

If you travel to Mexico in your vehicle, take care when selecting the lane by which
you enter. By doing so, you will avoid problems, penalties and seizure of your
merchandise.

In order to select the appropriate lane, note the signs at the customs entrance. The
options are AUTODECLARACIÓN [AUTODECLARATION] and NADA QUE
DECLARAR [NOTHING TO DECLARE].

AUTODECLARACIÓN [AUTODECLARATION] lane: Choose this lane when you


have exceeded your exemption and are bringing items in addition to your personal
luggage.
NADA QUE DECLARAR [NOTHING TO DECLARE] lane: Choose this lane when
you are only bringing your luggage and [items that fall within] your exemption.

If you choose the AUTODECLARACIÓN [AUTODECLARATION] lane, proceed to


the customs area, complete the form titled “Pago de contribuciones al comercio
exterior” [Payment of Taxes on Foreign Trade], pay the taxes and press the button
on the fiscal indicator. If the indicator is red, customs personnel will check to verify
that your payment was correct. If the indicator is green, customs personnel will not
check you.

If you enter through the NADA QUE DECLARAR [NOTHING TO DECLARE] lane
and you see a red fiscal indicator, customs personnel will check to verify that you are
not in fact transporting merchandise other than your personal luggage. If you are
transporting such merchandise, customs personnel will check to verify that such
merchandise fits within the amount of the exemption to which you are entitled. In
the event that merchandise other than your luggage and in excess of your exemption
is found, customs personnel may seize such merchandise from you, along with your
vehicle.

If you have any concerns, please visit www.aduanas.gob.mx or contact the Citizen
Telephone Service System (SACTEL) from the United States by calling toll-free to 1
800 475 2393 In Mexico, you may contact SACTEL free of charge by calling 01 800
FUNCION, 01 800 386 2466, and you may contact the Customs Service Center
(CASA) by calling 01 800 223 8262, where we will be pleased to serve you.

Do not forget that when you pass through customs, you are required to
declare whether you are bringing: merchandise other than your luggage;
money in excess of ten thousand United States dollars; animals; and/or
medications.

“The information on this form is meant exclusively to offer guidance, and does
not give rise to any rights or obligations. If you deem it suitable to do so, you may
submit a written request to the tax authority, in the terms of Articles 18, 18-A and
19 of the Federal Tax Code. Such requests must be submitted with the
understanding that, in accordance with Article 34 of said Code, the tax authority is
only obligated to respond to inquiries about actual, concrete situations which are
submitted on an individual basis by the interested party.“

APPENDIX 1
WHAT VEGETABLE PRODUCTS CAN BE BROUGHT INTO MEXICO FREELY?

1. Processed vegetable products, when such products were processed in a manner


that guarantees the elimination of disease-causing agents (cooking, sterilization,
micronization). Examples:

2. Processed products of the following kinds: Potatoes, legumes, oils, vegetables,


fruits, malt, and roasted coffee.

3. Flours or semolinas made from: corn, cassava, wheat, oat, rye, soy and/or rice.
(Only from non-quarantined countries)

4. Dehydrated products: nuts in their shells (except walnuts, if coming from Texas);
shelled cashew nuts or cashew apples; handicrafts made of straw (except for wheat
straw); shelled almonds and hazelnuts, salted and roasted pistachios; prunes, dried
herbs and spices.

5. Preserved or cooked fruit [or] legume products, such as nectar and/or marmalade.

You are only allowed to bring amounts for your personal consumption as part of your
luggage.

WHAT MEAT PRODUCTS CAN BE BROUGHT INTO MEXICO FREELY?

A. PRODUCTS ORIGINATING IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

1. Pork: fresh, frozen, canned, cold cut, dried, cooked or processed, as long as the
label on the packaging specifies the origin and there is an inspection stamp from the
relevant health authority (USDA or CFIA).
2. Canned poultry pâté in sterile packaging, as long as the label specifies the origin
and there is an inspection stamp from the relevant health authority (USDA or CFIA).

3. Pasteurized milk, whether liquid, powdered, evaporated or condensed; fresh or


aged cheeses. Butter or cream, as long as the label specifies the origin and there is
an inspection stamp from the relevant health authority (USDA or CFIA).

4. In the case of fresh or frozen pork from Canada or the United States, a maximum
amount of 15 kg. is authorized, as long as such products have inspection stamps
from the relevant health authority (USDA or CFIA).

5. Fresh, frozen, cooked, or smoked or canned pâté in sterile packaging: 3 turkeys,


chickens or pieces may be brought in per family.

B. PRODUCTS ORIGINATING IN SPAIN

1. In the case of poultry products, only commercially canned packages are


permitted, in amounts for personal consumption (which may be determined by the
inspector).

2. In the case of pork products, such as jamón serrano, an amount of one piece
per family is permitted; such piece may not exceed the average weight of a pork
leg.**

3. Powdered baby formula, solid and melted cheese products prepared with
pasteurized milk: permitted for personal consumption, in amounts not exceeding 3
kg. per person.**
**Only products originating from authorized plants may be imported. Such products
must be commercially wrapped or packaged, in unopened packaging, and with the
original label in Spanish or English, along with the stamp from the Ministry of
Agriculture in the country of origin (Spain).
IMPORTANT: Due to the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United
Kingdom on August 3, 2007, the personnel of the National Food and Agricultural
Health, Safety and Quality Service (SENASICA) have increased their inspection
activities at ports, airports and borders. For this reason, we ask you not to bring into
Mexico meat products, cold cuts or milk products from other European countries.

WHAT ANIMALS CAN BE BROUGHT INTO MEXICO FREELY?


Only dogs and cats. Travelers may bring up to 2 dogs or cats into the country with
them, without paying taxes.

1. If the pet is fewer than three months old, it must have a Health Certificate.

2. If the pet is more than three months old, it must have a Health Certificate, which
must indicate the pet’s state of health, and which must have been issued by a doctor
of veterinary medicine. The pet must also have a vaccination record, which must
specifically indicate that the pet was given a rabies vaccination which is effective for
at least one year. Originals of these documents must be presented, along with
copies.

3. In order to avoid delays when processing your entry into Mexico, it is very
important to ensure that the documents match your pet’s information (age, breed,
color, sex, etc.).
4. If you are traveling with more than 2 pets, you must make a payment at the teller
window using the form titled hoja de ayuda [help sheet], in order to have a
Certificate of Animal Health for Importation issued.

PROHIBITED PRODUCTS
Upon their arrival in Mexico, passengers traveling in airplanes, ships or vehicles may
not bring any of the following products into the country, because such products pose
a high risk of introducing pests and diseases:

1. Soil, straw, packages filled with hay, and straw decorations. Homemade food
products.

2. Flours of animal origin.

3. Fresh, dried, canned or frozen meat; meat products (cold cuts, smoked meat,
salted meat, aged meat, etc.) originating in countries that Mexico considers risky,
that are not in their original packaging, or that do not bear their original label. Said
label must include complete information, indicating the species of the animal, the
country of origin and/or the source.

4. Any vaccines or biological products that include any component of exotic pests or
diseases, as published in the “Order listing the exotic and enzootic diseases
and pests of which notification must be given in the United Mexican States,
Published March 5, 1999.”

Customs Scenarios
Various scenarios may arise when introducing merchandise into Mexico. Consult the
tables below and determine which one is applicable.
Please note:

1. For further information on non-tariff regulations and restrictions, consult a


customs broker.

2. The information below is intended for informative purposes only. It has no


legal or binding value and neither the IAS nor the Government of Mexico may be
held accountable for inexact information.

CASE 1

No duties shall apply under the following circumstances:

The merchandise arrives to Mexico by plane with the passenger (carry-on


or checked luggage).
The value of the additional merchandise, other than the passenger’s luggage,
does not exceed 300 USD or the equivalent in Mexican pesos.
The passenger has the documents proving the value of the merchandise to be
brought into the country (invoice, bill, proof of purchase or any other document
expressing the commercial value of the merchandise).
The tax exemptions of the members of the same family can be added up, if they
arrive to Mexico at the same time and by the same means of transportation.
Note: sanitary and other non-tariff regulations may apply depending on the
merchandise to be brought into the country. For further information, please
contact a customs broker.

CASE 2

No duties shall apply under the following circumstances:

The merchandise arrives to Mexico by land with the passenger.


The value of the merchandise, additional to the passenger’s luggage, does not
exceed 75 USD or the equivalent in Mexican pesos.
The passenger has the documents proving the value of the merchandise to be
brought into the country (invoice, bill, proof of purchase or any other document
expressing the commercial value of the merchandise).
The tax exemptions of the members of the same family may be added, provided they
arrive to Mexico at the same time and by the same means of transportation.
Note: sanitary and other non-tariff regulations may apply depending on the
merchandise to be brought into the country. For further information please
contact a customs broker.

CASE 3

A global duty of 15% shall be paid at customs through the format “Payment of
Contributions to Foreign Trade” (“Pago de contribuciones al comercio exterior”)
under the following circumstances:

When the value of the merchandise, excluding exemptions does not exceed
3,000 USD or its equivalent in Mexican pesos. In the case of computer equipment, its
value added to that of other merchandises shall not exceed 4,000 USD or its
equivalent in Mexican pesos.
Natural persons accredited as media correspondents may import the
necessary equipment and accessories needed to fulfill their activities, even when
their value exceeds 3,000 USD or its equivalent in Mexican pesos. Additional
regulations and non-tariff restrictions also apply.
An invoice, bill, proof of purchase or any other document expressing the
commercial value of the merchandise must be presented.

A customs broker is necessary for merchandises that are difficult to identify due to
their presentation in the form of powders, liquids or gases requiring physical and/or
chemical analyses to determine their composition, nature, origin and other necessary
characteristics.

In order to determine the taxable base, the tax exemptions may be subtracted from
the value of the merchandises.

CASE 4

If the value of the merchandise exceeds 3,000 dollars or its equivalent in


Mexican pesos or other currency, or 4,000 in the case of computer equipment, the
services of a customs broker must be procured. The customs broker will calculate the
applicable duties and cover the import procedures; non-tariff regulations and
restrictions must be fulfilled, in terms of the harmonized tariff schedule of
the merchandise.

CASE 5

If the merchandise arrives in Mexico through a courier or shipping company, the


following conditions apply:

The services of a customs broker must be procured.


A global duty of 15% must be paid.
Non-tariff regulations and restrictions must be fulfilled, in terms of
the harmonized tariff schedule of the merchandise.

An exemption from the general import duty and value added tax is applicable under
the following circumstances:

The value marked on the air waybill or bill of lading does not exceed 50 USD
or its equivalent;
It is not subject to non-tariff regulations and restrictions;
It is supported by an air waybill or bill of lading; and
The minimum fee procedure fee is paid according to federal law ($202.00
MXN – Approx. $ 20.00 USD)

This procedure is not applicable for merchandises that are difficult to identify due to
their presentation in the form of powders, liquids or gases requiring physical and/or
chemical analyses to determine their composition, nature, origin and other necessary
characteristics.