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Customs rip-off

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Friday, April 06, 2018, 07:52 (18 days ago)

Arrived yesterday with 368 pairs of donated eyeglasses for Lupita to give away to needy people. Regardless of repeated explanations that they were a donation, the boss at Customs insisted that I had to pay US$350.00 import duty. Needless to say, I was not prepared to fork over that amount so, after careful and repeated counting of the glasses and endless paperwork, they became trash and I was free to leave. I was told that, next time, I needed to bring the proper paperwork. Of course, they had no idea what that paperwork might be. "Just go to the Mexican Embassy, they'll tell you", was the brilliant recommendation. We live in Hamilton MT, the embassy is in DC.

--
[image]
http://www.casa-amarilla-zihua.com

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Customs rip-off

by hromero ⌂ @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 08:21 (18 days ago) @ frostbite

Oh man that really is a tragedy! Was that customs here in Zihua or someplace else?

--
Humberto Romero
www.casaarcoiriszihuatanejo.com

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Customs rip-off

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Friday, April 06, 2018, 08:23 (18 days ago) @ frostbite

Arrived yesterday with 368 pairs of donated eyeglasses for Lupita to give away to needy people. Regardless of repeated explanations that they were a donation, the boss at Customs insisted that I had to pay US$350.00 import duty. Needless to say, I was not prepared to fork over that amount so, after careful and repeated counting of the glasses and endless paperwork, they became trash and I was free to leave. I was told that, next time, I needed to bring the proper paperwork. Of course, they had no idea what that paperwork might be. "Just go to the Mexican Embassy, they'll tell you", was the brilliant recommendation. We live in Hamilton MT, the embassy is in DC.

If you give me a name I'll see what I can do. You did get their name, didn't you?

Customs rip-off

by Quadra Paul @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 11:34 (18 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Send Lupita out there! She will straighten things out!

Contact Numbers

by Sandy feet, Friday, April 06, 2018, 11:57 (18 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Zihuatanejo customs number at airport, 755 554 0223
No help there call, 753 533 3200 in Lazaro Cardenas

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Customs rip-off

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Friday, April 06, 2018, 15:09 (18 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I'll swing by with the paperwork between 5:00 and 5:30 today. If that doesn't work, call me at 112-1558 (landline).

--
[image]
http://www.casa-amarilla-zihua.com

Customs rip-off

by Quadra Paul @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 11:21 (18 days ago) @ frostbite

What a shame! Is there any way you can send someone out there are and sort this out?

Customs rip-off

by Casa Juan @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 11:56 (18 days ago) @ frostbite

sorry this was you, no good deed will go unpunished. I had a similar experience in 2013 when I arrived with approximately 200 pairs of refurbished eyeglasses from a Lions Club in Alaska. I came with a letter addressed to the Red cross and customs in Spanish explaining my intent to give them to the Red Cross. After approximately 1 hour of often rude discussion with custom officials I told them its your country throw them in the trash.That worked and I free to go with the eyeglasses and a lesson learned.

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Customs rip-off

by CountryDancer @, Vancouver, Washington, Friday, April 06, 2018, 14:09 (18 days ago) @ frostbite

Now I'm very concerned about my donations for Casa Maria Asilo (Senior Home).
I'm traveling alone and have (3) suitcases of donations. (I have all of my clothing, etc in my carry on)

I have notes in each bag identifying (in Spanish and English) that these are to be donated. The manager of Casa Maria Asilo is picking me up at the airport. But I won't see him until after I leave customs.

Any suggestions of what I might be able to do in-advance to ensure these very needed items don't get confiscated.

--
~ ~ Country Dancer

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Customs rip-off

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Friday, April 06, 2018, 14:55 (18 days ago) @ CountryDancer

Now I'm very concerned about my donations for Casa Maria Asilo (Senior Home).
I'm traveling alone and have (3) suitcases of donations. (I have all of my clothing, etc in my carry on)

I have notes in each bag identifying (in Spanish and English) that these are to be donated. The manager of Casa Maria Asilo is picking me up at the airport. But I won't see him until after I leave customs.

Any suggestions of what I might be able to do in-advance to ensure these very needed items don't get confiscated.

As far as I know, the law is on our side and donations such as glasses or clothing are exempt from duties. The problem with laws is that sometimes there’s a problem getting the folks responsible for their application to apply them correctly. But it can’t hurt to see what your nearest Mexican consulate says.

Customs rip-off

by suztamasopo @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 15:08 (18 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

It is the law. I did Medical Missions in the State of San Luis Potosi for 8 years. Everything that was brought in new or used had to be documented and approved by the Aduana in Mexico City. The best way to do it otherwise is to drive and bring a little bit at a time. Sad but true and as I said it is the law.

Customs rip-off

by colbyco9, Friday, April 06, 2018, 15:19 (18 days ago) @ suztamasopo

Paying a fee has happened to me too.
I had a suitcase of shoes and had to pay.
Now when I come, with donations and gifts, they are watching for me
Even when I get the green light, they still open my luggage.
I bring things for my husband's family and for our business.
So many people in need and so many of us who want to help.

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Customs rip-off

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Friday, April 06, 2018, 18:23 (18 days ago) @ suztamasopo

It is the law. I did Medical Missions in the State of San Luis Potosi for 8 years. Everything that was brought in new or used had to be documented and approved by the Aduana in Mexico City. The best way to do it otherwise is to drive and bring a little bit at a time. Sad but true and as I said it is the law.

Well, instead of telling me "it is the law" I'd like to actually read the law, and so far I've found no written law that restricts a passenger from bringing donated articles such as glasses without paying any duties.

As far as I can tell, this appears to be the law for importing donations of new items from businesses abroad, but it does not appear to be regarding a suitcase of used donated items but rather new items donated by a business or organization. I can find nothing about donations of used items from individuals intended for free distribution among the needy. I find it hard to believe that these things are restricted, and I doubt they are.

On the Aduana's page for what is and what is not permitted, it says nothing about donations of used items, so a passenger on a flight from abroad should have a reasonable expectation to bring a reasonable amount of used donated items for charitable purposes.

Pasajeros

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Customs rip-off -followup

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Friday, April 06, 2018, 20:04 (18 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

This link below looks helpful, though bureaucracy is always an impediment to charity, and we aren't a charitable organization. Just citizens and visitors trying to be helpful.

Donation of Goods to Mexico

Customs rip-off -followup

by Quadra Paul @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 21:37 (17 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Go get 'em Rob!

Customs rip-off

by Charlybby, Friday, April 06, 2018, 22:48 (17 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Key word....used.

Customs rip-off

by cd69 @, Winnipeg,MB,Canada, Friday, April 06, 2018, 23:15 (17 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

As you know Rob, I do bring a lot of items to give and sometimes a few to sell at deeply discounted rates. Every year I donate clothing, shoes and often eyeglasses/sunglasses. I travel by myself and show up with 1 or 2 large hockey size duffle bags, a large carry on bag and one large hard sided Samsonite suitcase. Last year when they scanned my bag and saw a box with over 70 glasses in it, I got questioned about it but I explained this was for donations and that was it. They did open the box and had a look at it but no big deal. The funny part is they never look at the electronics I was bringing in. This year I had 2 large duffle bags and a young couple at customs got me to show them what I had and they looked at the clothes and shoes but after I explained who it was for and offered them some, they let me go. They still asked me to press the button after which I thought was funny as what would happen if the red light came on since they had already checked me. I'm patient, friendly and unless I sense they are trying to hussle me, it's no big deal. I'm in no rush and I have never been with customs for more than maybe 10 minutes and again, I travel very heavy...

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Customs rip-off

by CountryDancer @, Vancouver, Washington, Saturday, April 07, 2018, 03:10 (17 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Most of what I am bringing is NEW.
Adult diapers in size small and extra small (because they have difficulty finding the small sizes in stores down there)
Waterproof pads for the beds (like they have on hospital beds)
Men's and women's underwear and socks.
bed linens
kitchen and bath towels and cloths
Balmex Adult Care Rash Cream

I'm also bringing used clothing and shoes.

All of this is going straight to Casa Maria Asilo (direct from the airport). The new manager is picking me up at the airport.

--
~ ~ Country Dancer

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Customs rip-off - Information found regarding donations

by CountryDancer @, Vancouver, Washington, Saturday, April 07, 2018, 03:28 (17 days ago) @ CountryDancer

Found this on the web:

Donation of goods to Mexico
For Mexican customs a donation is the process where foreign goods are exempted from tax payments for the attention of subsistence requirements on food, clothing, housing, education, civil protection or health of impoverished individuals, sectors or regions.

The goods are considered as a donation, when they come from abroad and the donor must also be from abroad. The recipients should be public entities, such as Ministries, State and Municipal Governments and non-profit organization authorized by the Tax Administration Service (SAT) to receive donations.

It should be observed that not all donations are tax free.
Goods will only be considered tax exempted when their purpose is for basic care subsistence. It should also be taking into account, that if those items intended for donation to Mexico require permits from different authorities, they must comply with the proper processes.

In order to avoid wrongdoing It is necessary to observe the guidelines set by the donation scheme, for example, if the goods donated are intended for sale or any other commercial purpose, they would be falling in responsibilities, and tax evasion.

To carry out the donation, the application form must be submitted. This document is called "Declaration of goods donated to the Federal Treasury" and "Annex 1, List of goods subject to donation," which can be obtained for free at Mexico´s Embassies and Consulates or through the following link:
More information (the link takes you to a 4-page form, that is in Spanish...not helpful)

It is essential to bear in mind, what kind of goods are considered as a donation, for example, to give away used clothing or shoes to relatives living in Mexico, do not fall into this category.

Donations in kind ALLOWED in Mexico:
•School-type trucks to use in the education sector.
•Garbage collectors vehicles equipped with compactor or roll of system.
•Cars sweepers.
•Fire engines.
•Ambulances or mobile clinics to provide medical or radiological equipment services.
•Truck crane-cage for street lighting maintenance.
•Trucks for desilting the sewage system.
•Vehicles, machinery and equipment for civil protection.
•Equipment and medical instruments and laboratory (in good condition).
•Wheelchairs and orthopedic equipment.
Glasses.
•Various prostheses.
•New clothing or shoes.
•Toys.
•Musical instruments.
•Sport goods.
•New computer equipment to public educational institutions.
•Used computer equipment for primary and secondary public education.
•Among others.

Donations NOT ALLOWED in Mexico
•When the donor and recipient are the same person.
•Used clothing and shoes.
•Canned food and bottled water whose expiration date is longer than three months from the date of entry into the country.
•Medicines whose expiration date is greater than one year from the date of their entry into the country.

For more information following telephone numbers are available:
Mexico City: 01 (55) 5802 1335 y 01 (55) 5802 1166;
Other states of Mexico, dial MARCASAT 01 (55) 6272 2728;
United States or Canada dial toll free 1 877 44 88 728 for both cases, option 7-2-3-1.

--
~ ~ Country Dancer

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Customs rip-off - Information found regarding donations

by CountryDancer @, Vancouver, Washington, Saturday, April 07, 2018, 03:31 (17 days ago) @ CountryDancer

Duty-free allowance

Duty-free allowance is a tax exemption granted by the Mexican Government to a national or foreign passenger for certain merchandise he is bringing in Mexico.

Passengers entering Mexico by land are allowed to import merchandise additional to their baggage for up to $300.00 USD.*

Persons that reside in the north border are allowed to import merchandise for up to $150.00 USD.*

During holiday periods –Easter, Summer, Christmas, New Year-, passengers may import up to $500.00 USD.*1

Passengers entering Mexico by air or a maritime port may import up to $500.00 USD.

--
~ ~ Country Dancer

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Customs rip-off

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, April 07, 2018, 09:11 (17 days ago) @ CountryDancer

Most of what I am bringing is NEW.
Adult diapers in size small and extra small (because they have difficulty finding the small sizes in stores down there)
Waterproof pads for the beds (like they have on hospital beds)
Men's and women's underwear and socks.
bed linens
kitchen and bath towels and cloths
Balmex Adult Care Rash Cream

I'm also bringing used clothing and shoes.

All of this is going straight to Casa Maria Asilo (direct from the airport). The new manager is picking me up at the airport.

I see you found the same info I also posted earlier.

Just for clarification, the name of the place you are donating to is el asilo de ancianos "Casa María Auxiliadora".

I really don't anticipate you will have any difficulty. This should NOT be a bureaucratic hassle, and you shouldn't have to jump through bureaucratic hoops or waste any more time and money.

Customs rip-off

by Sandy feet, Friday, April 06, 2018, 15:27 (18 days ago) @ CountryDancer

Head down to Portland to the Mexican Consulate. They'll look the items over and decided whether or not to give you permission to bring everything.
Wish it was an easier process.

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Customs rip-off

by CountryDancer @, Vancouver, Washington, Saturday, April 07, 2018, 02:52 (17 days ago) @ Sandy feet

I am certainly willing to do that. I will call them on Monday. Thank you.

--
~ ~ Country Dancer

Customs rip-off

by Craig AKA the cruise ship guy @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 16:10 (18 days ago) @ frostbite

I have been questioned numerous times either in Zihua or Cabo. You really need a receipt that shows it is within the allowed amount duty free. Once I show a receipt and say they are for the Iglesia they seem to back off. If you don't have a receipt as it is just a bunch of used items you can easily create one from an Excel template. Sucks that you lost all of those glasses, you will probably see them for sale somewhere in town.

Customs rip-off

by islandgirl @, Cowichan Valley, Friday, April 06, 2018, 17:26 (18 days ago) @ Craig AKA the cruise ship guy

I've worried about getting thru with all our donations, too, but so far we've been lucky. We've brought wheelchairs, walkers & crutches. Toyed with the idea of wrapping a leg each and using the wheelchairs!!!
We put our own stuff in our carry on, the donations in our checked bags and in our 'humanitarian purposes' bags. I could claim all the boys clothes as my son's, but the girls clothes, not so easy. Always scared the dozen or so soccer balls and cleats will get swiped!
It really ticks me off that helping out is so darn difficult sometimes!