Although it may seem that the Border Crossings (in both directions) have changed what is allowed and not allowed, in fact they have not. The change is that they are enforcing the existing laws more strictly. They have also added Agriculture Agents on the Mexican side which brings food items under more scrutiny than in the recent past. Overall, it’s still pretty simple and 9 times out of 10, you get the green light anyway and don’t have to even stop.
Of course, when you do catch the red in Mexico, and every time in the USA, it can still make a huge difference depending on the Agent, their mood, how pleasant you are, and sometimes it seems, which way the wind is blowing. For the most part, the Agents on both sides have been very friendly and understanding, even as they are taking the t-bone steaks out of your cooler, or the bag of fresh oranges out of your trunk…
For the record, here is some information and links from both the Mexican and USA governments regarding what can cross and why some things cannot:
Mexico SAGARPA-SENASICA Statement:
The importation of live animals, products and by products of animal, vegetable, fishing and aquiculture origin, can introduce pests and diseases that are not currently present in the region and provoke production and economic losses, and limit the exportation of our products abroad.
In order to avoid this, SAGARPA-SENASICA personnel are vigilant and carry out inspections at maritime ports, borders, international airports and crossing points throughout the country, supported by dogs that are trained to detect any organic product that may represent a health or safety risk. Their offices located at each one of these inspection points are called OISA’s or Offices of Agricultural Health Inspection.
Before traveling to Mexico, it is very important that you are familiar with the requirements the government has established for introducing live animals or products and by products of animal, plant, fishing and aquiculture origin which can be found on the navigation bar to the right (NAVEGACION), or at the Modulos de Consulta located on the Home page of the site in the section called Tramites y Servicios.
If, upon your arrival to Mexico, you DECLARE that you have an agricultural or food product in your baggage (purse, suitcases, bags, backpacks, etc), a SENASICA-SAGARPA official will evaluate the health condition of the item and determine if an import process is required, or if it must be retained and destroyed in accordance with government ordinance.
Avoid delays and help keep Mexico safe!
This article is brought to you by the Sonoran Resorts Sales team, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales and Marketing.