Baja California

Mexico makes it easier to shop in the U.S.

Raises value of tax-free goods Mexicans can bring back

TIJUANA.-Just in time for the holiday shopping season, customs authorities are informing residents that they can bring into Mexico up to $300 worth of goods until Jan. 8 without paying taxes on them, up from the regular $75 exemption.

The exemption allows Mexican nationals entering from a foreign country by land to avoid paying taxes on a determined amount of merchandise being introduced into the Mexico.

That "franquicia," as it's known in Spanish, does not apply to alcoholic beverages, including beer, or tobacco.

Those who are bringing in goods worth more than the allowed exemption must declare them to Mexican customs. They can do so by using the far right lane at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border crossings.

To be able to import the merchandise, travelers must pay a 16 per cent tax on the amount beyond the exempted $300.

The information about the exemption is being disseminated as part of the annual program called Operativo Paisano de Invierno 2011, which is an effort by the Mexican government to guide and protect Mexicans while they visit their country.

The government said that 900 observers would be deployed across the country, including at border crossings, to assist Mexicans returning home.


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