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Video:What Items Are Illegal to Bring Into Mexico?

with Jonathon Stewart

Bringing illegal items over an international border can carry still penalties - know what you can and can't bring into Mexico.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Items Are Illegal to Bring Into Mexico?

When traveling to Mexico, your main concern may be what you are allowed to take back across the border into the U.S. You may be counting your bottles of tequila and wondering what will be approved. However, before you travel to Mexico, you also have to think about what Mexico does not want you to bring into their country.

Information About Items that Are Illegal to Bring Into Mexico

Topping the list of illegal substances that are not allowed entry into Mexico are drugs. You can bring in legal drugs, such as non-prescription medications but they must be in their original containers with no labels that have been tampered with. Prescription drugs are allowed but must also be in their original container so that the drug and quantity matches what’s on the label. The same drugs that are considered illegal in the U.S. and Canada are also illegal in Mexico, such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroine.

More Information About Items that Are Illegal to Bring Into Mexico

U.S. and Canadian citizens have actually been arrested for bringing in over-the-counter medications. So, it’s best to leave everything at home, if possible. Very harsh sentences are imposed on drug smugglers. And, a Mexican prison is not a place you’d ideally want to spend any time.The next illegal items are firearms, ammunition, and explosive devices. Even empty cartridges are not allowed. Law enforcement, hunters, or people who carry weapons for personal protection are not immune to the law and must comply by leaving all weapons at home.

Additional Information About Items that Are Illegal to Bring Into Mexico

There is a zero tolerance policy, so they will not listen to your excuses that you forget to take it out of your suitcase before you packed your bags for Mexico. In terms of explosives, you can’t bring gun powder, black powder, fireworks, ammonia, diesel or any other Nitromethane-based fuel or solvent into Mexico. Discovery of any firearms, ammunition, or explosive devices will also get you a one-way ticket to a Mexican jail. While foods and animals are often prohibited entry into the U.S., these are two areas where Mexico is a bit more generous with some minor requirements.

Dogs and cats are allowed but they must have a health certificate that verifies their shots. When it comes to food, there is a surprisingly long list of foods that are allowed. Some examples of what you can bring in will give you an idea of what is tolerated. For instance, you CAN bring in dehydrated or canned foods, packaged coffee, fresh or dry meats (only if coming from Canada or U.S.), candy (not lactic-based), dried spices, processed cheese (from U.S. and Canada only), processed sauces and soups without meat, straw articles, nuts and dry, herbal medicines.

Lastly, in returning to prohibited items, you cannot bring in any anti-government or anti-Catholic propaganda, such as printed materials, signs, or clothing. This is considered highly offensive to Mexican authorities and citizens. If you are unsure of a particular item, be sure to check with the Mexican consulate before packing it.

I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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