Importing of Household Goods

by | Feb 21, 2022

If you are a new condo owner in Puerto Vallarta or Nuevo Nayarit, you may be wondering if you should ship furniture from the US or Canada. Although laws change here from time to time and more often, the enforcement thereof is sporadic at best, I thought it would be helpful to share info on importing household goods.

First, to import household goods, you cannot be a tourist. You must hold a visa status that shows you are either a temporary or permanent resident. As of this writing, getting a different visa status takes anywhere from a few days to six or seven months, depending at which Mexican Consulate you start. For those not familiar with the process, you must apply for a change in status outside of Mexico. Once you receive approval, you must proceed to an immigration office in Mexico for completion. There is a cost to apply for a change in visa status. 

You must also provide documentation that proves economic solvency (enough money in your bank account or investments to mean you will not be working in Mexico). For those who plan to work in Mexico, there are additional requirements. Since most people purchasing a new condo in Mexico are retired or do not plan to work here, I will not detail the immigration requirements for this category. (If you need info, please feel free to contact me, and I can put you in touch with the experts.)

Once you have your temporary or permanent visa, you have the right to import household goods duty-free, one time within no more than six months after the date of your formal entrance to Mexico.

So, what qualifies as household goods? Household goods are any items that make up the furnishings of a home. They must be exclusively for use daily by a person or a family. This could include your clothes, linens, books, furniture, pots, and pans right down to your cutlery. Artwork is also allowed if it is not for exposition for sale or in a gallery.

The Mexican government specifies that these items must not be new; you must have purchased them at least six months before importing.

Anyone importing household goods must fill out an application form called Menaje de Casa a Extranjeros. This official document costs approximately USD 170 (at time of writing and is subject to change). All fields must be filled in with blue ink only, and your documents must all be signed. In addition to the usual information required, including copies of your passport and visa, you must also submit a detailed inventory.

When I say detailed, I mean detailed. For instance, you must describe the item and the quantity, such as 2 x small boxes of children’s clothes, 4 x large boxes of bedding including one duvet, two sheet sets, and four pillowcases. When it comes to electronics or appliances, you must also include the name of the brand, the model name, and the item’s serial number—for example, 1 x Flat 42″ Panel TV (Sony, Triton Series, QWEW135432686860).

The inventory list must be in Spanish because English will not be accepted. You will need four copies of your inventory list. A disclaimer: make sure the name on the application form and inventory list are precisely the same as your passport and visa. If not exact, you may run into hassles.

Mexican law requires that you hire a customs broker at your port of entry or use an international moving company (who uses a broker on your behalf). If you hold a Temporary Status, your goods are considered here temporarily, and if your status expires, you are not legally allowed to keep your items in Mexico. If you move once you have imported your goods, you must notify customs authorities of your address change.

Want to move your furniture? Let us make it smoother with our international furniture relocation. Free quote! Visit us at our Puerto Vallarta store: 363A Constitucion just off Basilio Badillo or our Bucerias store: Heroes de Nacozari 126. Both are open Mon through Fri 10 to 4 and Saturdays 10 to 2. If you are not currently in Mexico, email me at or Whatsapp us at +52 3221365156

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