How Mexico's Customs Prohibited Items Regulations Can Affect Your Travel Plans

Last Updated: August 17, 2021 by
Categories: Border Crossing, Customs, Legal

Mexico has strict customs regulations regarding what items are allowed into the country. Prohibited items include drugs, firearms, and certain fruits and vegetables. If you are caught with any of these items in your possession, you could be fined or even thrown in jail. Be sure to check the customs regulations before you travel, so you can avoid any potential problems at the border.

If you have any questions about Mexico's customs regulations, be sure to contact the Mexican consulate before you travel. By doing your research and being prepared, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Mexico's Strict Weapons Laws

Guns and Knives not permitted sign

Mexican law prohibits the carrying of all firearms, including those with a license to carry. Ammunition is also prohibited, so if you have spare bullets or bullet casings in your vehicle, make sure you take them out before traveling to Mexico. This also includes knives, swords, and any other type of weapon. If you are caught carrying any of these items, you will be subject to prosecution and could face jail time.

Did you know that there are knife laws in Mexico? Knives are regulated differently in Mexico than they are in other parts of the world. For example, it is illegal to carry a knife with a blade longer than four inches. It is also illegal to carry any type of weapon, including knives, into certain public places, such as schools and government buildings. If you are caught carrying a knife in a prohibited place, even something as small as a pocketknife, you could be fined or even arrested.

Just remember, when in doubt, leave your weapons at home.

Medications, Drugs, and Chemicals

As with any country, some drugs and medications are prohibited from being brought into Mexico. These items can include controlled substances such as narcotics and prescription medications. You must show proof of your prescription when bringing your prescribed medication into Mexico. That means keeping it in its original bottle or having a note from your doctor.

Although marijuana is legal in many parts of the United States, both with and without a medical card, marijuana cannot be brought into Mexico. This includes items containing cannabis or any of its derivatives.

Examples of medications and drugs not allowed into Mexico include:

If you are planning to purchase any prescription medications while in Mexico, you will need a valid prescription from a Mexican doctor, and/or your medicine in its original container.

Check with Mexico customs if you have questions about any of your medications.

Additionally, certain chemical compounds used in insecticides or rodenticides, including isodrin, aldrin, heptachlor, endrin, hexadrin, leptophos, and thallium sulfate, are also prohibited.

Check with Mexico Customs if you have questions about any of your medications.

Agriculture, Livestock, Fish, and other Food

Several items are prohibited from being either imported into Mexico or exported out of Mexico. The totoaba, a rare native fish from the northern Gulf of Mexico, is prohibited, as are all types of predatory fish. Turtle eggs along with turtle skins are not permitted to be imported or exported.

Mexico's Ministry of Agriculture prohibits the import of many items because they pose a huge risk of potentially introducing disease or plague into the country.

Prohibited items include:

Fruits and Vegetables

Sugarcane is prohibited. Apples, oranges, and pears are prohibited. Potatoes are prohibited, including Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams. (Exceptions: Cooked potatoes are permitted. Avocados without seeds are permitted, except in California.)

Plants, Seeds, and Soil

The breeding and growing of certain plants are prohibited. Soil, seeds, or cuttings from these species can't be brought into the country without a permit from agriculture inspectors. Dried plant parts such as those used for medicinal purposes may enter without restriction, provided they meet limited storage conditions (e.g., must not have been heated).

Meat and Game

Pork-raw and cooked, including sausages, cold cuts, skins, and pork tacos, are prohibited. (Exceptions: Shelf-stable, canned pork and hard-cooked pork skins [cracklings] are permitted.) Anyone wishing to bring the game into the country must check in advance with agricultural inspectors.

Poultry

Mexico has strict laws regarding the importation of raw meat. Both domesticated and game fowl are prohibited, except thoroughly cooked poultry. There may be other restrictions as well; it is advisable to check with inspectors in advance of travel. Mexico is committed to protecting its agriculture industry, and these laws are in place to help prevent the spread of disease and pests.

Eggs

Prohibited. (Exceptions: Boiled and cooked eggs are permitted.)

Live Birds

Wild and domesticated birds, including poultry, are prohibited. To import personally owned pet birds, contact agriculture inspectors in advance.

Straw

Generally prohibited. This includes wheat straw, seeds, animal feed, and all articles made from this material.

What Do You Do If You Accidentally Bring a Prohibited Item Into Mexico?

Some items are prohibited in Mexico that you may not think of. For instance, Mexico prohibits the import of any articles that contain images portraying "childhood in a denigrating or ridiculous manner, in attitudes which incite violence, self-destruction, or any other type of anti-social behavior..." Offensive T-shirts, stamps, and trading cards can meet this criterion. Additionally, you cannot bring used clothing into the country to donate or sell. Only bring the clothes you need for your travels.

If you accidentally bring a prohibited item into Mexico, you will likely be fined, and the item confiscated. It's important to be aware of the customs regulations to avoid any penalties. If you are caught with a banned item, you could face jail time or a heavy fine. If you are stopped by Mexican customs officials and asked to surrender an item, it is important to cooperate. Failing to do so could result in serious consequences. Be sure to check the list of prohibited items before you travel and double-check any items you are unsure about.

Before you pack for your time in Mexico, be sure to check what items you cannot bring with you. There are many prohibited items, and if you try to bring them across the border, you may run into trouble.