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Bringing a Photographer from the States

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#1 t6312jp

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    Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:16 PM

    I am bring a photographer from the states.. I have this approved with the hotel, however has anyone gone through the process of getting the proper FMT Work Visa for them and their equipment? Any insight would be so appreciated!

    #2 Kelly C

    Kelly C
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      Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:05 PM

      My photographer carried on his cameras and laptop. We had no problems. The hotel let him use there safe to keep his stuff in when he didn't need them.
      Kerrington Danielle was born 6/23/09 12:31 pm 7lbs 14oz.


      #3 lilmisssunshine

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      • 105 posts

        Posted 26 November 2008 - 12:44 PM

        great question!!! I was just wondering about the requirements for bringing in a photographer. Thanks for starting this thread!

        #4 istephiez

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        • 74 posts

          Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:07 PM

          Hey there

          Did anyone get any more firm information about this? I am also planning to bring a photographer and he said that you can only bring one camera on board and that to be safe we will need to split up and equipment between people. Has anyone else found out any complications or rules on this? Also, I am not sure why they would need a visa or is that a work visa? Thanks for the help!

          #5 t6312jp

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          • 3 posts

            Posted 10 January 2009 - 12:14 PM

            You can take your chance with sneaking stuff in or follow this process:

            The photographers are going to receive a form at the border called FMT (Migratory Form for Foreign Tourist, Transmigrant, Business Visitor or Councilor Visitor), that allows them to work in Mexico for 180 days. About the equipment, they must fill up another form at the border with the name of each item, model and serial number. We don't provide any of those forms, they must ask for them at border. In case that you want to contact border customs, the phone number is: 1088 475 2393

            There is an international form that photographers apply for through the U.S. Council for International Business (Welcome to USCIB - United States Council for International Business). The form is called a "Carnet". A carnet will satisfy the needs of both US and Mexican customs agents when you travel to and from Mexico. Click on the link below and follow the instructions to apply for a Carnet. You will notice that there is a fee of approximately $200. The Carnet will be good for 1 full year in any of the countries listed, so they can use it to do other destination weddings.


            For your reference, I copied all of the information you will ever need to know about Carnets. FYI - you can opt or to get a work visa (FMT) or not if business will be settled back here in the United States. Azul Sensatori did request we get one even though our business takes place in the states.

            Carnets are “Merchandise Passports.” They are international customs documents that simplify customs procedures for the temporary importation of various types of goods. In the U.S., two types are issued: ATA and TECRO/AIT Carnets.

            ATA Carnets ease the temporary importation of commercial samples (CS), professional equipment (PE), and goods for exhibitions and fairs (EF). They facilitate international business by avoiding extensive customs procedures, eliminating payment of duties and value-added taxes (minimum 20% in Europe, 27% in China), and replacing the purchase of temporary import bonds.

            TECRO/AIT Carnets, used between the U.S. and Taiwan only, appear similar to, and serve the same function as the ATA Carnet. TECRO/AIT Carnets result from a bilateral agreement between the US and Taiwan, covering only commercial samples (CS), and professional equipment (PE). Merchandise entering countries in addition to Taiwan may also be accompanied by an ATA Carnet.

            Benefits of Carnets

            Carnets save time, effort, and money. They:

            § May be used for unlimited exits from and entries into the U.S. and foreign countries (Carnets are valid for one year),

            § Are accepted in over 75 countries and territories,

            § Eliminate value-added taxes (VAT), duties, and the posting of security normally required at the time of importation,

            § Simplify customs procedures. Carnets allow a temporary exporter to use a single document for all customs transactions, make arrangements in advance, and at a predetermined cost,

            § Facilitate reentry into the U.S. by eliminating the need to register the goods with U.S. Customs at the time of departure.

            (Be aware that Carnets do not exempt holders from obtaining necessary licenses or permits.)

            Merchandise Covered by Carnets

            Virtually all goods, including commercial samples, professional equipment, and items for tradeshows and exhibitions, including display booths.

            Ordinary goods such as computers, tools, cameras and video equipment, industrial machinery, automobiles, gems and jewelry, and wearing apparel.

            Extraordinary items, for example, Van Gogh Self-portrait, Ringling Brothers tigers, Cessna jets, Paul McCartney's band instruments, WorldCup class yachts, satellites, human skulls, and the New York Philharmonic.

            Carnets DO NOT cover: consumable or disposable goods (e.g., food and agriculture products) giveaways, or postal traffic.

            Countries are added to the ATA system periodically. Call to determine if the country to which the goods are traveling accepts Carnets. *TECRO/AIT Carnets are accepted for goods traveling between Taiwan and the U.S. only.

            Fees and Processing Time

            There are three basic components to the Carnet application process:

            1. General list

            2. Carnet application, and

            3. Security deposit.

            Basic processing fees are determined by the value of a shipment. Fees range from $200-$330 and the normal processing time is two working days, if the application and security deposit are received by 4:00p.m. ET. Applications received after 4:00pm will be processed the following business day or will incur an expedited service fee.

            Payment can be made in the form of a check, money order, or credit card (up to $1000 on Visa, AmEx, Mastercard).

            As the National Guaranteeing Association, USCIB is required to take security, usually 40% of shipment value, to cover any customs claim that might result from a misused Carnet. Acceptable forms of security are certified check or surety bond. Cash deposits are returned in full and surety bonds are terminated upon Carnet cancellation.

            USCIB affiliates around the world

            Go with your comfort level - were just doing it all so we need not worrry. You might not need both depending on how much they are bringing and where business is settled.

            Fun huh? Its worth it though! I am getting so much more than the hotel offers for just a little more $$. Good luck!

            PS. Don't waste any time going to the Mexican Consulate Office in your area!!! They can't help but ppl keep directing you there. You'll be chasing your tail in their office, even they don't know what to tell you.

            #6 istephiez

            • Newbie
            • 74 posts

              Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:07 PM

              I just wanted to thank you for all the amazing information about the way to properly bring in a photographer. I am thrown because it just seems so expensive to pay for their flight, hotel, visa etc. to bring along yet if I take the chance and don't do it properly I would be kicking myself for life! I appreciate your thoughts and if anyone else has done this and has suggestions they'd be appreciated as well. I know that most people have just split up the gear amoungst friends which is one thing that I am considering.

              #7 dimplz05

              • Jr. Member
              • 214 posts

                Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:08 PM

                We are bringing in a photog from the US to our Mexican wedding as well and since the photographer is staying with us for 3 nights at the resort, our WC said that he doesnt need a work visa. We are just pretending he is a guest!

                #8 wedding decor

                wedding decor
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                • 109 posts

                  Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:15 PM

                  Well you normally need a working visa for this kind of events, same applies for musicinas.

                  BUT...we have never had any problems when the photographer just says he is a friend of the bride/groom and he is coming to take picture of their wedding....meaning he is not coming for work...and that is ok!

                  With regard to material, if he comes in with 3-4 cameras it may be a problem, but with 1-2 it is ok. The all thing is that Mexican Government doesn't want people to come in and resell cameras!

                  #9 Jess

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                    Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:32 PM

                    I don't think you should worry about it - let your photog do the research on what needs to be done.

                    #10 poohshek

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                      Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:12 PM

                      Second... Our photographers flew in from the U.S. to Mexico and didn't have trouble at all. They have done several destination weddings in the past and definitely know about checking the the rules for different countries.
                      I don't think you should worry about it - let your photog do the research on what needs to be done.

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