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Hello! Does anyone know whether photographers coming into Mexico need permits or other special documents (excluding any hotel requirements)? We're considering using a local photographer and are trying to figure out if they will require special documents to travel to/from Riviera Maya.



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You can always hire a local photographer, or take your chances sneaking him/her in, or you can do the following:


"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." - Taken from here: http://bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/t32736


I've heard also that they need a proper FM3 (Mexican work permit) to be allowed to work at some hotels, also heard of photographers being stopped in the middle of weddings by migration police.

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