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Puerto Vallarta Customs - Be Prepared!

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I can not believe that happened to you guys. I am so sorry to hear it. Another reason why I am not a Mexico fan. I know it can happen anywhere, but the only place I ever seem to hear about it happening is Mexico. I am so sorry you guys had to go through all of that. And its sad to think it would have been better if you had a man/men with you, is gay marriage a new thing there?

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A similar thing happened to me on the way into Cabo:

We gave flip flops as our favor and had a suitcase full of about 75 pairs of Havainas. I was expecting the red light/green light thing and, given that we had about 16 pieces of luggage on our cart, I figured if we got red they couldn't possibly search them all. Well, surprise, surprise, since I was last in Cabo they now xray every single piece of luggage on the way INTO the country! So, the xray guys says "what's in that bag" and points at the flip flop bag. I told him regalitos (little gifts) for the wedding but we had to get searched anyway. Luckily I got a very nice lady who congratulated me on the wedding and asked for my receipt. I think they could have been nasty about it bc the items could have been for resale, but I had followed advice from my WC and made sure they were not from China, had no tags of any kind, and I had a receipt for them. Technically, each person is allowed a $300 exemption and you can combine it if you travel as a family. We were under that limit, she looked at the receipt, made a very light effort to count the flip flops, zipped the bag and sent us on our way. Someone else suggested spreading things among all your bags - I think this would've helped with the xray, but we just had way too many to spread out! We also had a baby car seat in a box and they asked to open it, so I think boxes (vs. suitcases) do draw attention.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fogdog View Post
A similar thing happened to me on the way into Cabo:
We gave flip flops as our favor and had a suitcase full of about 75 pairs of Havainas. I was expecting the red light/green light thing and, given that we had about 16 pieces of luggage on our cart, I figured if we got red they couldn't possibly search them all. Well, surprise, surprise, since I was last in Cabo they now xray every single piece of luggage on the way INTO the country! So, the xray guys says "what's in that bag" and points at the flip flop bag. I told him regalitos (little gifts) for the wedding but we had to get searched anyway. Luckily I got a very nice lady who congratulated me on the wedding and asked for my receipt. I think they could have been nasty about it bc the items could have been for resale, but I had followed advice from my WC and made sure they were not from China, had no tags of any kind, and I had a receipt for them. Technically, each person is allowed a $300 exemption and you can combine it if you travel as a family. We were under that limit, she looked at the receipt, made a very light effort to count the flip flops, zipped the bag and sent us on our way. Someone else suggested spreading things among all your bags - I think this would've helped with the xray, but we just had way too many to spread out! We also had a baby car seat in a box and they asked to open it, so I think boxes (vs. suitcases) do draw attention.

Good tips as well. But try to not make things from China? Wow- it seems everything is made there. And if it's not made there it costs a fortune! Luckily, I'm not planning on bringing much....I think.

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Yep - it was a royal pain in the @ss, so we wanted to let all future brides know of things that can happen. We realized at the airport how important it is to have cash on you when you need to go through customs, just in case.

 

And as far as gay marriage being a new thing in Mexico? It's not legal - however, in Mexico City, they do have "civil unions" which afford citizens all of the same rights and privileges as marriage. Neither one of us really thought that the validity of us getting married would go into question, considering the actual items that we brought...But then again, with no wedding dresses - a part of me can see where their doubt came from!

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It's unfortunate that they made you go through all this but being MExican myself , I've flown from Tijuana to PV and never had a problem with them asking me what was in my boxes, bags, etc. Also, Mexico has to enforce the law of taxation of imported goods just like they do it at the border here in San Diego, so it's not unusual that they asked for a tax on your things, however I do believe they did not believe your story about getting married, it's definetly not a "right" for people of the same sex to marry in our culture. And it's true to take extra money for briberies ( its just the way things are down there) but never to much when your flying and coming into MExico because they will try to take all of it and NEVER tell them how much money is on you! Lie ! Trust me!

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I so appreciate all of the inform for past brides. Wow, I'll gather our receipts and spread the love in our suitcases and family/friends...along with some dinero! Yikcs...I think this part is the part I am not looking forward to. But it only makes me decide what goes and what stays. Thank you all.

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