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davephdv

Taking cameras to Mexicio

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Last time I went to Mexico I carried my D2X and a small digicam. I forgot I had the digicam and checked on their entrance form that I had only one camera. At entry to mexico ( in the airport) they gave me quite a hassle. They thought my underwater housing was a second camera. They finally let me go even though they saw the small digicam.

 

My question is has anyone who is not a professional declared 2 cameras? Were you allowed to bring both in and did they charge you anything for doing so?

 

Thanks for any insight.

 

Dave

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Last time I went to Mexico I carried my D2X and a small digicam. I forgot I had the digicam and checked on their entrance form that I had only one camera. At entry to mexico ( in the airport) they gave me quite a hassle. They thought my underwater housing was a second camera. They finally let me go even though they saw the small digicam.

 

My question is has anyone who is not a professional declared 2 cameras? Were you allowed to bring both in and did they charge you anything for doing so?

 

Thanks for any insight.

 

Dave

 

I flew into Mexico in Sept and was carrying all my camera gear in a backpack.(no housing only 3 bodies and 5 lenses ) with no hassles.I pressed the button and of course the light turned red. The young man that went thru the backpack had no problem with all the camera gear.

I went from Los Angeles to Guadalahara.

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I was there in October with not one question of the sort. Got the green light though.

 

Cheers

 

Todd

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I get hassled every time I fly into San Jose Del Cabo. They X-ray ALL the incoming luggage before you get to customs so there is no denying what you're carrying. The customs form says you are allowed one still camera and one video camera and a certain number of rolls of film, even your typewriter and a microwave! When they ask me how many cameras I'm carrying I tell them one for stills, one for video and one for underwater. I always tell them I do this as a hobby and not a profession. This seems to be OK with that. They also seem to be more concerned about new cameras vs older ones.

 

You can also argue with the customs agents that you had no way of knowing what the limits were, since you were not given the customs form until after you got on the plane. I don't recommend this, but it has worked once or twice for me. Pleading ignorance usually gets you by if you tell them you have more than what is allowed before you hit the ALTO/PASE button. Just don't be short with them and don't lose your temper!

 

In other parts of Mexico, like Cozumel, I never get hassled. In my experience its easier for women to flirt their way through customs in Mexico than it is for men, with the exception of Cabo where there are more female customs agents than males. "I bring a lot of cameras because there are so many good looking men to take pictures of!" ... giggle ... giggle ... smile ... bat your eyelashes ... blush a little. Sorry guys, but it works.

 

Your best bet is to not take any chances and make a list of your camera gear with serial numbers, claim the extras on the customs form, and refuse to pay a customs fee because you have no intention of leaving any of the camera gear in Mexico. If you're working as a pro you probably already know that you can do the paperwork ahead of time to obtain a permit and avoid this entirely.

 

If you do lie about what you're carrying, you risk paying a fine, losing your gear, or spending a good hour trying to reason with the customs agents to let you go with your gear.

 

Just be sure that if you're bringing your psychotropic drugs that you also remember to bring your physician's prescription.

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I was hassled for having 3 cameras. They seemed to relax when I told them that they were all different cameras. And yes, I marked "vacation" and filled "engineer" as my profession. ;)

 

Actually, it was 2 SLRs, a video camera, a video housing, and a still housing. They thought I had 5 cameras, and I had to [politely] inform them that it wasn't the case.

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If I put my Nikon 8400 in video mode can I claim it is a video camera?

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In January 2008 Mexico changed their customs requirements. I took home an extra form, scanned it, did OCR, and posted it on my site. They have updated the cameras allowed.

 

http://www.underwatercolors.com/mexican_customs.html

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I went there recently - not one question asked. Although I don't have as many cameras as most people.

 

Alex

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They harassed me, Eli, and Larry when we arrived in Cabo a couple of weeks ago. If you have more than 2 cameras, they will make it hard to get through. They will ask for "your form." I pled ignorance, and they eventually let us through.

 

I had 2 dSLRs, 1 point & shoot, and 1 video camera. They did not like that. We just stood around and waited until they finally told us to go ahead (with a warning).

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Just got back from Socorro on the Solmar V (great trip as usual) and got hassled from Mexican customs again. This time US Airways only had the old customs forms, which allows only one camera and one video. So the customs agents told us they hold us to whatever form is used, regardless of what the rules really are. After arguing with the customs agent about the ever changing rules, he let me go.

 

So in the event you get stuck with an old form from your airline, be sure to pick up the new form at the airport you fly into. I would also pick up a couple of extra forms and keep them for future use in the event they find another box of old forms laying around that they decide to use instead of toss.

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Just got back from Socorro on the Solmar V (great trip as usual) and got hassled from Mexican customs again. This time US Airways only had the old customs forms, which allows only one camera and one video. So the customs agents told us they hold us to whatever form is used, regardless of what the rules really are. After arguing with the customs agent about the ever changing rules, he let me go.

 

So in the event you get stuck with an old form from your airline, be sure to pick up the new form at the airport you fly into. I would also pick up a couple of extra forms and keep them for future use in the event they find another box of old forms laying around that they decide to use instead of toss.

 

I believe that in Mexico what goes today may not go tomorrow but will go the next day. It's virtually a crap shoot, you are at the whim of the people that are messing with your gear. One thing is helpful, have your camera clearly marked with your name on it using a tape gun, let's them know you aren't trying to sell the stuff.

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