Whether you’re visiting or live in Puerto Vallarta, there are customs agreements that we must all follow when packing our bags. These are allowances typical of all countries but we know the USA and Canada go by these requirements. Of course, buying in Duty Free shops is a great idea because you know you’re not going to be charged for such items. But other things, like fine art, antiques, and Mexican crafts might be liable for import taxes. Best thing to do is check at your port of departure, whether you are leaving by auto, air, or sea, and inquire with a full list of your purchases. If you have too many items of the same type, you will raise suspicions regarding intention of resale, which can result in hefty fees.
We are often asked about the limit on the following list of typical duty-free allowances: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 2 liters of wine, 1 liter of liquor; 60 ml of perfume. These are things people like to get at Costco in Puerto Vallarta, but the prices are much the same in Duty Free, and less of a hassle.
Your limit on US or CDN dollar amount of goods for bringing back is between $800 and $1000. A good question, if you are planning on doing a lot of shopping. If you go over that limit, you will be taxed. We recommend keeping all receipts so the price of an item isn’t discerned by an untrained eye in a hurried inspection.
As a tourist you are responsible for that little slip of paper they give you when you pass through immigration upon entry to Puerto Vallarta. No matter where you arrive, at the border, a dock or airport, you will have filled this out prior to your arrival crossing into Mexico. It’s your visitor’s permit or FMM and it’s very important you don’t lose it (keep it with your passport), or you’ll need to reapply at Immigration for a new one, which will cost you whatever happens to be the whim of the immigration officer you encounter. If you reside in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll complete your FMM upon leaving and make sure it’s stamped before you exit the country. Without it, you could lose your residency status when you return. We have encountered too many people who didn’t have this information. The least that has happened is a missed flight, while others have had to go to the Immigration Office to reapply, and that’s a big headache.