FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long have you been in the Moving Business?
SWM has been providing safe passage for their clients’ household goods since the mid 90’s. We have successfully moved more than 3,000 familys’ household goods in and out of Mexico over this time period.
How do you handle moving our goods in and out of Mexico?
We work with many Moving Companies throughout the world who are familiar with International moves to Mexico. Moving into the country they provide us with surveys, International packing, special crating and the transportation to our Broker Warehouse in Laredo, TX. This is where we cross Mexican Customs for all our shipments. When leaving Mexico our crew will provide professional packing and transportation to our Broker Warehouse. We then hire Moving Companies in your area to provide the delivery service. We use lift vans, which are 4x7x7 foot wooden crates, coming and going to protect your goods during transport and Customs Inspections.
What is the process my belongings go through to cross the border?
Your household belongings first go to our forwarding company warehouse in Laredo, TX. Your paperwork is gathered and submitted. Once everything is in order and your goods deemed ready for transport, they are then loaded in a trailer with other used household goods and seals are put in place. At this point your belongings are then sent off to cross the border into Mexico where the trailer waits in line for crossing. There are between 6,000 and 10,000 commercial trailers crossing each day. Depending on the time of the year, it can take up to twelve hours. Once your trailer comes up for actual crossing, it goes through a guaranteed RED light system for inspection. Your documentation will be examined and they may open the shipment for a general inspection. The customs agent has the right to open all or any boxes at random. The normal process is if what is opened complies with the corresponding number on the inventory, then in many cases the customs official is satisfied and your belongings are then reloaded and they go through the second light crossing. In most cases the second light is GREEN, however, if things DO NOT check out or you get a random second RED light then your goods will be inspected further. Your belongings now go through the process of unloading again. This time is goes through a very thorough examination of EVERYTHING because now they are looking very seriously for illegal things or more mismatched inventory. This is why we are so insistent that our clients make sure that their inventory and serial numbers are correctly noted and that they only ship legal items that are allowed into Mexico.
If anything is found to be new and not declared, customs imposes fines and your shipment is confiscated until they are paid. If you have anything in its original box and it is not new you MUST have a copy of the original receipt attached to your inventory. If this is not done, then the item will be classified as new and subject to the regulations of a new item coming into Mexico. If there are illegal items, then you will face legal issues. Once your shipment is cleared, then new seals are placed on the trailer, the import process is recorded and the shipment is released.
What paperwork is required?
There are NEW regulations in regards to the type of documentation required for Mexican Customs to be able to bring in used household goods. There are three types of Visas:
Temporal, Permanente and Dual Citizenship Mexican Nationals.
You must obtain your Visa from the nearest Mexican Consulate in your area. You no longer can start the process in Mexico.
Permanente and Mexican Nationals need to get a Meneje de Casa approved at the Mexican Consulate in their area. This is a stamped inventory of what you are shipping into the country. It must include all make, model and serial numbers on all items that plug in or have a battery. We assist you with the Spanish translations and format. You will need to send originals to our Broker in Laredo, TX.
Temporal Visa holders do not need this stamped inventory but we do still need all the same information to present to Customs. We also require a passport and a couple of letters that need to be filled out from all Visa holders.
We require all of our clients to have their paperwork in order in the manner that we request before your shipment can cross Mexican Customs.
Our Mexican Consulate tells us different things than you do for bringing our belongings into Mexico, whom should I believe?
Every Mexican Consulate is different and unfortunately they do not operate uniformly. The Mexican consulates and the Border Customs are two complete separate government departments and they do not work in conjunction with each other in the manner we may think. Each Mexican Consulate will have their own format as to how the Meneje de Casa needs to be submitted. Please refer to how they require it to be done and we will assist you with that documentation and translations. Formats can be different and are accepted at Mexican Customs.
Please keep in mind, what we tell you we need is WHAT WE NEED to cross your belongings through the Laredo, TX border.
Does my shipment have to be cleared both with US and Mexican Customs?
No, your belongings go to our forwarding company and our Broker then goes through the process with Mexican Customs only. The only time that US Customs are involved is when your belongings go back to the USA or if your shipment is coming in bond from another country, such as Canada.
Packing, how important is it?
Packing is very important for a successful move. We strongly recommend using Moving Companies who are familiar with International Moving. You are paying good money to have your belongings come to Mexico so why not take the time to make sure they also arrive in the best possible condition.
Why are the trailers sealed?
We place seals on our trailers the minute they are ready for transport to clear customs. These seals are NOT removed until you go through Customs. Once your shipment is cleared, NEW seals are recorded on your documentation and placed on the trailer. We check all seals upon arrival to our warehouse to make sure their numbers match the documentation. This will insure you that your shipment has NOT been used to transport illegal goods. DO NOT think this could not happen. Transporting illegal goods into Mexico is very big business, so know whom you are moving with. We only ship used household goods on your trailer and do not pick up or drop off shipments along the way.
Insurance, is it really necessary?
We recommend to all of our clients that Transit Insurance through Mexico is very important. First check with your current homeowners insurance policy agent to see if you are covered through them all the way to Mexico. Some are only covered to the border so please make sure you ask them. If not, we do offer various insurance plan options. Since you are going to the expense of shipping your belongings, it is best, for peace of mind, to insure your shipment.
How long can I expect my shipment to take from pick up to delivery?
We tell our clients to expect up to 30 days from pick up to delivery. Ocean shipments can take longer.
What type of problems have you had?
We have had no major problems and only a few minor ones. These few minor problems consisted of clients not informing us that they had something new in their shipment or trying to ship things not on their inventory lists. We can never state strongly enough to our clients that:
- You MUST not ship anything new or less than 6 months old without declaring it.
- You MUST not ship excess items without proper documentation
- You MUST not ship illegal items
If you follow our instructions, then you should not have any problems.
I hope that many of your questions have been answered with this information sheet. Please feel free to contact us with any question you may have. We prefer you to ask as there is so much misinformation out there.
This information is being provided by Strom White Movers for the sole purpose of information and we do not wish it to be copied or altered in any way unless authorized by us first to avoid any misrepresentation.