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    Mexico City airport customs tax on production gear
    #1
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    I'll be traveling to Mexico City, MX in few weeks. Bringing a medium-large form factor cam and lens, Pelican cases. For sure will be screened. I heard horror stories about the airport customs taxing everything on the spot from others and they even detain the gear until it's cleared up after the fees are paid. Does anyone have extensive experience with flying to Mexico City to do production work and how to get proper paper work before hand?


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    #2
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Get a carnet.


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    #3
    Resident Preditor mcgeedigital's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Get a carnet.
    Carnet's are only for helping you get back INTO the U.S. with customs.

    Zero help in tis case.
    Matt Gottshalk - Director/ Dp/ and Emmy Award Winning Editor
    Producer/Director, Digital Creative for the United States Postal Service


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    #4
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    These links might be helpful. I haven't vetted them, though:

    Bringing Equipment
    The best way to bring equipment into Mexico, is by using the ATA Carnet.
    http://filminmexico.com/travel/bringing-equipment/

    United States Council for International Business
    http://www.merchandisepassport.org

    Info from one broker of carnets (not the only one):

    Mexico Carnet Details
    https://www.atacarnet.com/advisory/m...carnet-details
    ----------
    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    #5
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcgeedigital View Post
    Carnet's are only for helping you get back INTO the U.S. with customs.

    Zero help in tis case.
    You may wanna check into how carnets work.


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    #6
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    There are 78 countries that are part of the ATA Carnet system including the United States and Mexico:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATA_Carnet

    They are definitely the best option when traveling internationally with gear and are good for up to 1 year.
    Last edited by davedv; 11-14-2019 at 12:43 AM.


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    #7
    Senior Member Liam Hall's Avatar
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    I've done over 500 foreign shoots. Mexico City is in my top 3 worst airports to travel to with kit.

    Get a carnet. Prepare to have your time wasted by an over officiaous customs officer. Make sure your carnet has EVERYTHING on it, even cables. They will check everything and they will be slow. Very slow.

    When you return, leave plenty of time to get your carnet stamped on exit. They will want to go through everything again and you may have to wait while they harass other travellers. I left an extra two hours than normal last time and only just made my plane.

    Stay calm and polite - smile and wave mode...

    Quote Originally Posted by mcgeedigital View Post
    Carnet's are only for helping you get back INTO the U.S. with customs.

    Zero help in tis case.
    100% WRONG
    New Website: www.liamhall.net
    TWITTER: @FilmLiam
    INSTAGRAM: @picsbyliam


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    #8
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    Carnet tips: do a "practice" pre pack of the exact gear you will be traveling with to make sure everything fits, etc. Be sure to list everything with a s/n on it. It's a massive PIA to add/subtract items once the carnet is completed. Can be costly, too.

    Also, you may want to look into whether you need to get a work permit/visa. Canada had some restrictions on that as recently as a few years ago when last I shot there (could be a NAFTA thing, not sure). Keep in mind that when you enter a country with gear and a carnet, you may possibly be treated under a different regime as a foreign worker... and anyone traveling with you (e.g. producers, talent) may be subject to the same work permit requirements as well.

    I was once delayed in customs because a producer was helping me wheel a case. He hadn't declared that he was there to work, and so we had to wait for a number of supervisors to leaf through several volumes of manuals and regulations before he could be properly processed. This may be the one and only instance where I would advise you not to encourage a producer to help you schlep your gear!


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