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Can I bring Duty Free (or other) alcohol *into* Mexico? (¡Si!)

Can I bring Duty Free (or other) alcohol *into* Mexico? (¡Si!)

Old Sep 18, 17, 3:19 pm
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Can I bring Duty Free (or other) alcohol *into* Mexico? (¡Si!)

Due to the recent problems with tainted alcohol in parts of Mexico and our upcoming visit to Cabo, my friend was told by someone (the infamous "friend of a friend") to purchase alcohol at the duty free store in the Phoenix international terminal for our trip.

I was under the impression one cannot shop at a duty free shop in an American airport using an American passport, for flights to other countries. Am I mistaken, or was she given bad information?

I mean, this kind of makes a lot of sense, if it will work. We get to buy our alcohol, not worry about it getting broken in our luggage, not worry about going through TSA with too much liquid, not worry about it being tainted (I know, I know, it was mostly Cancun and PDC where the gov't seized 10k gallons...that's just not a discussion worth having with my friend). With the added bonus that we won't have to stop on our drive from SJC to our hotel in order to buy booze for our rooms.

This is either brilliant or 100% impossible. Can we shop at duty free in a US airport with a US passport?
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Old Sep 18, 17, 4:41 pm
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As long as you're flying out of the country you can purchase Duty Free in the USA, doesn't matter your nationality (the items are exempt from duty because they are being exported, doesn't matter by whom). As far as Mexico's rules on importing alcohol I'm not sure.
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Old Sep 18, 17, 9:19 pm
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Since this question appears to be primarily about bringing duty free alcohol into Mexico, the OP is likely to get the best advice in the Mexico forum, where this thread is now located.

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Old Sep 19, 17, 9:27 am
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a couple of things.

Yes, you can do this. Mexico allows passengers to bring up to 3 litres of alcohol into Mexico free of customs tax (i.e. duty-free).

Are you flying through Mexico City or directly to Cabo? If arriving at Terminal 1 in Mexico City you will be able to purchase from the duty-free stores ON ARRIVAL immediately after passing through La Migra (passport control) and before reaching Aduana (Customs). There are reports that this is also the case at SJD Terminal 2 but I have never been there so can't personally confirm this. (Of course, if you are connecting then bottles would have to be put into checked bags).

Having said all of that - in the last few years prices of alcohol have dropped dramatically in Mexico and now alcohol with tax is MUCH cheaper at local stores than at the duty-free stores - on the order of 25% or more. If you purchase at reputable stores (Costco, Walmart, Sam's Club, etc.,) then you will save significant money and be assured of legitimate product. Just ask your driver to stop on the way to your hotel/resorts.

Last edited by Section 107; Sep 20, 17 at 7:28 am
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Old Sep 20, 17, 8:56 am
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Can I bring DF alcohol *into* Mexico? (¡Si!)

You had me with this thread title.

DF is in México.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by Tanic View Post
You had me with this thread title.

DF is in México.
True, though CDMX seems to be used more commonly than D.F. these days.

I've changed the title for clarity, though of course non-Duty Free alcohol is regulated by the same import rules as Duty Free. /Moderator

"If you are bringing alcohol into Mexico from the U.S., you are allowed to bring up to three liters of liquor or beer and six liters of wine per adult. ... Passengers over 18 years of age are allowed: 10 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco, three liters of liquor or beer, six liters of wine."

The original duty status of the liquor, wine or beer is unimportant. It only means duty was waived by the country of purchase, not ensuing countries. E.g. you might buy a single malt Scotch at LHR or fine Tequila at MEX duty free, but US duty may still apply on arrival at any other country.

Now, as to "tainted liquor" in Mexico as a reason: I've seen not one iota of evidence or allegation any bottled alcoholic beverage in Mexico is "tainted". There's greater risk in the US of that in cities where crooked barkeeps sell empty bottles of upper shelf booze to refillers or refill with their own home blends to make a bigger profit from selling fake booze.

There have been allegations of tainted alcoholic drinks served at some resorts. Personally, I pretty much dismiss these allegations as statements made by people who have overimbibed mass mixed or straight drinks made with lower shelf cheap booze. I've witnessed this many times. They're not using the finest "reposado" tequila at Carlos and Charlie's when they pass by with the bota to pour hooch down your gullet, and too much will make you sick, hung over or in some instances could kill of acute alcohol intoxication.

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 20, 17 at 12:15 pm
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Old Sep 22, 17, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post

Now, as to "tainted liquor" in Mexico as a reason: I've seen not one iota of evidence or allegation any bottled alcoholic beverage in Mexico is "tainted". There's greater risk in the US of that in cities where crooked barkeeps sell empty bottles of upper shelf booze to refillers or refill with their own home blends to make a bigger profit from selling fake booze.

There have been allegations of tainted alcoholic drinks served at some resorts. Personally, I pretty much dismiss these allegations as statements made by people who have overimbibed mass mixed or straight drinks made with lower shelf cheap booze. I've witnessed this many times. They're not using the finest "reposado" tequila at Carlos and Charlie's when they pass by with the bota to pour hooch down your gullet, and too much will make you sick, hung over or in some instances could kill of acute alcohol intoxication.
Completely agree on both points. In the first, fans of American cinema will recall Fast Eddie Felson was selling rail liquor in top shelf bottles in the "Color of Money".....

and I have seen the second at many a place, not just in Mexico but also all over southern Europe. And the US.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 6:01 pm
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Thinking of bringing a 24 pack of beer into Mexico. I'll declare it.

What happens when you're over? Pay a duty? Or do they confiscate over 3L?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 23, 19, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
Thinking of bringing a 24 pack of beer into Mexico. I'll declare it.

What happens when you're over? Pay a duty? Or do they confiscate over 3L?

Thanks!
If you do not disclose you run the risk of confiscation y fine.if you disclose, it should only be duty (unless they think you're importing for commercial purposes). You'll want to get a customs form (if they still have them) on the plane. I think they just have them for people who want to declare things. I haven't received one in ages.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
Thinking of bringing a 24 pack of beer into Mexico. I'll declare it.

What happens when you're over? Pay a duty? Or do they confiscate over 3L?

Thanks!
Whether you like light beer , dark beer or regular beer , you will probably find that Mexico makes pretty decent beers.....
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Old Jul 24, 19, 6:21 am
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Most Mexican airports also have arrival duty free stores . Saves you from carrying bottles of spirits in your hand luggage
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Old Jul 24, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by malagajohn View Post
Most Mexican airports also have arrival duty free stores . Saves you from carrying bottles of spirits in your hand luggage
When arriving at MEX I have only seen duty-free on arrival in T1 and not in T2. However, it has been about 4 years since I last arrived in T2 - does it now have Duty-Free accessible on arrival?
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Old Jul 24, 19, 8:45 am
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Unfortunately, beer isn’t mentioned at all in Mexico customs document, which state the free allowance is three liters of alcoholic beverage or six liters of wine.

Depending on where one is going in Mexico, beer may be cheaper and there are some decent craft beers popping up there. Not to mention 24 cans of beer weigh ~20 lb and bottles ~36 lb. You might save a lot at your local Oxxo, Chedraui, Soriana, MEGA, Superama, etc. store.

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 24, 19 at 8:55 pm
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Old Jul 24, 19, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
When arriving at MEX I have only seen duty-free on arrival in T1 and not in T2. However, it has been about 4 years since I last arrived in T2 - does it now have Duty-Free accessible on arrival?
The concession in T2 changed hands a couple of years ago but I haven't been through since then.

Its now managed by Dufry de Mexico who also control the shops in T1
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Old Jul 24, 19, 11:15 am
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this mail address might help

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