Saturday, February 16, 2013

Updates on having your foreign-plated car in Mexico

The meeting this Wednesday in Nuevo Vallarta about immigration and how vehicles and FM3s and other visas are related stirred up a rather large dustup.

Here are some brief clarifications to the original blog, based on information from the powerpoint and Q & A that was just sent out by the Embassy following the meeting:

* First, according to the Question and Answer session information from the meeting:  “For a permanent importation according to this year’s NAFTA regulations the vehicle must be at least 6 years old (please contact your customs authorities).”

Earlier it was reported that the opposite was true. So, your vehicle must be six years or older, and cannot have the letter "J" as the first letter of your VIN number (because it was manufactured in Japan and not eligible for importation).

* Second, although several people reported that the new vehicle rules require that you get your vehicle imported within 60 days of getting your renewed FM3, the published Q & A does not have any time frame information included. So we're still researching how long we have to get our truck imported. Or get it out of the country. We did read that there will not be a 'grace period'. But not how long we have to resolve it legally. Stay tuned.

* Third, the question of “where” you can import your vehicle was answered this way: You must always contact a registered customs agent for any permanent importation at the northern border or maritime terminal if the vehicle came by sea into Manzanillo or Cancun.”

Reading all the documents so far, it sounds like we would have to drive our truck back to our point of origin when we first arrived in Mexico (Nogales, for us), have our current import sticker legally removed (the one that is currently attached to our FM3). Then we would have to start the importation process.

From the documents we've received, it definitely sounds like no foreign-plated cars will be allowed in Mexico for longer than 180-days without being imported, and importation has to happen at the border.

You can still get the 10-year importation for boats and RV's.

Perhaps the customs regulations will evolve to allow us to import without going back to the border since so many gringo vehicles will be impacted. Unfortunately, Michael and I are about to receive our new resident visa card and might have to drive the truck out just because we're renewing at the beginning of the process, before anyone knows quite how it will shake down.

We'll continue to update as we work on our specific case. Love to hear from anyone who is even earlier in the process than us.


Anonymous said...

Your "third" point seems to say that only if your vehicle came by sea do you have to go to the frontera..that is what I read anyway. I am going through someone here in Melaque who has imported many vehicles and works with an aduana and a lawyer (apparently). We are currently waiting for the new price list for this year so we know how much it will cost to do my car. She says it is legal to do it,she has done many cars in the past. I am glad you clarified about the car age, lots of people think the car HAS to be at least 10 yrs. so 6 is better for lots of people.
Linhda Mandala

D&L said...

We have just gone through the process of renewing our FM3 and were advised we had the choice of temporary or permanent status. We chose temporary status and was advised that as long as that was current we could keep our vehicle in Mexico, even though it was made in Japan. We would be interested to know if there is a different ruling on keeping your vehicle in Mexico depending on whether you have temporary or permanent status?


Bob said...

Confusion reigns - Is a car MORE than 6 years old - ie. earlier than 2007 - able to be imported, or, must the car be more than 6 years old? Is a 2010 car importable or must it leave Mexico? The mind boggles.

Sylvia Fox said...

The car must be six years old or OLDER.