Elaine, her cameras, and Mexican Customs

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Posted by Sarah on May 04, 2007 at 09:47:09:

In Reply to: Re: To set the Clipperton Trip record straight - flying pig photo posted by scottfiji on May 03, 2007 at 14:58:25:


I read your story earlier about being hassled at Customs in Mexico with your cameras.

I checked into Mexican Customs laws and sure enough, such silly restrictions are in place. Travelers are allowed to bring in only a maximum of $300 worth of equipment or you must employ a customs broker. Makes you wonder about driving there with your car!

You should see the restrictions they have if a parent is traveling with their kid-you need notarized written permission from the other parent, or a notarized death certificate! It is even worse if you actually want to emigrate there, and if you do so illegally, oops, I mean in an "undocumented" fashion, it is the equivalent to a felony. Just try marching on City Hall there waving an American flag and tearing down a Mexico flag, putting up the U.S. flag and putting back the Mexico flag upside down under the U.S. flag like they did in Montebello High. You WILL get beat by the cops and sent to prison.

Of course the puzzling issue is what were they thinking hassling a photographer that would give a Mexican Archipelago some tourism publicity. I've had some guy friends who went there with thousands in $ worth of fishing gear with no issue at all.

Did the x-ray machines damage any of your film?

Anyway, there appears to be an exception that you could have invoked for what you brought into the country:

IMPORTING EQUIPMENT: People working with the media or the cinematographic industry going on business to Mexico can obtain a temporary permit to take their professional equipment by submitting the following information:

1.- Dates of arrival and departure from Mexico.
2.- Purpose of the trip.
3.- Place where the equipment will be used
4.- Names of the people traveling with the equipment.
5.- Detailed list of the equipment (brand, model and/or serial number).

A attached the link.

I know the above is too late but I hope it helps u/w photogs in the future.

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