How to determine Duties and Taxes for shipments imported / exported into Mexico

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Mexico duties and taxes

Image courtesy of Juan Gnecco / FreeDigitalPhotos

When shipping packages or goods from the United States into Mexico, the biggest unknown is typically the cost associated with the duties and taxes. Every country has different regulations and policies to follow, Mexico is no different. But as a general rule, most goods imported into Mexico are required to pay for:

  • 1) Duties (Ad Valorem Duty)
  • 2) DTA (Customs Processing Fee)
  • 3) VAT (Value Added Taxes)

  • Duties
    Duties are based on the value of the goods plus shipping cost and insurance (if any). The Duty rates applied to goods imported into Mexico range between 0% and 140.4%, with the typical average duty rate at 13.97%. Products, such as: Laptops, Mobile Phones, Digital cameras and Video Game consoles, are Duty free. Besides, depending on the country of manufacture some goods may be subject to additional duties.

    The table below summarizes the duty rate for the most common commodities:


    Duty Rate

    Laptops 0%
    Mobile  phones 0%
    Digital cameras 0%
    Video Game Consoles 0%
    Musical Instruments 0%
    Clothes 25%
    Books 5%
    Foods and Drinks 20%
    Toys 15%

    DTA or Customs Processing Fee is applied to all imports at a rate of 0.8% of the sum of the total value and duty.

    The VAT rate is based on the value of the goods plus shipping cost, insurance and duty amount payable. The Mexican standard rate of VAT is 16%. Although, certain goods, such as drink and food products are VAT free.

    Other taxes and customs fees
    Excise duty is payable on tobacco and alcohol products at rates between 25% and 160% on the sum of the total value and duty. Additional customs fees can be charged to cover the expense of performing any required examinations, verification and or testing of the imported goods.


    1) Product: Digital Camera, Value: $350
    –Duties = $0
    –DTA: 350*.008 = $2.80
    –VAT: (350+2.80)*.16 = $56,45
    –Total cost: $409,25

    2) Product: Cookies (Food Product) Value: $300
    –Duties (300*.20) = $60
    –DTA: (300+60)*.008 = $2.88
    –VAT = $0
    –Total cost: $362.88

    3) Product: Remote Control Car (Toy), Value: $600
    –Duties (600*.15) = $90
    –DTA: (600+90)*.008 = $5.52
    –VAT: (690+5.52)*.16 = $111.28
    –Total cost: $806.80

    Additional Tips:

  • Discounted shipping rates of up to 60% can be obtained via
  • Mexican users can take advantage of services such as to buy or import commodities from the United States
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