Move To Mexico and Take Your Furniture

Bob has






(7-2011 Update at end of article)

He writes:

“My wife and I enjoy reading your info about Mexico. We are in the process of house hunting in Ensenada and would like to learn how to take our household goods (furniture, etc.) into Mexico when we move there. If you have any particular info about Ensenada and that area, we would appreciate that too.”

That’s a really good question.

HI, Bob:

This is a pretty long answer – but here ’tis:

You must use the importation without tax privilege within the first six months of your move to Mexico…AGAIN:  All foreigners to Mexico who apply for and receive an FM3 permanent residence document are carefully instructed by the Mexican officials that the newly documented resident has the one-time right to import his used household furnishings to Mexico without the necessity of paying import duties.
All household goods must be inventoried.   (An inventory should include:   make, model and serial number for ALL electronic devices and electrical devises. You also want to list the estimated value – individually – for EVERYTHING.  You may import a quantity of used items which would be appropriate for a normal household.  WITHIN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF YOUR MOVE TO MEXICO.  New appliances are prohibited.)

The list must be in Spanish, typed in single space on white paper, leaving a space of two inches from the top.

Each household item must be numbered progressively and on a separate line, beginning with the electrical appliances, specifying make, model and serial number (including kitchen appliances).
Small household articles packed in boxes or crates must be described and numbered in the list as one box (crate) containing clothing, kitchen utensils, etc.

Each page of your original list must be signed in blue ink on the bottom, right-hand corner.

The original list, and five copies, must be presented to the Consulate General to obtain your visa.

Take your original FM3 or FM2, and five copies of the page(s) where your personal date is located.

Make sure you take five copies of your complete, valid passport, the page with your personal data, picture and signature – everything.

You will then, pay the consular fee of $127.00 US dollars, either with cash or money order, payable to the Consulate General of Mexico.  Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted.

Once the Mexican gov’t official receives all the requirements, it can take five business days to process your application.
You may either mail the above documents, or bring them in person. (Any thing you can do in person, we’d suggest you do – papers can get lost in the States, let alone in Mexico!)  Make sure you take proof of U.S. residency, for the past two years when you go to the Consulate.
If you decide to mail your documents and want them mailed back, include a self-addressed prepaid envelope, completed FEDERAL EXPRESS or UPS.  The Consulate does not assume any responsibility concerning mailed documents.
Consulate locations and info are listed on pages 67, 68, and 69 of Retire In Luxury.
If possible, get a minimum of three written relocation proposals from reputable household goods forwarders. Do this at least 30 days in advance of your planned move-out date. International moving estimates are NOT binding.

household match

Will your household items work here?

Within six months of obtaining your FM Visa, you are able to import used household goods and personal effects in quantities which would be considered normal for the number of family members in your household.
Prohibited. Furniture and especially electronics and appliances MUST have been in use for more than 6 months. Items deemed to be new may be subject to confiscation by Mexican customs officials and the owner may not get his furniture back until a substantial fine is paid. (Import taxes)
 In my book, just to review:  After you have decided to move to Mexico as a perpetual tourist, you will probably want to bring your household goods down…or just get rid of your stuff.
However, if you decide to keep your things:
Hire a shipping/moving company (there are several you can locate via internet who offer moving service to Mexico) or have a truck of your own.
Get your items inventoried.
Procure your FM-3.
Give your shipper the stamped inventories and a notarized (by Mexican Consulate) copy of your FM-3.
Then when your household goods show up at your new home, have cold drinks and snacks available to the workers.
It is wise to use someone you have received a personal reference from. Check on the chat sites where you’ve decided to move. Have every detail in black and white – with many copies available. Include price, exact performance such as packing, loading, unloading at your new home, dates, etc.

Dick and I felt it easier to

sell most of our household stuff

in the U.S., and just replace…we

planned to downsize a lot anyway

– who wants to clean and dust

“stuff” during retirement?!

Update, 7-2011: Taking Household into Mexico    

If you are a FM3 holder, (as a retiree or profit activities) you are allowed to take your household into Mexico. You must provide a list of your belongings and have it stamped by the Mexican Consulate in order to be submitted through Mexican costumes. You have six months from the date your FM3 visa was issued in order to take your household into Mexico.

 Requirements are:

  • Apply at the Consular Section in person from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, Monday through Friday.
  • Valid passport in original and five photocopies of the pages containing personal information, photograph of bearer and expiration date/extensions.
  • Original FM3 and five photocopies.
  • Letter Requesting the household address to the Embassy Of México Consular Section
  • Typed list of your household in Spanish, with original and four photocopies. Such list must specify:
  • Address in USA indicating length of time you have lived there.
  • New Address in Mexico.
  • All the articles, including those contained in boxes. All electrical appliances must indicate brand, model and serial numbers.
  • You must leave space for the Consular seal in the right bottom of each page.
  • Each page must be signed by the applicant at the left bottom in front of the consular official.
  • The fee is $127.00 dollars by cash.
  • You are permitted to take your household only once in lifetime per family.

Best to you,

Household article by Barbie

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10 Responses to Move To Mexico and Take Your Furniture

  1. [email protected]

    September 10, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Many times people pay to move items locally instate or even to other countries that they don’t really want or need but they simply can’t decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Do yourself a favor and go through all the items you are planning of moving to make sure you actually can’t live with out them and get rid of as much as you can before your move.

  2. Ken

    September 12, 2010 at 7:01 am

    One thing to keep in mind is the purpose of your move. Are you envisioning a new start to your life, a certain cleansing and reseting to a new, lighter, more connected life? Consider the value of starting with fresh, perhaps more locaalized furnishings that carry the heritage and culture of Mexico — that support what you are envisioning.

    Some will indeed want to bring their belongings, but it can be laborious and carry an unpredictable array of bureaucratic mishaps, delays, and — on a bad day — corruption. Our firm for years has heard the horror stories. We give expats in Mexico an easy way to cost-effectively furnish their Mexico dream home with authentic furniture hand-built by Mexico artisans, delivered to their door. This supports the local economy and brings culture and history of Mexico into their home.

  3. [email protected]

    September 18, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Ken sounds like your service is a great alternative to trying to migrate through the costly and confusing process of moving items into a foreign country. Movers struggle to explain to customers about the benefit of getting mostly new items in the land they are moving to.

  4. Barbie


    September 18, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    And, In my book, Retire In Luxury, and several of my articles, I suggest selling things, because dusting trinkets is not what retirement is about! Barbie

  5. Tom Hill

    December 9, 2010 at 2:22 am

    i had the same opinion once, but later i tried storage wirral, one local company in uk, i told them i need to move all my house attachments to my new home, you know like cabinets, antiques, tiles etc, they performed well and gave me plan and cost prior after surveying my home, my household selling percentage reduced drastically, find such company to help you out, i guess.

  6. outdoor patio furniture wholesale

    February 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for this very informative article from yours. My relatives also import their furniture to South Carolina, they hire professional packer of their furniture they got it from the seller of that certain furniture.

    In importing your furniture you must remember that, it keeps intact when it arrives to its destinations and you could also buy the insurance your shipper offers you.

  7. outdoor patio furniture wholesale

    February 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    and also : Do not attempt to smuggle illegal items into the United States. You could receive a fine or even jail time.

  8. Pingback: Locations, Prescriptions, and Opinions | Mexico Retirement Blog

  9. Kevin Wassink

    March 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Shipping furniture to Mexico, we scheduled truck delivery to the Mayan Riviera 4 times a year, we deliver

  10. Kevin Wassink

    March 26, 2013 at 3:55 am

    We suggest to budget $6-8K and get new furniture for you new place, it is just a new world and a new cool beginning. Don’t deal with transportation, customs, permits, red tape, a waste of time, 6 or 8 k will furnish you a 2 bedroom house, there are companies that will take care of everything, specially those that build the furniture in Mexico but have legal presence in the States.

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