Shipping your household goods to Mexico
By Michael Parker-Stainback Original Print Publication: April, 2009
Shipping your life
Costs: Start at $5,000 USD
Paperwork you'll need:
- An FM2 or FM3 visa (original and photocopies)
- Separate visa for the importation of personal goods (called importación de menaje de casa)
- Passport (original and photocopies)
- Inventory of every box you're shipping, written in Spanish (original and four copies)
- Letters of presentation from someone such as an employer
Average moving and shipping time: Four weeks
I'd pulled the trigger and was moving to Mexico. I'd soothed over my mother's concerns, informed my New York landlady, and rented an apartment in Mexico City.
Moving costs start at about ,000 USD, no matter how much you bring.
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Then I started looking around my old place. The library I'd accumulated over the years was absolutely emigrating. And I couldn't leave behind those 1500 vinyl LPs-they were part of an ongoing "art" project. Life without my gorgeous set of mismatched plates bought at the Salvation Army? You get the picture: I decided to bring it all with me. I presumed it was just a matter of hiring a mover and going, right? It wasn't the last time I'd be naïve about life in Mexico.
My first advice is to find a good mover. Every company, big and small, claims they do international moves, but if you can, find one that specializes in them: one company kept asking me where in New Mexico I was moving, indicating we were all in over our heads. I finally chose Delahaye Blue Ribbon, who partner with MyM in Mexico. For one, they'd moved a Mexican diplomat back home (with his vinyl records and mismatched plates, no doubt). I also liked that they warned me what could go wrong before I signed the contracts.
Note the endeavor is not cheap. In my experience, you start at $5000 USD, no matter how little you bring (my apartment was a studio), and a lot of people say 10K isn't unheard of for larger moves. But there is a break you can take advantage of: if you move your stuff by boat, you rent a standard shipping container, whether you fill it or not, and don't pay by weight. So though I'd planned to only bring indispensables, once I'd paid for the container, I had room for everything else-linens, pointless winter clothes, and several big pieces of furniture I really hated to sell-and I still barely filled a third of the container.