Mexico Airports Simplify Customs Process With New Program

Hand Holding U.S. Passport
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Mexico City is testing a new customs program that would eliminate luggage checks and customs declarations.

The Tax Administration Service (SAT) is implementing the new program, which aims to expedite the entry process of international visitors. It will apply to foreign travelers, who will no longer be required to make a customs declaration.

The testing at Benito Juarez International Airport (also known as Mexico City International Airport) began this month at Terminal 2 with the removal of the red light/green light traffic signal for foreign baggage. SAT also entirely eliminated the customs declaration process.

In a statement, SAT said that luggage will be checked with mobile x-ray equipment during the plane transfer from the plane to where passengers collect their luggage. Those who bring additional merchandise in their luggage would only pay by claiming the items. The x-ray scanning process would be in conjunction with the Federal Police.

The SAT is hoping to implement the same model at Terminal 1 at the airport, and then—eventually—into the customs facilities of the international airports in Los Cabos, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Cancun. Combined, the airports accommodate 85 percent of international passengers arriving in Mexico.

More than 5.8 million international passengers entered Mexico during January and February of this year, an increase of 4.1 percent over last year. SAT decided the simpler customs programs would better facilitate and encourage travelers, maintaining their interest in the region.

As part of the new program, the airports would modernize their facilities using the latest technology.